Jonny Howson's stunning winner for Norwich condemns Manchester City to 3-2 defeat
Last Updated: 19/05/13 7:08pm
Jonny Howson celebrates the winning goal for Norwich against Manchester City
A superb individual goal from Jonny Howson gave Norwich a 3-2 win at the Etihad to ensure Manchester City's disappointing defence of their Premier League title ended in defeat.
Former Leeds midfielder Howson burst from the halfway line, shrugging off poor challenges from Yaya Toure and Micah Richards before slotting the ball beyond the dive of Joe Hart.
The goal summed up the home side's performance; they looked lacklustre throughout, missing the reassuring presence of Vincent Kompany with Joleon Lescott and Richards in particular having a torrid time at the heart of the Blues' defence.
The hosts did manage to claw their way back into the game twice through a Jack Rodwell double - his first Premier League goals for the club - but they were second best for long periods to an impressive Norwich side who ended their campaign on a high.
BEST OF THE MATCH
Man of the match: Jonny Howson was in with a shout for his match-winning goal but his former Leeds teammate Robert Snodgrass just shades the award. His set-piece delivery was excellent as ever while he gave the home defence a torrid time, summed up by his perfect cross to set up Grant Holt for the visitors' second. Goal of the match: Howson's goal was worthy of winning any match. Aided by some ineffective tackling, the midfielder burst from the halfway line to brush aside Pablo Zabaleta and shoot beyond Joe Hart. Save of the match: Hart had to be at his best to keep out Bradley Johnson's downward header after he got on the end of another perfect centre from Snodgrass. Talking point: In spite of the plethora of banners backing sacked manager Roberto Mancini, Manchester City failed to give a show of support on the pitch with some awful defending throughout. They will need to show far more appetite for the fight if they are to wrestle the title back from Old Trafford next season.
The visitors took the lead on 26 minutes when Anthony Pilkington finished sweetly with his right foot after some flimsy defending by the home side allowed Wes Hoolahan to prod the ball into his path.
The lead lasted just three minutes before Rodwell levelled. Samir Nasri played the ball into Edin Dzeko's feet and his lay off was perfect for the former Everton man who hammered the ball beyond John Ruddy.
Norwich could easily have gone into the break ahead but they were denied a penalty when Pablo Zabaleta ploughed into the back of Pilkington, referee Mark Halsey - making his final Premier League appearance - awarding a corner instead. As the ball came back in the ball appeared to clip Richards' arm but again appeals for a spot-kick were waved away.
Norwich reclaimed their lead on 54 minutes when the influential Robert Snodgrass found space on the right and delivered a pinpoint low cross for an unmarked Grant Holt to tap in at the far post.
Again the home side were quick to reply as Rodwell raced onto a long ball from Toure and outpaced Steven Whittaker to fire into the far bottom corner.
But City's deficiencies were at the back throughout and Howson slalomed through some ineffective challenges to finish clinically midway through the second half to end a miserable week for the former champions.
The atmosphere throughout was a far cry from that famous tension-filled final afternoon a year ago. The home supporters, after an emotional few days which saw manager Roberto Mancini lose his job, were quiet for long periods but a few Italian flags and Mancini chants made clear their former manager was not forgotten.
Barclays Premier League
Sun 19th May
Chelsea2 - 1Everton
Liverpool1 - 0QPR
Man City2 - 3Norwich
Newcastle0 - 1Arsenal
So'ton1 - 1Stoke
Swansea0 - 3Fulham
Tottenham1 - 0S'land
W Brom5 - 5Man Utd
West Ham4 - 2Reading
Wigan2 - 2A Villa
Barclays Premier League
|12||West Ham United||38||47|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||38||44|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||38||30|