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Man City routs Norwich 5-1 in Premier League

Updated: December 03, 2011, 13:26


Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates after scoring against Norwich during their English Premier League soccer match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday Dec. 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

MANCHESTER, England(AP) Manchester City maintained its dominant start to the Premier League season with a 5-1 rout of Norwich on Saturday.

Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure had put the league leaders comfortably ahead 3-0 by the 68th minute, before Steve Morison pulled one back with 10 minutes remaining.

Mario Balotelli and Adam Johnson then added goals in the final minutes as Roberto Mancini's team recorded its 12th victory in 14 league matches.

The visitors' resistance was broken at the Etihad Stadium when Aguero prodded in his 11th goal in 13 league starts with just over half an hour gone.

Nasri produced one of his best performances since joining City from Arsenal in the offseason and added the second when Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy somehow allowed the Frenchman's free kick to beat him.

Toure added a third midway through the second half when his curling shot from the edge of the area found the corner of Ruddy's goal.

Balotelli scored from close range before Johnson added a fifth in stoppage time.

City has now scored 48 goals in 14 league games.

City assistant coach David Platt said his team was rewarded for its patience.

"It was just a matter of moving the ball ... it was going to open up by a little bit of brilliance,'' Platt said. "The goals are irrelevant as long as we get the points and keep getting them.''

Norwich had come to defend in the hope that they could create something on the break and they came close to making that work in the early stages.

Their lone striker Morison made the most of a hesitant clearance from Kolo Toure, making his first Premier League start since completing a six-month doping ban for taking his wife's diet pills. Morison broke through but shot narrowly wide.

Morison went close again when Toure and Vincent Kompany collided on halfway and the striker ran through, only to be blocked by City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart.

But it was not long before the hosts' dominance was established with Nasri creating a string of good chances for Aguero.

The pick of the early opportunities created by the Frenchman was a well-judged cross to Aguero, who lifted the ball over the bar from around 12 yards (meters).

But the Argentina forward made no mistake in the 32nd minute when he was picked out by a fine cross from Micah Richards.

With his back to goal, Aguero spun away from the challenge of Leon Barnett and prodded a low shot through a crowd of bodies to put the home team in front.

Elliott Bennett had the opportunity to pull Norwich level two minutes after half time when Kompany and Morison missed Kyle Naughton's long ball forward.

The winger ran around Hart's challenge but went too wide to be able to get his shot on target from a narrow angle.

That failure was punished in the 51st when Ruddy allowed a crossed free kick from Nasri to beat him and find the corner of the net.

City continued to press and Ruddy produced an impressive double save from David Silva and Aguero to keep the deficit at two goals.

In the 68th minute Yaya Toure collected a pass from Silva and curled in City's third from just inside the penalty area.

Thirteen minutes later Morison headed in but City's victory was never in doubt and Balotelli added a fourth in the 88th minute.

His initial effort was blocked by Ruddy but the Italian, who was sent off in the 1-1 draw at Liverpool last weekend, headed in the rebound from less than a yard out.

"If you play them at their game they'll pick you off all over the place because their movement's that good,'' Norwich manager Paul Lambert said. "I'm delighted we didn't fold when we could have and not many teams will come here and take them on.''

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