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Manchester City made light of their defensive crisis as Fernandinho filled in adeptly at centre-back and captained the Premier League champions to a 3-0 victory over his former club Shakhtar Donetsk.

Hampered by the absences of John Stones and Aymeric Laporte due to injury, City boss Pep Guardiola named Fernandinho alongside Nicolas Otamendi at the heart of his defence and was able to celebrate a clean sheet despite the odd shaky moment.

Riyad Mahrez scored his first goal of the season to settle City's nerves after 24 minutes and his interplay with Ilkay Gundogan produced the visitors' best moments at Metalist Stadium.

Gundogan, ably assisted by Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne, ran the show from midfield and surged forward at every opportunity, getting himself on the scoresheet thanks to Mahrez's assist seven minutes before half-time.

Guardiola warned of the danger Shakhtar posed on the counter-attack in his pre-match comments and Luis Castro's men did manage to set Moraes free on a number of occasions, but the Brazil-born striker failed to carry his impressive domestic form onto Europe's biggest stage.

City rounded off a highly satisfying Group C opener when Gabriel Jesus rolled a third goal home 14 minutes from time to secure a repeat result of last season's clash between these teams on this ground.

City pressed Shakhtar from the outset and Rodri should have done better when De Bruyne's cross hit the back of his head.

Marlos sent a thundering drive flashing past Ederson's net as Shakhtar countered, but City's pressure paid off when Gundogan curled a shot onto the post and it bounced into the path of Mahrez, who guided it into the empty net from close range.

Moraes had a gilt-edged chance to equalise from the corner of the six-yard box but his shot hit Ederson in the chest and City punished his wastefulness.

Rodri's cross-field ball found Mahrez and the Algeria international played in Gundogan, who fired a first-time shot just inside the post with deadly accuracy.

Moraes made a poor attempt to chip Ederson when the City keeper got caught outside his box early in the second half but Raheem Sterling missed an even better chance at the other end, hitting the outside of the post after Sergey Krivtsov gifted him possession 12 yards out.

Jesus made no such mistake when De Bruyne capitalised on sloppy Shakhtar passing and released the Brazilian, who rolled a shot into the bottom-right corner of the net and made certain of his side's winning start in the Champions League.

 

What does it mean? City reign in Ukraine

After becoming the first English team to beat Shakhtar away from home when they triumphed here by the same scoreline last season, City earned a repeat result without a number of key players.

Gunning for a regular place

Ilkay Gundogan has only started three of City's five domestic games this season but when he is on this kind of form he looks undroppable.

The 28-year-old covered a huge amount of ground, gathered loose balls and ensured Guardiola's men turned defence into devastating attacks with remarkable efficiency.

Shakhtar need more from Moraes

Shakhtar went into this game knowing chances would be few and far between, but Moraes had more than enough opportunities to get on the scoresheet and squandered them all.

What's next?

After their shock loss to Norwich, City will hope to get back to winning ways in the Premier League when they entertain Watford on Saturday, while Shakhtar look to extend their seven-game domestic winning streak at Desna.

Barcelona great Xavi believes Raheem Sterling is on course to emerge as the world's best player when Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo leave centre stage.

Manchester City star Sterling has started the new season in scintillating fashion, scoring eight times for club and country.

His goal return and overall effectiveness has markedly improved with Pep Guardiola's guidance and the 24-year-old is now one of the first players chosen for the Premier League champions.

Sterling won Europe's Golden Boy award in 2014 - given to the continent's brightest young talent - and Xavi thinks the England international is on course to replace Messi and Ronaldo at the front of the queue for further honours.

Xavi told The Mirror: "Messi is the best ever for me, and even though they're both still playing at a very high level, there will come the day not so long away when somebody else must step into those shoes.

"You look at young players who can be crowned the future best in the world and you still think of Neymar, [Kylian] Mbappe, [Mohamed] Salah and of course Sterling. I look at the moment and Sterling is winning that race.

"He's always been a good player, a dangerous player, but under Pep he [has] become one of the best in the world.

"I know how Pep works - he would have worked closely with him since his arrival - where he needs to improve and what he needed to work on.

"We're now seeing the results of that. He's still young and can be the world's best."

Barca captain Messi, 32, and Juventus forward Ronaldo, 34, have dominated the game's top awards for the past decade, winning the Ballon d'Or five times apiece since 2008.

One of the more interesting subplots of any Premier League season is the race for the Golden Boot.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were joint recipients of the title last season after all finishing on 22 goals.

