That's the second game that I have been unable to attend for one reason or another, this through illness, and City go and turn over another big name this time Utd. It looks like I will have to stay away from Carrow Road more often, especially when the other half of Manchester comes to town.
Many headlines read of a shock result, but in truth it doesn't really shock me.... OK I went for a very creditable draw, but I wasn't shocked as you can never write us off before a ball is kicked.
Sir Alex was generous in defeat with his after match comments in saying:
"You have to give credit to Norwich. They battled all over the pitch and defended fantastically well. Their goalkeeper had a really good night also.
"It was a marvelous cross and a magnificent header -- there was nothing the goalkeeper could do about that. They deserved the win just because they worked so hard for it." and ""We had a lot of possession and one or two half chances without having any great chances. It just wasn't our night."
While I would imagine many City supporters would gladly accept Ferguson's words with open arms, I would disagree a little only a little mind you.
I haven't seen the complete break down of stats, But I think City more than out Fought, there were times we out passed them with some excellent movement stroking the ball around, it looked to me we out tackled them as well, breaking down many,many Utd moves. Ferguson said they had one or two half chances, "It Just wasn't our night"
How much of that was down to resolute and excellent defending, with the every player doing what was needed and keeping a solid shape ? When these half chances did come along they found John Ruddy in top form and more than a match for them.
Every single player in Yellow put in a top top shift, but it was more than just hard work, our passing was exact, our tracking back to get between ball and our goal was noticable, our movement was excellent. In Pilkington and Snodgrass we had two wingers who at times scared their defenders, this showed in the amount of fouls and free kicks they gave away.
They were supported well by Whittaker and Garrido, whose cross was pinpoint for a terrific backward glancing header by Pilkington. Had that been Van Persie or someone else in the so called big boys you would be reading wonder goal in the headlines. (Haven't seen the sunday papers yet)
Ferguson, I believe said he cannot remember Pilkington during his time at Old Trafford, but I bet he won't be forgetting him in a hurry now.
Holt ran the two centre backs raggard, hardly giving them a moments rest, even when Utd attacked Holt was either back defending or working them further up. Only for a quick eye and reaction Holt would have got his name on the score sheet. Hoolahan was his usual busy self popping up just about everywhere always probing and trying to unlock their defence, he was exactly what Utd were missing in midfield, which to me looked slow and not very creative.
The engine room of Johnson and Tettey were outstanding, I really lost count of the tackles these two got in and the times they simply jockied holding up Utd until cover was in place. It is no small wonder Howson ,Fox and others are being kept out of the team. But it isn't only their defending and hold up play which takes the eye, they are always looking to get forward into the box or just outside looking for the second ball clearance.
Had a little lady luck coupled with slightly better finishing, the scoreline would have looked much worse for Utd than it did, Howson should really have made more of his gilt edged chance, brilliantly played by Morison.
There was so much more to our win than simple hard work, much more than Utd having a lack lustre night, they still had enough in their team to give us the lessons all the experts predicted.
They came up against a well organised, well drilled team of very good players who play their hearts out for each other.
We are now one point better off than at this stage last season, but keep in mind that's Arsenal and Utd beaten, where we lost both last season.