Premier League
Norwich0Man City0

Norwich City 0-0 Manchester City

Man City keeper Joe Hart looked beaten before the crossbar kept out Patrick Bamford's shot
Man City keeper Joe Hart looked beaten before the crossbar kept out Bamford's shot

Manchester City's title hopes suffered a setback as they drew at struggling Norwich to move nine points behind leaders Leicester with nine games left.

Canaries keeper John Ruddy kept out two Sergio Aguero efforts as the home side resolutely kept the visitors at bay.

However, it was Norwich who came closest to a goal when a 25-yard Patrick Bamford shot hit the crossbar.

The home side might even have snatched a late winner but Graham Dorrans put a shot wide when well placed.

Relive Norwich's goalless draw with Man City

Concerns for Manchester City

Manchester City have now won only two of their past 11 away games in the league, and Manuel Pellegrini's side failed to respond to his warning they had no "margin for error" in the title race.

Pellegrini opted for a 4-4-2 formation, with Wilfried Bony partnering Aguero in attack, but despite their dominance the visitors rarely looked dangerous and failed to muster a shot on target in the second half.

Bony was a peripheral figure and it was little surprise when he was replaced just before the hour mark by Raheem Sterling, though the winger's introduction failed to lift the away side.

Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony failed to touch the ball in the Norwich area
Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony failed to touch the ball in the Norwich area

The worry for Pellegrini, who will be replaced in the summer by Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola, will be the lack of creativity, intensity and urgency from his side.

"Me and [Norwich goalkeeper] John Ruddy could have had the afternoon off to be honest," said visiting keeper Joe Hart. "We weren't good enough to win the game."

Hart and his team-mates will be looking over their shoulders in the race for Champions League football, with only a two-point gap between them and fifth-placed West Ham.

Can Norwich beat the drop?

Norwich remain in the bottom three after winning only their second point from their past 10 league games.

But, if they can continue to defend in the same way and add goals to this sort of performance, they will believe they can avoid relegation.

"It is a big point and sends a message out to the teams around us and maybe dents them again," said Norwich defender Russell Martin.

Canaries boss Alex Neil has rarely had cause to question his side's desire, and his players again put in a performance full of effort and commitment - running 5km more than their opponents.

The plan might have been to frustrate their visitors and hope to catch them on the break, but scoring goals remains an issue with just three in their past seven games.

Neil hoped giving Bamford his first Premier League start might solve the problem but though the on-loan Chelsea forward went closest to scoring, Norwich did not manage a shot on target.

Man of the match - Timm Klose

Norwich centre-back Timm Klose (right) made his team's most interceptions (5) and blocks (4) in the game
Norwich centre-back Timm Klose (right) made his team's most interceptions (five) and blocks (four)

Manager reaction

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini: "We are disappointed. We tried to be aggressive with and without the ball. We had a good attitude but we could not create space.

"Of course we should create more in the last third. We were static up front. Every time that you drop points it is harder but you must continue thinking in a positive way. We must always try to win the title while we mathematically can."

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Lack of creativity strange - Pellegrini

Norwich City boss Alex Neil: "We will see at the end of the season how significant that point was.

"We had much better decision-making. Last time Norwich got relegated they were five points above the relegation zone with seven games to play so there's no reason why we can't catch some of those above us."

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Norwich got what we deserved - Neil

Pundit analysis

Former Norwich striker Chris Sutton on BBC Radio 5 live: "This is the end for Manchester City now, they are not going to win the title. Absolutely done. They have been like it all season. They just haven't shown enough urgency or real effort to win."

The stats you need to know

  • Manchester City have scored just eight goals in their past 12 Premier League away matches.
  • This is Man City's lowest points tally (51) after 29 games of a Premier League season since 2008-09 (35).
  • This is Norwich's worst run in the Premier League (10 games without a win) within a single Premier League campaign since November 2004 (13 games).
  • Norwich failed to have a single shot on target in this match - the first time they have done so this season in the Premier League and the first time in the competition since April 2013.
  • Martin made his 120th Premier League appearance for Norwich in this game and became the player to make the most appearances in the competition for the club ahead of Mark Bowen (119).

