Premier League: Norwich 1 Manchester City 6
Carlos Tevez scored a hat-trick to inspire Manchester City to a comprehensive 6-1 thrashing of Norwich in the Premier League on Saturday.
Sergio Aguero also found the back of the net twice in an exhibition of football at Carrow Road that helped City cut the gap to Manchester United at the top of the table.
City manager Roberto Mancini combined the Argentinean flair of a strike force made up of Aguero and Tevez with the silky passing of David Silva, which would have proved too much for most sides.
The three were given free reign by their manager and the visitors reaped the reward, with the Argentine connection getting a five-goal haul between them as well as a late sixth from Adam Johnson.
Many fans of the Sky Blues were incensed by Manchester United's penalty against QPR and they had another reason to be disappointed with officials after Tevez was booked for diving, although replays showed that Ryan Bennett made substantial contact inside the box.
Despite the visitors' early dominance, Grant Holt was almost celebrating as he nodded a ball past Joe Hart who was tangling with Aaron Wilbraham after a corner. It looked destined to be the first goal of the game but for a goal-line clearance courtesy of the head of Joleon Lescott.
Minutes after Lescott's vital header, Tevez made another massive contribution to his side's title challenge after his time off, taking advantage of a disorganised Norwich defence after Bennett's pass was intercepted by David Silva to open the scoring.
The Spaniard played in Tevez on the right of the box at an improbable angle, but the Argentine had no doubt in his ability by firing a lightning bolt of a shot towards the top corner before seeing the ball swerve massively to deceive John Ruddy and end up in the middle of the goal.
Tevez and Aguero bought a piece of Argentine magic to further their lead. Aguero played in his compatriot on the edge of the box, before receiving it back thanks to a clever back-heel with his first touch and made no mistake in rifling the ball into the top corner.
The effort rendered Ruddy helpless, with the English keeper at full stretch but still a sizeable distance away from the ball.
Half-time substitute Andrew Surman gave Norwich a fighting chance just after the break. He took advantage after Hart failed to control his box in an aerial challenge with Wilbraham simply half-volleying the ball into the net.
Pablo Zabaleta wasted a golden chance to cancel out Surman's goal after eluding Adam Drury at the back post. He only had the keeper to beat but fired it straight into Ruddy.
Norwich's optimism of getting anything from the game was short-lived as an inspired push for an equaliser ended in the visitors enhancing their lead over the Canaries.
Tevez nodded the ball over Ruddy after the Norwich keeper could not control a fiercely drilled shot from Yaya Toure.
The fourth of the visitors' goals came courtesy of Aguero. Taking advantage of an obviously disheartened Norwich side, he took the ball to the left side of the box and curled a beautiful shot into the bottom corner.
The formally exiled Tevez proved critics wrong again after using his pace to punish Bennett's shocking back pass, rounding the keeper before simply slotting the ball into an empty net to get his hat-trick.
Johnson made it six after both he and Aguero had efforts come off of the woodwork.
Aguero swung in a cross to Gael Clichy at the back post, who played the ball first-time into Johnson unmarked in the box for an easy tap-in.