That figure could be comfortably exceeded this time around, with a number of familiar names – such as Aubameyang, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling – starting the campaign in prolific form.

They are joined at the top of the scoring charts by two players who excelled in the Championship last season: Tammy Abraham and Teemu Pukki.

Using Opta data, we take a closer look at the records of those five in the opening five games of the season and compare their stats from the same period in the 2018-19 campaign.  

 

SERGIO AGUERO (MANCHESTER CITY) - SEVEN GOALS

Aguero has started the season in blistering form and sits atop the scoring charts with Abraham on seven goals.

It is a marked improvement on his tally of three at the same stage last season; a period in which he played an additional 32 minutes.

It is little surprise that Aguero is finding the net regularly, given his superb record since joining City in 2011, but it is his ruthless efficiency this season that has caught the eye. The Argentina international's seven goals have come from just eight shots on target.

Aguero has been far from selfish so far this term, however, carving out seven chances for his team-mates; one of which has been dispatched.

TAMMY ABRAHAM (CHELSEA) - SEVEN GOALS

Chelsea's transfer ban might well have forced Frank Lampard to use Abraham more than he had planned, but the 21-year-old has well and truly taken his chance.

His electric beginning to the campaign is in contrast to a comparatively sluggish start to life on loan with Aston Villa in the Championship last season where he scored just twice in the club's opening five games.

He has played 80 minutes fewer in the top flight so far this season but has scored seven goals from just eight shots on target.

His hat-trick against Wolves at the weekend made him the third player in Premier League history to score two or more goals in three consecutive appearances aged 21 or younger.

TEEMU PUKKI (NORWICH CITY) - SIX GOALS

The Finland international has been one of the surprise packages of the season, plundering six goals for the newly promoted Canaries.

He scored a whopping 29 goals to help his side win promotion last season but started slowly, scoring just two goals in his first five appearances.

There has been no such slumber at the start of this campaign, however.

He took just three shots in his opening five games last season, but Daniel Farke's aggressive approach to life in the top flight has clearly benefited Pukki, who has already attempted 12 shots.

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (ARSENAL) - FIVE GOALS

It is hardly a surprise that the Gunners striker is among the deadliest strikers so far this season.

Since his Premier League debut in February 2018, only Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (53) has been directly involved in more goals in the competition (37 goals and nine assists).

The bad news for defences across the country is that he might be getting even more prolific.

He scored just once in his opening five games last season, but his brace against Watford on Sunday means he already has five to his name this campaign. Given that start, it will not be a surprise to see him comfortably surpass last season's tally of 22 goals.

RAHEEM STERLING (MANCHESTER CITY) - FIVE GOALS

Sterling set his stall out this season with a hat-trick in City's resounding opening day victory over West Ham.

It marked the continuation of a stunning few seasons for the former Liverpool man, who is now firmly considered to be one of the Premier League's deadliest finishers.

With 49 touches in the opposition box already this season – 18 more than his nearest rival in the top five – it is hardly surprising that he has five goals to his name; two more than he had in the same period last term.

He has also been a consummate team player, laying on eight chances for his team-mates.

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid begin their respective Champions League campaigns with huge tests against Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus in the pick of Wednesday's action.

Atletico will be smarting from last season's 3-2 aggregate defeat to Juve in the round of 16, when Cristiano Ronaldo – a consistent nemesis of theirs during his time in LaLiga – netted a hat-trick in a 3-0 second-leg win to see the Old Lady into the quarter-finals.

Madrid get started away to PSG, who will be aiming to continue their fine run at home in the group stage despite being without Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.

Last term's beaten finalists Tottenham, Premier League champions Manchester City and German giants Bayern Munich are also in action.

Below, we have highlighted the key data ahead of Wednesday's contests.

Club Brugge v Galatasaray

4 - After losing their first two matches in the 2018-19 Champions League, Club Brugge remained undefeated in their final four (W1 D3) – should they avoid a loss in this match, it will be the best unbeaten run by a Belgian side in the competition took on its current format in 1992.

12 - Galatasaray's new striker Radamel Falcao has scored 12 goals in the Champions League, just one goal off the record by a Colombian player in the competition: Jackson Martinez with 13.

 

Paris Saint-Germain v Real Madrid

21- PSG are unbeaten in 21 Champions League home games in the group stage (W15 D6), not losing since December 2004 against CSKA Moscow (1-3). 

1.97 - Real Madrid have averaged the most goals per game (2.13) in Champions League history. PSG are third on 1.97, with Barcelona the only club separating them in the rankings (2.02).