What next?

Manchester City will take a 3-1 lead into the home leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday (19:45 GMT). Norwich's fight for survival sees them visit West Brom on Saturday, 19 March (15:00 GMT) in their next game.

Line-ups

Norwich

  • 1Ruddy
  • 5Martin
  • 24BennettBooked at 12mins
  • 17Klose
  • 23Olsson
  • 28O'NeilBooked at 50mins
  • 8HowsonBooked at 74mins
  • 22RedmondSubstituted forDorransat 45'minutes
  • 14HoolahanSubstituted forMbokaniat 67'minutes
  • 16Jarvis
  • 11BamfordSubstituted forJeromeat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Bassong
  • 9Mbokani
  • 10Jerome
  • 13Rudd
  • 18Dorrans
  • 21Mulumbu
  • 25Pinto

Man City

  • 1Hart
  • 3SagnaSubstituted forZabaletaat 85'minutes
  • 4Kompany
  • 30OtamendiBooked at 26mins
  • 22Clichy
  • 15NavasSubstituted forIheanachoat 77'minutes
  • 6Reges
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 21Silva
  • 10Agüero
  • 14BonySubstituted forSterlingat 58'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Zabaleta
  • 7Sterling
  • 11Kolarov
  • 13Caballero
  • 26Demichelis
  • 72Iheanacho
  • 76Garcia Alonso
Referee:
Jonathan Moss
Attendance:
26,323

Match Stats

Home TeamNorwichAway TeamMan City
Possession
Home34%
Away66%
Shots
Home5
Away15
Shots on Target
Home0
Away3
Corners
Home3
Away8
Fouls
Home15
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Norwich City 0, Manchester City 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Norwich City 0, Manchester City 0.

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

Gary O'Neil (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Graham Dorrans.

Foul by Fernando (Manchester City).

Dieumerci Mbokani (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Gaël Clichy.

Attempt blocked. Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Hand ball by Russell Martin (Norwich City).

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Pablo Zabaleta replaces Bacary Sagna.

Attempt missed. Graham Dorrans (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Dieumerci Mbokani.

Hand ball by Fernandinho (Manchester City).

Foul by Vincent Kompany (Manchester City).

Dieumerci Mbokani (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Kelechi Iheanacho replaces Jesús Navas.

Hand ball by Cameron Jerome (Norwich City).

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Timm Klose.

Attempt blocked. David Silva (Manchester City) header from the right side of the six yard box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Vincent Kompany (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Fernando.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Graham Dorrans.

Booking

Jonny Howson (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jonny Howson (Norwich City).

Attempt missed. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Bacary Sagna.

Substitution

Substitution, Norwich City. Cameron Jerome replaces Patrick Bamford.

Substitution

Substitution, Norwich City. Dieumerci Mbokani replaces Wes Hoolahan.

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Matthew Jarvis (Norwich City).

Attempt blocked. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Timm Klose (Norwich City).

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Gary O'Neil (Norwich City).

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Graham Dorrans.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Raheem Sterling replaces Wilfried Bony.

Foul by Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City).

Gary O'Neil (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Gaël Clichy (Manchester City).

Matthew Jarvis (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester29179352312160
2Tottenham291510451242755
3Arsenal29157746301652
4Man City29156852312151
5West Ham291310645331249
6Man Utd29138837271047
7Southampton30128103830844
8Liverpool2812884337644
9Stoke30127113236-443
10Chelsea29101094339440
11West Brom29109103036-639
12Everton28911851391238
13Bournemouth30108123847-938
14Watford29107122930-137
15Crystal Palace2996143239-733
16Swansea3089133040-1033
17Sunderland2967163554-1925
18Norwich3067173154-2325
19Newcastle2866162853-2524
20Aston Villa2937192255-3316
View full Premier League table

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