Man City Fall To Defeat At Norwich After Defensive Horror Show At Carrow Road
Manchester City's defensive frailties were exposed in a shock 3-2 defeat at Norwich on Saturday night.
Pep Guardiola's side were undone by the Canaries in a loss that highlighted the extent of their defensive problems with Aymeric Laporte out injured.
The Premier League champions lost for the first time since January and fell five points behind leaders Liverpool.
They will have to manage until January with only John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi as their recognised centre-backs.
City's marking went to pieces for Norwich's opener when a completely unmarked Kenny McLean headed in a corner at the near post in the 18th minute.
And the newly-promoted side doubled their lead when Teemu Pukki beat the offside trap and ran free before sliding the ball square to Todd Cantwell to tap into an empty net.
Sergio Aguero headed Man City back into it just before half-time in a goal that looked like it would be pivotal given the timing.
But Norwich, missing 11 players through injury and forced to put two goalkeepers on the bench, were unfazed.
And Man City's defensive woes came to the forefront again for the Canaries' third goal.
Otamendi was passed the ball by fellow centre-back Stones and dallied in possession for an eternity.
He was robbed of the ball by Emi Buendia on the edge of his own penalty box, and the 22-year-old put it on a plate for Pukki to score a third.
Jamie Carragher on commentary for Sky Sports said: "Them centre-backs are not right - they're not good enough."
Rodri's late strike found a way into the bottom corner to give Manchester City a lifeline and make it a nervy final few minutes for the home side, but they held on for a breathless win.
Guardiola was left shaking his head on the bench as his team lost ground on Liverpool at the top of the table.
He decided not to replace Vincent Kompany when the Belgian left the Etihad this summer, and has now been left short at the back at a time when fixtures come thick and fast.
This was the first of seven games in three weeks for City and they face a tricky trip to Shakhtar midweek to kick off their Champions League campaign.