Manchester City v Norwich City 1973/74

Norwich home 1973 to 74 proga
8th September 1973



City Lee(42), Bell(44)
Norwich Suggett(61)
Ref Peter Baldwin

City Corrigan, Pardoe, Donachie, Doyle, Booth, Towers, Summerbee, Bell, Law, Lee, Marsh – sub Carrodus(79)

Norwich Keelan, Prophett, Black, Stringer, Forbes, Briggs, Anderson, Suggett, Cross, Grapes, Mellor – sub Howard(45)

Colin Bell slots the ball home
Norwich home 1973 to 74 bell goal3
Ron Saunders grinding insistence on the merits of physical fitness among his players at Norwich City was almost rewarded in unexpected fashion at Maine Road on Saturday when Manchester City flagged sharply late in the game and, in the end, were unnecessarily embarrassed in clinging to their 2-1 lead.
Over the closing 20 minutes Norwich looked formidably fit and there were some frantic moments in the Manchester defence as Suggett, Mellor and Cross rapidly altered the pace and sting of their attacks, based on the wholesome endeavour of their substitute Howard.
Donachie, no laggard as a back, was given a very uncomfortable second half by Howard, insistently coming forward from midfield, as sharp in the pass as in the tackle. But in the end no more could be made of their enthusiasm than the goal just after half time when Suggett scored with a volley on the turn from Howard’s centre.
It was an interesting transformation of a game that apparently had been given its framework by two goals from Manchester in a minute just before half time. In the uncomfortable heat Manchester were economical in their work, preferring the burst of effort to the sustained pressure. Norwich’s attacks then then were spidery, dealt with summarily by the uncomplicated tackling and positioning of the admirable Doyle.
norwich home 1973 to 74 action2
It was to Manchester’s forwards that we looked for entertainment, and they were mostly satisfying. Towers was off form in midfield, but Bell came through well and Law’s unflagging delight in possession were the compelling features.
Law went off with a bruised thigh late in the game, leaving behind a treasury of brilliant moments, from the imperial arm thrust to the heavens to that sharply dug pass that once was a characteristic of so many Manchester United players. His genius rose above all else, even the return to fruitfulness of Lee, and was rounded rather than marred by an incredible air shot when faced by an open goal six yards out.
Lee had given Manchester the lead when Stringer struggled to clear and the Manchester forward was in and away before Norwich were prepared. Keelan’s flying dive was too late to stop Lee’s viciously curving shot going round him.
The second goal was footballing perfection, Law superbly held the ball as Bell raced through, then released a blissful pass direct into Bell’s path for the ball to be tucked precisely under Keelan’s body. The applause was as great for Law’s artistry as for Bell’s astuteness.

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