Norwich City vs. Manchester City: Final score 3-4, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero brilliant in thriller

Jamie McDonald

In one of the most exciting games of the season, Manchester City kept pace with their cross-town rivals in the title race by putting four goals past Norwich.

Samir Nasri's sending off made things difficult on Manchester City, but they had too much firepower for Norwich City on Saturday afternoon. Edin Dzeko got a rare start up top due to illnesses to Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli, and made the most of his opportunity with two goals and a forced own-goal in City's 4-3 victory.

Dzeko opened the scoring just 84 seconds into the match, turning in a great pass by David Silva, who was set up by Sergio Aguero's brilliant switch. City doubled their lead quickly, once again through Dzeko, who was set up directly by Aguero on the counter for his second.

Norwich surprisingly hit back in the 14th minute, partially thanks to some poor goalkeeping by Joe Hart. He was badly wrong-footed by an Anthony Pilkington free kick, and watched helplessly as the ball curled around City's wall and passed him into the back of the net.

Shortly before the break, Nasri picked up his straight red for an altercation with Sebastien Bassong. After Bassong cleaned out Nasri with a hard tackle, for which he earned a yellow card, City's tricky attacker jumped up and got in Bassong's face. Referee Mike Jones didn't spot Nasri's attempted headbutt, but his assistant did. After consulting with the linesman, Jones made the decision to show Nasri a red card.

Being shorthanded didn't hinder City at all immediately following halftime. Aguero finished brilliantly in the 50th minute, slotting in a through ball by Yaya Toure to double City's lead. Russell Martin hauled back a goal with a header on a set piece in the 63rd minute, but Dzeko forced Mark Bunn into an unfortunate own goal shortly afterwards, clattering a shot off the post that hit Bunn before bouncing into the net.

That goal should have sealed a win for City, but Martin struck a second time for Norwich in the 75th minute, setting up a thrilling final 15. Both sides had their chances in a back-and-forth conclusion to the match, but Bunn and Hart both stayed composed in their respective goals as no more goals came, and City held on for three points.

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