Manchester City vs. Norwich City  2 - 3

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Howson delighted with Norwich progress

20 May 2013 12:03

Norwich midfielder Jonny Howson praised his side for beating Manchester City to secure an 11th-place finish in the Premier League on Sunday.

Howson grabbed the winner after 65 minutes as Norwich recorded a memorable 3-2 victory at the Etihad Stadium, and he is proud of what they club have achieved this season.

After finishing 12th last season, the club lost manager Paul Lambert to Aston Villa, and despite some tough times under new manager Chris Hughton they have finished higher in the table, which shows signs of progress for the former Leeds man.

"We've achieved what we set out to do at the beginning of the season," he told the club's official website.

"Fair play to the lads for finishing like that - it's a tough league.

"It's

been an up and down season for everyone involved, but when the manager

took over, I'm sure if you said that we'd finish 11th, then everyone

would have taken it.

"It's very pleasing at this moment in time."

Howson has been at Norwich since January 2012, making 44 appearances, but he had only recorded one goal before a long-range hit against West Brom at Carrow Road on May 12.

He made it two in two games with his solo effort from the halfway line against City, and he believes the latter goal was better than his strike the week before.

"I got the ball in the middle of the pitch, and my first thought was that I could drive," he added. "Their two central midfielders were wide apart so I could run at the back two.

"It just seemed to open up. I had a touch and then another touch - I thought the defenders would take it off me but next thing I'm through on goal.

"I was just thinking of getting a good contact on it and getting across the keeper, and the next thing you know it's in the net.

"On a personal note, it's nice to be on the scoresheet but most importantly of all it's another win for the lads.

"Personally I think this week's is better. I'm not saying I'd expect to what I did last week all the time, but I'd find it easier than what I did today."

Article

Players not to blame after ´emotional´ week, says Kidd

19 May 2013 21:41

Manchester City interim boss Brian Kidd has refused to criticise his players following their 3-2 home defeat to Norwich on Sunday.

City are without a permanent manager after Roberto Mancini was dismissed earlier this week, and rounded off their campaign with a humbling at the hands of Chris Hughton's men at the Etihad Stadium.

However, the former Manchester United assistant manager rejected suggestions that the result was down to a lack of effort.

"It's been an emotional week with the events at the club," he told BBC Sport.

"Full credit to the lads, they've got stuck in and given their best and you can't ask for any more."

On the regular chants aired in support of Mancini, the 63-year-old added: "I understand the cheers for the boss, he would have been disappointed if there wasn't for what he did here."

Kidd also bemoaned his side's limp defence of their Premier League crown, which was ended by Manchester United with four fixtures still remaining.

"We have fallen short of the standards we set last season, but it hasn't been for a lack of effort," he continued.

"You defend as a team and attack as a team, so you have to look collectively, but we haven't reached that consistency."

Article

Hughton pleased with ´outstanding´ Norwich

19 May 2013 21:29

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton praised his side's ability to stifle Manchester City after their 3-2 win on Sunday.

Anthony Pilkington and Grant Holt put Hughton's men ahead twice but they were pegged back by a Jack Rodwell double.

However, Jonny Howson's fine solo effort after 65 minutes ensured Norwich took all three points at the Etihad Stadium.

Despite the tight nature of the game, Hughton felt his side were deserving of the win.

"I thought we were always a threat," he said.

"You know you have to defend very well against the quality they've got. Sometimes you need a little bit of fortune along the way but overall I thought our performance was excellent.

"We defended very well and restricted them to minimal chances. They had a lot of ball outside the box but minimal chances, John Ruddy didn't have too many saves to make, and to score three goals and be a threat here is difficult here."

"I thought it was an outstanding performance.

It was only City's second home defeat of the season and, in contrast, Norwich's second away win, with the hosts guaranteed second place whatever the result.

However, Hughton did not feel their opponents were taking the fixture too lightly or feeling the effects of former manager Roberto Mancini's sacking.

"They're a team full of quality players," he said.

"On most occasions you come out on the wrong side of that because of what they've got. There were 22 players on the park who wanted to win."

