Gabriel Jesus was the star of the show as Manchester City thumped Norwich City 5-0 to pick up their first victory of the 2021/22 season.
Having fallen to a shock opening day defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, it was imperative that Manchester City bounce back strongly. And that is exactly what they did against the newly-promoted Norwich City. The reigning Premier League champions grabbed the lead just seven minutes into the game with Tim Krul scoring an own goal after some nice work by Rodri and Gabriel Jesus.
The Cityzens seemed to have scored again through Ferran Torres ten minutes later but the goal was chalked off due to a foul in the buildup. However, they were soon 2-0 up as Jack Grealish scored his first goal for Manchester City getting on the end of a cross from Jesus.
With Norwich hardly posing a threat, the hosts continued to dominate proceedings and the third goal eventually came in the 64th minute when Aymeric Laporte fired in a low effort off his weaker foot after the Canaries failed to deal with a cross inside the box. Seven minutes later, Raheem Sterling made it 4-0, with Jesus getting the assist yet again.
Riyad Mahrez then added a fifth after coming on as a substitute with a curling effort after being found by a delectable long ball from Ruben Dias, heaping on Norwich City’s misery. With that dominant performance, Pep Guardiola’s men are up and running for the season. Here are our player ratings for the Manchester City stars after their win at the Etihad.
Ederson Moraes: 7/10
Hardly troubled at the back by a Norwich City side that looked nervy from start to finish. Passed the ball well from the back, with the highlight being a diving defensive header.
Kyle Walker: 7.5/10
Looked in fine touch, with his attacking instincts coming to the fore greatly. Had a hand in the second and fourth goals, as he played in Jesus with lovely passes and also made some overlapping forward runs that caused the visitors plenty of problems.
Ruben Dias: 7/10
Hardly made to sweat by the Norwich City attack. Dealt with whatever came his way, which was not a lot, with great comfort. Got the assist for the fifth goal with a fine long pass over the Norwich defence.
Dias and Laporte VS Norwich
214 accurate passes
97% pass accuracy
3 chances created
2 key passes
5 duels won
2 successful tackles
A wall today pic.twitter.com/W7ZirhLR9m
— City Talk (@City_Talk_) August 21, 2021
Aymeric Laporte: 8/10
Back into the starting XI in place of Nathan Ake, the Spanish international enjoyed a solid outing. Wasn’t tested a great deal but was alert whenever called upon. Capped off the display with a goal to make it 3-0 in the second half.
Joao Cancelo: 6.5/10
Came in for Benjamin Mendy after his disaster-class against Tottenham. Linked up well with Grealish in the left channel, although there were a few iffy moments defensively that will need to be ironed out.
Bernardo Silva: 6.5/10
Started despite there being question marks over his future, the Portuguese offered plenty of hard work and industry. However, there was not much in the way of end product from the former AS Monaco man.
Started the move for the opening goal with a fine pass to find Jesus. Kept City firmly on the front foot with accurate passes while thwarting any attempt that Norwich made to push forward.
Ilkay Gundogan: 7/10
Not his best game, but the German international, who recovered from a shoulder issue to start, played his part in helping Manchester City assert themselves on the proceedings. Always looking to pierce the opposition with his passes, sharp with his movement before being taken off.
Gabriel Jesus: 9/10
Gabriel Jesus’ game by numbers vs. Norwich:
93% pass accuracy
9 touches in opp. box
7 duels contested
3 chances created
2 big chances created
Turned provider today. 🅰️🅰️ pic.twitter.com/mMVlWVFBzZ
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 21, 2021
Slotting in on the right flank, the Brazilian was all over the Norwich City defence like a rash. Constantly got the better of the Canaries left-back, getting in behind him and hitting in dangerous crosses that led to the first and second goals while he also set up Torres’ ruled out strike in between that. Then set Sterling up for the fourth goal in the second period with a neat cutback as well. Top-notch.
Ferran Torres: 6.5/10
Unlucky to see his first-half goal get chalked off. Moved well at the top, dragging the Norwich centre-backs out of position that helped create spaces for those around him. A decent enough display.
Jack Grealish: 8/10
After a difficult start to life as a Manchester City player, the club-record signing came to the fore on Saturday, enjoying some nice moments in the left-side channel. Looked a threat when he ran at the defence with the ball and scored his first goal for his new club, although he did not seem to know a lot about how the ball went in.
A win, a goal and my home debut 😍 what a day 💙 pic.twitter.com/m1LvuyaXWZ
— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish) August 21, 2021
Raheem Sterling: 7/10
On for Silva in the 61st minute. Got on the scoresheet just three minutes later to add more gloss to the scoreline.
Cole Palmer: 6/10
Replaced Gundogan in the 69th minute. Looked lively in the short time he was on the field.
Riyad Mahrez: 7/10
Brilliant first touch and fine finish to make it 5-0.