Tévez swings in with a treble to sink the Canaries, United too strong for desperate Villa
A Carlos Tévez treble, a brace from Sergio Agüero and an Adam Johnson strike ensured Manchester City demolished Norwich on Saturday.
After listening to chants of “He wants to go home” by the Norwich fans for the first 17 minutes, Tévez then rattled in a 25-yarder to silence the home crowd.
Tévez continued to revel in the hostility, producing an audacious back-heel for Sergio Agüero to smash his volley beyond John Ruddy.
Norwich’s best moments in the first half came courtesy of their talisman, Grant Holt: his well-struck volley was held by Joe Hart, and the striker also had a header nodded off the line by Joleon Lescott.
Andrew Sterman got the home side back in the game just after the break. An uncharacteristic flap from Hart allowed the substitute to halve the deficit, but the joy was short-lived for the Canaries; Tévez restored his side’s two-goal lead, out-jumping Ryan Bennett to nod into the net on 73 minutes after Ruddy had saved Yaya Touré’s effort.
Moments later, Agüero scored with a wonderful bending effort beyond Ruddy for City’s fourth, before Tévez rounded the goalkeeper for his hat-trick. Tévez celebrated by swinging an imaginary golf club – it looked like a solid swing, and so it should be. His six months on a golf course probably cost his side the title.
Adam Johnson ended the mauling, finishing from close range after a Gaël Clichy pass in injury time.
Too little too late for City? Not just yet.
Manchester United showed too much class for a very poor Aston Villa side, extending their lead over Manchester City to five points; two goals from Wayne Rooney, a Danny Welbeck tap-in and an injury time goal from Nani made it seven home wins on the bounce.
Inside the opening ten minutes, Ashley Young checked inside Ciaran Clark in the Villa box, and theatrically fell to the ground over the defender’s leg. There was minimal contact, but the exaggerated fall was enough to convince referee Mark Halsey to award a spot kick.
Wayne Rooney tucked it away to give Manchester United the lead.
Villa created a few half-chances in the first half; but this was vintage United at home, totally dominating the game from the whistle. They doubled their lead just before the break; Patrice Evra’s low cross from the left should have been intercepted by either James Collins or Nathan Baker, but they both decided to leave it, allowing Danny Welbeck to slide in and score at the far post. Pathetic defending.
With Ashley Young dominating the in-play headlines for cheating, Wayne Rooney bagged his second of the afternoon with 15 minutes to go; a well-worked link-up with Antonio Valencia allowed Wayne Rooney to fire a shot from just inside the box, three nil via a slight deflection off James Collins.
Nani ended the rout with an injury time fourth; Johnny Evans picked out the Portuguese winger in the box, and he managed to squeeze his effort past Shay Given.
Villa should offer a refund to their travelling fans after that display.
Back to square one in the title race, City five points behind and they are running out of games.
Sunderland 0 – 0 Wolves
Swansea 3 – 0 Blackburn
West Brom 1 – 0 QPR