- August 21, 2021
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Jack Grealish makes his Manchester city mark with Norwich thumping
Manchester City’s £100m man Jack Grealish scored on his home debut as the reigning Premier League champions returned to winning ways by thrashing newly-promoted Norwich.
Shaking off three successive defeats bridging this season and last, Pep Guardiola’s side assumed complete control from minute one against the outclassed Canaries.
There was some fortune about their first two goals – both set up by low Gabriel Jesus crosses – as Grant Hanley’s attempted clearance flew in off Norwich keeper Tim Krul before City’s second bounced in off Grealish’s knee.
However, the lead was just a reward for the imperious hosts, who saw a neat Ferran Torres finish chalked off in-between those goals after the video assistant referee noticed Bernardo Silva’s clip-on Milot Rashica in the build-up.
Aymeric Laporte added the third, steering home a corner from close range before Jesus capped an impressive and unselfish performance by guiding Kyle Walker’s through ball across the face of the six-yard box for substitute Raheem Sterling to sweep home City’s fourth.
Riyad Mahrez also came off the bench to round off the rout, beating Krul one-on-one to hand Norwich successive 5-0 defeats at Etihad Stadium, having lost there by the same score on their previous visit in July 2020.
With Sterling and Mahrez on the bench, and Kevin De Bruyne not risked because of an ankle problem, it was easy to see why Guardiola has insisted he is happy with City’s squad should no further transfer business – most notably the touted signing of Harry Kane – be forthcoming.
Bigger tests, of course, await with Arsenal, Leicester, Chelsea and Liverpool among their next five fixtures – with defeats in the Champions League final, Community Shield and league to Chelsea, Leicester and Tottenham respectively still relatively fresh in the mind.