CHAMPIONS SPARKLE AS CANARIES THRASHED. Today at the Etihad, Manchester City came back from last weekend’s loss against Tottenham with a convincing win over Norwich.

City’s lack of fitness was exposed in their opening game of the season against Tottenham, but they made amends against newly-promoted Norwich. First time in 18 months, the Etihad Stadium was full.

Gundogan returned to the starting lineup after recovering from an injury scare against Tottenham, while Phil Foden stayed out and was joined by John Stones and Kevin De Bruyne on the sidelines for fitness reasons.

In the sixth minute, Grant Hanley’s attempted clearing from Gabriel Jesus’ cross hit Tim Krul and went into his own net. This was the first of three assists for Gabriel Jesus from the inside right position, which manager Pep Guardiola stated was his preferred position after the final whistle.

Jesus’ second set up Grealish for his first City goal, which he celebrated with his fingers in his ears to send a message to his critics.

It was two after another seven were played. Despite the fact that the summer signing had little time to acclimatize and looked to know little about his debut strike, Jesus found space out wide with a dangerous cross that Torres missed but Grealish turned in at the back post.

As soon as Ilkay Gundogan’s corner came in, Aymeric Laporte scored his first goal at the Etihad. Raheem Sterling, who had been withdrawn from Guardiola’s starting lineup, scored 10 minutes after coming on as Jesus chalked up his third assist (70).

Norwich’s painful start to the season continued as winger Milot Rashica fired the lone shot of the game after 78 minutes, before substitute Riyad Mahrez scored late on (84) to give City a morale-boosting win after their loss at Tottenham last weekend.

CHAMPIONS SPARKLE: The Spaniard said: “He is a player who prefers to play wide rather than in the middle of the field.” “His partnership with Kyle Walker was outstanding. I’m extremely happy with his performance. He’s a very crucial player for us, especially given his age. I’m ecstatic about the outcome.

This would have been a perfect opportunity for Guardiola to maintain his record of never losing four games in a row by hand-picking Norwich as his opponent.

On his previous visit to Etihad, he had triumphed 5-0, and his team got off to an early start, taking the lead after six minutes. Hanley’s desperation block knocked Krul off his feet and into his own net after Jesus turned Rodri’s diagonal pass into the box.

With Norwich still protesting about Rashica being left on his backside in the build-up, Graham Scott asked the VAR monitor to intervene minutes later.

Player ratings

Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (8), Dias (8), Laporte (8), Cancelo (7), Rodri (8), Silva (7), Gundogan (8), Torres (6), Jesus (9), Grealish (8).

Subs: Sterling (7), Palmer (7), Mahrez (7).

Norwich: Krul (5), Aarons (4), Gibson (5, Hanley (4), Giannoulis (5), Lees-Melou (4), Gilmour (5), Rupp (4), Cantwell (5), Pukki, Rashica.

Subs: Mumba (6), McLean (5), Sargent (5).

Man of the match: Gabriel Jesus

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