Pep Guardiola’s men started off with brilliant energy and were instantly rewarded with a goal after seven minutes thanks to a Norwich deflection at the end of Gabriel Jesus’ cross.
The Cityzens boosted their confidence after the first game and picked up their pace over time. Jack Grealish, who made his home debut for City, quickly scored at the end of another Gabriel Jesus cross and opened the doors to a five-goal blockbuster.
A full team performance in a buzzing Etihad led to a five-goal riot against the Canaries who fell victim to a Manchester City side at their best.
This performance will prove to be a huge confidence booster for the entire City squad, which were expected to start slowly this season.
Pep Guardiola’s wake-up call demanding energy from his players in a recently released training video appears to have worked wonders, as the scoreboard proves on Saturday afternoon.
A scoring festival at the Etihad after a three-game scoreless horror streak will be a respite for City fans before a few tough months of the 2021/22 season.
Here are five things we learned from City’s magnificent win over Norwich:
Fans return to the Etihad Stadium
After a long hiatus from the Etihad crowd on Premier League match days for obvious reasons, it’s great to have fans back in the City of Manchester Stadium after more than a year.
Sky-blue seas are just what Pep Guardiola’s men needed after a disappointing loss to Tottenham and the presence of more than 50,000 spectators gave them the victory against the Canaries.
Etihad fans were buzzing throughout the game, and an incredible rendition of Blue Moon sparked it all for them as they enjoyed the runaway performance of their favorite team on the freshly landscaped Etihad pitch. Guardiola’s men did not disappoint and put in a performance worth every penny with the massive score line.
Jesus and Laporte impress on their return
Gabriel Jesus started on the right side of City’s attack and was sensational for the Blues on Saturday. He deservedly received the Man of the Match award after his heavy involvement in three of City’s goals with his sizzling crosses.
Jesus has always shone as a winger and he fueled the discussion with an impressive performance on the right wing which took City all three points and saw them secure a hat-trick in Premier League assists.
The Brazilian is open to a move away from the Etihad stadium, but has been powerless so far due to a shortage of suitors. However, if he were to stay this season, Pep Guardiola could use it on the right in addition to his natural position.
Jesus always impressed on the flanks and some of his best performances came in a larger role. Based on his form against the Canaries, Jesus will be eager to step up his game by adding much more consistency during times of his uncertain future.
Aymeric Laporte started the game alongside Rúben Dias in the absence of John Stones. The Spain international is one of the few Man City stars looking for a new challenge, but the odds of him leaving City seem low due to the poor financial conditions of potential suitors.
Nonetheless, the exceptional defender who lost his spot to the Stones last year had a brilliant opportunity to establish himself as a starter this season and he seized it with open arms.
Laporte put on an impressive performance against Norwich and reminded everyone of his shine. In addition to his strong defensive performance, the 27-year-old made his mark on City’s scoresheet after entering İlkay Gündoğan’s corner with a calm and composed finish.
Grealish completes fantastic home debut
City’s UK record signing Jack Grealish made his home debut at the Etihad Stadium against Norwich City on Saturday. The Englishman started on the left wing, his usual position at Aston Villa, and was a constant threat to the Norwich defense.
Thankfully Grealish scored on his home debut by tucking the Jesus Cross in in an unusual way, but credit goes to him for being in the right place at the perfect time for City’s second goal of the afternoon.
The Etihad crowd saw his new number ten in action and cheered him on with every touch of the ball. Fans were treated to Grealish’s trademark celebration after his first direct involvement with the goal of his new team and certainly one of many to come.
City’s improvised left-back story continues
João Cancelo has started at left-back for the first time this season, but certainly not for the last judging by his appearance. The Portugal international replaced Benjamin Mendy on the left after the Frenchman’s chaotic performance last weekend.
The 27-year-old held the left-back position for much of the previous campaign due to the lack of a recognized left-back bar Mendy, and his name on the team sheet at the left-back only highlighted City’s left. back issues as they look to move on to another season without a top left-back.
City have postponed plans for a new left-back for a year, but nonetheless Cancelo’s impressive performance on Saturday gave encouraging signs for the season ahead.
Cole Palmer is next in line
Manchester City academy is in its heyday with a host of talented youngsters waiting to burst onto the scene if given the chance. Stockport-born Phil Foden is one such example who rose through the ranks and made his breakthrough in the first-team setup. Not far behind is another City fan, Cole Palmer, who came off the bench on 70.e minute against Norwich.
It was reported earlier this year that Palmer will be much more involved with the first team this season and that has turned out to be true. The 19-year-old wowed spectators during his short 20-minute cameo, and will learn a lot in a dressing room filled with talented superstars.
If he seizes the opportunity with great dedication, he will certainly be the next to enter Guardiola’s senior squad alongside his college colleague Phil Foden.