When we think about Manchester City we think invincible, especially when it comes to champions versus newly promoted outfits. City’s record against newly promoted sides like Norwich speaks for itself.
But what we noticed on Saturday was that records and money don’t mean a thing when you’re up against a passionate team.
City Drop Points Again
On Saturday evening at Carrow Road, we witnessed arguably the most shocking result of not only the weekend but probably for the rest of the season. The defending champions City loss 3-2 away from home and their performance was absolutely jaw dropping.
Pep Guardiola seemingly underestimated Norwich by benching the Belgian Kevin De Bruyne who has been in scintillating form. He recently just came off an impressive display for Belgium getting three assists and a goal in a 4-0 win. City are known for their attacking style but they lacked any clear cut chances despite having most of the possession and many believe that things could’ve been a lot different had De Bruyne started. The Blues lacked a player who could dictate the play and ignite their attack. Pep made a few tactical errors which is a rare occurrence from the supposedly best manager in the world.
Norwich Gets It Right
Norwich tactics were absolutely perfect, they man marked key players on City’s side which stopped their creativity. Many assumed that Norwich would be easy pushovers and that they would be heading straight back to the Championship. But they have certainly proved that they belong in the Premier League. Norwich starting eleven only costs £6.4 million while City’s costs a staggering £406.1 million. The performance of Teemu Pukki once again was nothing short of excellent and one might say with his current form he alone should cost that £406.1 million.
City Fall Further Behind Liverpool
The Blues loss to Norwich was their first loss since January and to make matters worse is that Liverpool beat Newcastle United comprehensively 3-1. This means the defending champions are now five points behind the Reds and will have to play catch-up. Luckily for City, it’s just the start of the season and anything can happen; we all know the Premier League to be the most difficult league in the world to predict.
The Defence Called Into Question
A massive issue for City thus far has been their defensive frailties. The injury suffered by Aymeric Laporte and the retirement of Vincent Kompany has left a massive hole in their defence; they’ve been leaking goals which is unlike them. Had their defence been better they could’ve beaten Norwich but mistakes by John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi cost them dearly. After the game after evaluation, it’s clear that City’s one big weakness is set pieces. They struggled throughout the game and the relationship between Otamendi and Stones or lack thereof is poor. Liverpool is in the driving seat could go all the way unless they slip up like last season when they somehow managed to let a ten point lead slip away.
Liverpool Look Like Champions
It might only be the start of the season but the title race is already only between City and Liverpool and both have to the quality to achieve anything. Last year we asked the question, as to whether Liverpool win the title and this year we believe, if there’s any team that can dethrone City, it’s definitely the Reds.