It was the perfect result for Manchester City as they beat a shockingly poor Norwich City by seven goals to nil.
Manchester United 7 Johnson 16′ (og) Silva 20′ Nastasic 25′ Negredo 36′ Yaya Touré 60′ Agüero 71′ Dzeko 86′
Manchester City highlighted their credentials as title contenders with an emphatic win over lacklustre Norwich.
Focus prior to the game had been on goalkeeper Joe Hart being dropped but once play got under way, City’s attacking prowess took centre stage.
Bradley Johnson’s own goal put City ahead before David Silva, Matija Nastasic and Alvaro Negredo struck.
Yaya Toure scored a free kick, Sergio Aguero fired in before substitute Edin Dezko swept home a seventh.
Norwich manager Chris Hughton, speaking to BBC Sport: “It was difficult from start to finish. We knew the quality they had and they showed that today. You have to be resilient but you can’t concede the goals we did. For our standards they were too soft, except the Yaya Toure free kick and one that was offside. We are conceding goals, we need to stop that and stop it straightaway.
“The fact they got their goals early put us on the back foot. Going in at half time at 2-0 there is a lot to grasp hold of but it gets to a stage when you fear it because every time they attacked you fear it might be a goal. That certainly affects performance, but it can only be us who puts things right.
“I have confidence in my own ability and in the players in the changing room. We have been in this position before, although not after a defeat like we have had today. We need to put it to bed as quickly as possible and be far better next week. It is hurting at this moment, we have supporters who travelled to Manchester in midweek and travelled here and we have let them down today.”
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini, speaking to BBC Sport:“We were very unhappy when we lost against Chelsea, but we didn’t deserve to lose that match, we dominated possession, so we continued playing the same way, we won against Newcastle in the Cup in midweek and I thought today we had a really good match. Norwich did not have a chance to score, we scored seven and could have scored more.
“It was a very good game, we played really well. We moved the ball quickly and we were always pressing. We didn’t try to defend the score, the team played the same for the 90 minutes. Now we have to recover points we have lost away. We need to continue trying to win every game.
“From tomorrow we think about CSKA, it is a very important competition, we need to qualify to the last 16 and if we win on Tuesday we are through to the next round.”
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Manchester City: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Nastasic, Clichy, Nasri, Fernandinho, Toure, Silva, Aguero, Negredo
Norwich: Ruddy; Martin, Turner, Bassong (c), Whittaker; Pilkington, Fer, Johnson, Olsson; Howson; Hooper