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Norwich stun Man City at Carrow Road to hand Liverpool five points advantage in the title race

This fine stadium fairly shook as it roared every defiant defensive block and each carefully constructed counter attack. In an excruciating four minutes of added time, Tim Krul had to save three times. Each time, his safe hands were greeted with a din loud enough to be heard down in Suffolk. This extraordinary team and fans were as one, sweeping up one of the finest sides ever constructed in the Premier League era with their enthusiasm and a superbly executed tactical plan.

With three minutes or normal time remaining, Rodri had struck to bring the score back to 3-2. The die seemed cast. The victory would surely now be denied them. And yet they clung on. Has there ever been a performance like this at Carrow Road in the Premier League era? You would be reaching back to the famous 1992-93 team that finished third for comparisons.

Not since Bayern Munich were dumped out of the UEFA Cup the following season have Norwich slain so mighty a giant. Of course, they dazzled at times last season to win the Championship. But not against sides of this quality.

Manchester City may well be the best team in the world. They are certainly the best the Premier League has seen in some time. And yet here, against a team patched up with reserves and constructed for the price of a Manchester City full-back, they looked utterly lost. It was though the trip out to East Anglia had lured them out of their comfort zone.

And for a side whose critics would suggest sign the best players at will, whatever the cost, they look shockingly light at centre-half following the injury to Aymeric Laporte and the departure of Vincent Kompany. Norwich were outstanding. There were too many heroes to name but Emiliano Buendia.

Todd Cantwell and Marco Stiepermann put in shifts that will long be fondly recalled here. The orchestrator, Daniel Farke, led the crowd at the end. He will not appreciate the comparison, as he is very much his own man, but the charisma he exudes and the intelligence of his football makes him Jurgen Klopp in the making.

The opening half was pretty much the definitive masterclass in playing against City. Norwich, patched up and drawing deep on reserves, played a classic rope-a-dope and played it as well as you can. With two lines of four players sitting deep and staying narrow, they were as disciplined as you will see a team this season. Their one purpose was to stop City, somehow, anyhow.

City have not looked this vulnerable since Guardiola’s opening season, when elderly full-backs — in football terms — a bewildered goalkeeper and a more naive Stones saw them regularly exposed. Liverpool have made them look a bit like this since in the past two years. But these days, no one really embarrasses them.

ajay
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