Manchester City went on the front foot in their Premier League opener against Norwich, with Riyad Mahrez scoring two goals and Sergio Aguero netting one to give them a 3-0 win.
The Grealish opens Man City account in rout of Norwich, and with new No. 10 up and running, so are the Premier League champions is a story about how Manchester City opened their account for the season by beating Norwich 3-0 at Carrow Road.
21st of August, 2021
Dawson, Rob Correspondent
MANCHESTER, United Kingdom — Jack Grealish placed his fingers in his ears to celebrate his first Manchester City goal, but you can immediately see he’s listening to Pep Guardiola.
The ball rebounding off Grealish’s knee and across the line to assist City to a comfortable 5-0 victory against Norwich City is perhaps not how Grealish imagined it, but he won’t mind. Aside from the sloppy finish, it was a classic Guardiola goal — threaded pass, followed by a cross from the byline finding a spare player at the back post — indicating that Grealish has been paying attention in team meetings and that there will likely be more to come.
Grealish, who joined City for £100 million from Aston Villa, is up and running after a disappointing start to the season against Tottenham Hotspur. Guardiola sounded like a guy who knows better than to panic after a bad result during his press conference on Friday, and the manner his players destroyed Norwich was a timely reminder to anybody who needed it that they are champions for a reason.
City put on a firework show before start to commemorate the first return of supporters to the Etihad Stadium in 18 months, and although it wasn’t one of those spectacular displays, it was an hour and a half of silent menace. This season, Norwich will not be the only side to suffer a heavy defeat at this venue.
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“The outcome was the product of how many excellent things we did,” Guardiola remarked after the game. “We’re still not at our best, and we still have a lot of work to do.” It was fantastic. That, along with our first three points, makes me pleased, and hopefully it won’t be the last.
“I’m hoping Jack can score a few more goals, but the first win is the most crucial.”
Grealish said that one of the reasons he left his home club last summer was because of Guardiola, and it’s easy to see why. Raheem Sterling moved from scoring a few goals a season to routinely scoring more than 20 under the Catalan. He scored 31 points in all competitions during the 2019-20 season.
Grealish’s highest total is ten goals, but with City, he has the chance to start putting up much more. He’ll have plenty of opportunities if he plays on the left side of the front three, like he did against Norwich, by sliding inside towards the back post. After Kyle Walker had sliced through the Norwich defenders and found Gabriel Jesus’ darting run, that was all he needed to score his first goal for the club on his home debut.
Manchester City defeated Norwich 5-0 on Saturday, with Jack Grealish scoring his first goal for the club on his home debut. Manchester City FC/Getty Images/Tom Flathers)
“If Jack adopts the attitude of Raheem Sterling, then yes [he can score 20 or 30 goals each season],” Guardiola stated. “Raheem didn’t have the objective in mind when I came here four or five years ago. That has since changed. Because he came in the center position like a nine, Raheem scored today. There, he’s a machine. He’ll have to return to those jobs. He had a change of heart and determined to score, score, score. Jack can accomplish it if he thinks as Raheem does.”
Grealish’s goal was almost identical to the first goal of the day, with the exception that Jesus’ cross was shoved in by a combination of Grant Hanley and Tim Krul before reaching the back post. Jesus, who played as a right winger, was exceptional.
“He prefers to play more wide than in center positions,” Guardiola said. “Working with individuals like Gabriel is one of the reasons why I am a manager at the finest times of my career.” He never complains about anything. If he just has five minutes to play, he gives it his all. He’s pleased when you play right; he’s happy when you play center; he’s glad when you play left.
“I’m overjoyed for Gabriel. Because he is so kind, he deserves the finest in life. We have a fantastic team, and I never complain about it. We had the same players as last season, but we lost Sergio [Aguero], who was replaced by Jack, and I am very happy with the group we have.”
The fourth came from another Jesus cross, this time completed by Sterling, after Aymeric Laporte had put in the third. Ruben Dias’ vision to pick up Algeria international Riyad Mahrez from 30 yards to make it 5-0.
After the game, Daniel Farke pointed out that Norwich had “conceded the identical goal four times.” They have conceded 26 goals in their last six Premier League visits to City.
While you shouldn’t evaluate a club promoted from the Championship in games against Liverpool and City, it already seems like Farke’s squad is headed for relegation. After two games, they have 0 points, no goals, and eight goals allowed.
Guardiola’s position in the standings seems to be much better ahead of Arsenal’s visit next weekend. City and Grealish are now operational.
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