Article

Premier League: Manchester City 2 Norwich 3

19 May 2013 19:05

Norwich sprung a last-day surprise as they defeated Manchester City 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Jack Rodwell had twice equalised for Brian Kidd's side after goals from Anthony Pilkington and Grant Holt, but Jonny Howson's wonderful individual effort sealed a well-earned win for the visitors.

City, who were guaranteed a second-place finish regardless of the result, made five changes and brought in Pablo Zabaleta, Alexandar Kolarov, Rodwell, Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko to the starting line-up, David Silva missed out with Sergio Aguero only fit enough for a place alongside the Spaniard on the bench.

Norwich made just one change, Steven Whittaker replacing Fans' Player of the Season Sebastien Bassong in defence.

Dzeko saw a header saved early on but the visitors were sprightly and had City on the rack, with Pilkington going down under a Zabaleta challenge in the area, but no penalty was awarded, while Joleon Lescott had to clear Ryan Bennett's goal-bound header off the line.

Norwich got the reward for their period of sustained pressure on 25 minutes when the dangerous Pilkington was slipped in on goal by Snodgrass, after the Scot had worked had to retain possession.

Pilkington then took full advantage, side-footing the ball past Joe Hart into the bottom right-hand corner.

The lead lasted just three minutes however, with Nasri playing the ball into Dzeko who laid it off for Rodwell. The former Everton midfielder then placed a left-footed effort past John Ruddy to score his first for the club.

Norwich began the second half well, with Bradley Johnson's header forcing a good save from Snodgrass' cross on 48 minutes before the visitors again had a penalty turned down, when Snodgrass was adjudged not to have been fouled in the area by Yaya Toure.

Their energetic start was given the goal it deserved on 54 minutes when Norwich edged ahead again. The impressive Snodgrass squared across the area for Holt to tap home his eighth goal of the season.

This time, Norwhich held on to their lead for just four minutes and it was Rodwell again who brought the sides level. Toure won the ball on the edge of his own area and played the 22-year-old in with a ranging pass which took Whittaker out of the game.

Rodwell doubled his tally for the club and the afternoon with a sweet strike across Ruddy to make it 2-2.

On 64 minutes, Norwich took the lead again with a magnificent solo run and finish from Howson. The former Leeds man sprinted past Nasri and Toure before evading the tackles of both Lescott and Richards.

He then stayed calm and slotted past Hart into the bottom right-hand corner to put his side ahead for the third time.

Dzeko had a golden opportunity to put his side back on level terms in the 79th minute but could only put Milner's cross from the right over the bar.

Norwich withstood some late pressure from City but stood strong to secure what is just their second away win of the season.

Article

Premier League Preview: Manchester City v Norwich

17 May 2013 14:26

Manchester City will round off the season still without a permanent manager following Roberto Mancini's sacking last Monday.

The Italian was dismissed after his side suffered an embarrassing FA Cup final defeat to Wigan last Saturday, with his position thought to have already been under threat due to City's limp defence of the Premier League title.

Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini remains the favourite to become his successor, but Brian Kidd will take temporary charge for the second time on Sunday having led his side to a 2-0 win over Reading the day after Mancini's departure.

City have lost just one fixture at the Etihad Stadium this season, a last-minute 3-2 defeat at the hands of local rivals and eventual champions Manchester United in December.

And Norwich will hold little hope of coming away with the points, having grabbed just one win on the road in the league this season - fewer than any other team in the English top flight.

It has been widely suggested that City's title defence has faltered due to their lack of goals, with the defending champions currently 29 short of last season's league tally of 93.

Edin Dzeko remains the club's top scorer in the top flight with 14 - 11 behind leader Robin van Persie - though Norwich have considerably bigger worries in the goalscoring department.

Grant Holt has followed up last season's haul of 15 league strikes by scoring just seven times, but remains Chris Hughton's most prolific forward.

It is that dearth of goals which meant Norwich's safety was not guaranteed until last weekend, when they ran out winners against West Brom by an uncharacteristic 4-0 scoreline.

If they are to end the season with a flourish, Norwich will need to earn their first win over City since a 2-0 Division 1 victory in August 2001.

An exciting encounter can perhaps be expected either way, with the last three meetings between the teams having seen 20 goals and this season's reverse fixture ending in a 4-3 win to City.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25