Premier League - Stuttering Man City draw at Norwich

Premier League, Carrow Road - Norwich City 0 Manchester City 0

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Premier League - Stuttering Man City draw at Norwich
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Norwich v Manchester City 08/02/2014 (AFP)

Manchester City's title hopes suffered a fresh blow as they drew another Premier League blank at Norwich City.

City looked a shadow of the side that have scored 68 Premier League goals this season, creating only one clear chance in the first half, an Alvaro Negredo header that crashed back off the bar.

Norwich battled hard throughout the match and were celebrating when Gary Hooper scrambled the ball in, only for the goal to be chalked off for offside.

Manchester City, usually so fluid in attack, struggled to create any chances of note, with Stevan Jovetic and his replacement Edin Dzeko failing to convert the half chances Jesus Navas and James Milner crafted from the wing.

With the game edging towards a stalemate, Norwich almost clinched it, not once but twice.

Nathan Redmond sprinted clear of Gael Clichy and pulled his cross back to substitute Ricky van Wolfswinkel, who couldn’t quite connect. Anthony Pilkington came desperately close moments later, rolling Pablo Zabaleta and lashing a rising shot just over.

The game ended on a sour note, when Yaya Toure appeared to kick out at Van Wolfswinkel as he laid on the ground, an incident the FA may decide to analyse.

Having spent much of the season scoring for fun, City are now without a goal in 181 minutes of football and fail to take advantage of Arsenal’s slip-up at Anfield, as Chelsea take control of the title race.

KEY MOMENTS

17’ Norwich goal chalked off – Hooper scrambles the ball into the net after Joe Hart’s fine save but the flag is up against the striker.

35’ Negredo hits the bar – Navas’s corner is flicked on by Demichelis at the near post to Negredo, who nods it against the bar.

56’ Vital block – Olsson flies into a challenge on Navas, who was about to pull the trigger. Olsson had to get that right and he did.

89’ Double chance for Norwich – Redmond strides clear of Clichy and crosses for van Wolfswinkel, but the Dutchman just fails to make contact. Moments later, Pilkington rolls Zabaleta, but fires over.

90’ Yaya hits out – Yaya Toure kicks van Wolfswinkel while he lays on the ground. Will the FA take retrospective action on that?

KEY STATS

This is the first goalless draw between these sides since 1998.

Before this match, Manchester City had won their last three Premier League trips to Carrow Road, scoring 13 and conceding six times.

TALKING POINT

How much damage did the Chelsea defeat do to Man City? Norwich were full value for their draw and could have even won it, but Man City were off colour and took over 30 minutes to register their first shot on target. City are not in Premier League title form and must get back to winning ways against Sunderland on Wednesday.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Joseph Yobo (Norwich City) - A great debut by the former Everton man. Didn't put a foot wrong all game and kept Alvaro Negredo quiet and Stevan Jovetic even quieter.

PLAYER RATINGS

Norwich City: Ruddy 7, Martin 7, Yobo 9, Bassong 8, Olsson 8, Redmond 8, Tettey 7, Johnson 6, Pilkington 7, Fer 7, Hooper 6. Subs: Whittaker N/A, van Wolfswinkel 6.

Manchester City: Hart 7, Zabaleta 6, Kompany 7, Demichelis 5, Clichy 6, Navas 7, Milner 7, Toure 5, Silva 6, Jovetic 5, Negredo 6. Subs: Kolarov 6, Dzeko 6.

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