NORWICH CITY 2 CITY 0
Nationwide League Division 1
18th August 2001
scorers Libbra(75), McVeigh(90)
City Nash, Dunne, Pearce, Howey, Charvet, Wiekens, Berkovic, Tiatto, Granville, Goater, Wanchope – subs Whitley(20), Horlock(69), Huckerby(unused), Colosimo(unused), Weaver(29)
Norwich Green, Kenton, Fleming, MacKay, Drury, Russell, Holt, Mulryne, Llewellyn, Roberts, Abbey – sub Nedergaard(81), McVeigh(10), Libbra(74), McGovern(unused), Crichton(unused)
What The Press Said
This was definitely a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show came the muck cart.
Carrow Road has never been a happy hunting ground for Manchester City – the Biues’ last win at Norwich came in February 1991.
And that dismal sequence never looked like ending on Saturday when for the majority of the 90 minutes, Kevin Keegan’s men were second best in all areas of the park.
Seven days previously against Watford, City were rightly praised for a wonderful display of passing and movement that fashioned three superb goals.
This showing was in stark contrast. The commitment of the players was never in any question, as Stuart Pearce’s dash to the travelling supporters and Laurent, Charvet’s rallying cry to his team-mates illustrated
“Some of the lads out there ran further than they did last week,” reckoned Blues boss Kevin Keegan “The win last week was a bonus and you have to take the rough with the smooth in this game.
“But it was a bad day and we got what we deserved. But we were out-thought, not out-fought. The effort was good from all the lads, but we just didn’t think our way around the pitch and we will start again next week against Crewe.”
What was missing was the creativity that the front pairing of Paulo Wanchope and Shaun Goater would have thrived on, and the running off the ball that would have opened up the Canaries’ defence.
Norwich, whose opening match of the campaign ended with a 4-0 trouncing at the hands of Millwall, were full of running and invention from the first whistle.
Within minutes of the kick-off, left-back Adam Drury had manoeuvered his way around the back of Charvet and whipped in a teasing cross that caused Carlo Nash a moment of anxiety.
City’s problems were increased when they lost Israeli playmaker Eyal Berkovic, who had been the brightest star in the victory over Gianluca Vialli’s men, to a pulled hamstring after 20 minutes.
Then, as Keegan was busy shuffling his cards, the City boss was forced to make another enforced change. Goalkeeper Carlo Nash suffered three ribs broken when contesting a centre with Zema Abbey.
However, far from rolling over, the Blues chased a priceless goal and almost snatched one when Pearce sent in a swirling left-wing cross that Wanchope directed with his head to the top corner of the net.
Unfortunately for the 24-year-old, Green produced a stunning save, his fingertips diverted the ball for a corner.
This seemed to be the point where Wanchope lost his head. He was booked for a clumsy challenge on Malky Mackay moments later as his frustrations threatened to boil over.
After the loss of Berkovic and Nash, Jeff Whitley was stretched of with a fractured ankle. He was one of City’s better performers on the day but is likely to be missing for eight weeks.
Norwich then introduced their new signing, Marc Libbra, and there was almost a certain inevitability about what would happen next. A hopeful free-kick was punted forward and the Frenchman, who had only been on the pitch for 20 seconds, picked up the loose ball, wrong-footed Steve Howey and lashed a venomous shot past Weaver
Referee Peter Jones failed to see a blatant handball outside his box by keeper Green as Wanchope chased a pass from Horlock, much to the striker’s displeasure.
When calm heads were required, Wanchope was a little too exuberant as the Blues chased the game.
Apart from the alleged incident that occurred with a Norwich ballboy, the Costa Rican put in a number of clumsy challenges as his temper threatened to blow
The final lunge on Darren Kenton, who himself was booked for his collision with Whitley, ensured Wanchope finished the game before his colleagues. Jones was only too eager to brandish a red card.
That sorry incident came just after former Manchester United starlet Phil Mulryne had teedup Paul McVeigh to smash home the killer second goal in the 89th minute, by which time the Canaries were in full song.
FROM MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS BY CHRIS BAILEY AND PAUL HINCE