Olympiacos v Tottenham

8 - Olympiacos are winless in eight Champions League matches (D1 L7) since a 2-1 win against Dinamo Zagreb in November 2015. It is their joint-longest winless run in the competition alongside a streak that ended in October 2003.

50 - Mauricio Pochettino's will oversee his 50th European game as manager of Spurs on Wednesday. Only Bill Nicholson (55) has presided over more for the club.

 

Bayern Munich v Red Star Belgrade

36 - Robert Lewandowski has scored 36 goals in just 52 Champions League appearances for Bayern – only Thomas Muller has scored more for the club in the competition (42 goals in 105 games).

17 -  Red Star conceded more goals in the group stage of the 2018-19 Champions League than any other team (17).

Dinamo Zagreb v Atalanta

11 - Dinamo Zagreb have lost their last 11 consecutive Champions League matches, their joint-worst run in the competition. Only Anderlecht have lost 12 successive matches in Europe's elite competition, that run coming between December 2003 and November 2005.

3 - Just three of the nine Italian clubs to have participated in the Champions League before Atalanta have won their opening match in the competition: AC Milan in 1992, Juventus in 1995 and Udinese in 2005.

 

Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City

79 - Excluding own goals, 79 of Shakhtar's 124 Champions League goals have been scored by Brazilians (64 per cent) – only Barcelona (85) have seen more goals scored by Brazilians than Shakhtar, while Braga (11-12 – 92%) are the only team to have had a higher proportion of goals scored by players from Brazil.

124 - Gabriel Jesus scored a hat-trick for City in their last meeting against Shakhtar in November last year, inspiring a 6-0 win. Of the 73 Brazilians to have scored four or more goals in the Champions League, Jesus has the best minutes-per-goal (124) ratio.

Atletico Madrid v Juventus

54 - Atletico will be competing in their first Champions League season without Antoine Griezmann since 2013-14. He scored or assisted 54 per cent of their goals in the competitions (19 goals, 7 assists) between September 2015 and March 2019 before leaving this year for Barcelona.

25 - Juventus star Ronaldo has scored 25 goals in his career against Atletico, having tormented them regularly in derbies with Madrid and netted a hat-trick last term for the Bianconeri. Only against Sevilla (27) has he scored more in all competitions.

 

Bayer Leverkusen v Lokomotiv Moscow

0 - Bayer Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz has yet to win a Champions League game as a manager (D2 L4, with Dortmund). Each of Leverkusen's past four managers have failed to win their first Champions League match in charge.

7 - Lokomotiv forward Jefferson Farfan will be looking to score in his seventh different Champions League campaign (2004-05, 2005-06, 2007-08, 2010-11, 2012-13 and 2018-19). The only Peruvian to have scored in more seasons is Claudio Pizarro (eight).

There could be a fight to prise Fabian Ruiz from Napoli.

Fabian has established himself as one of Europe's premier midfielders and the Spaniard is reportedly attracting interest.

Two LaLiga giants and the Champions League holders are said to be eyeing Fabian.

 

TOP STORY - THREE-WAY BATTLE FOR FABIAN

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Liverpool are chasing Napoli star Fabian Ruiz, according to the Daily Mail.

Fabian swapped Real Betis for Napoli in 2018 and the Spain international has quickly become one of Europe's most sought-after midfielders.

Now three of the biggest clubs in the world are reportedly eyeing the 23-year-old.

ROUND-UP

- The Sun reports Manchester United are preparing a January move for Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson. The Red Devils have limited options up front following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez. Wilson, who has already scored three goals this season, fits the bill at Old Trafford as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eyes talented English players.

Juventus, Liverpool and Manchester City are all interested in Real Madrid playmaker Isco, claims Calciomercato.

Barcelona are set to offer 16-year-old sensation Ansu Fati a new five-year deal to fend off interest from European rivals, claims the Daily Mail.

- League One side Southend United want to hire former Celtic, Barca and Manchester United striker Henrik Larsson as their manager, says the Daily Mail. Southend are second bottom in the league after eight games, while Larsson was last in charge of Helsingborg before quitting in August.

- According to Globo Esporte, Flamengo are negotiating to bring Fredy Guarin to the club. The 33-year-old former Inter midfielder is a free agent after leaving Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.

John Stones has been ruled out for a month with a muscle injury, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

City's defensive options had already been hit by Aymeric Laporte being ruled out for six months by a knee injury, while no replacement was signed for departed club captain Vincent Kompany.

That left Stones and Nicolas Otamendi as City's only senior centre-backs and the pair looked shaky last time out as the champions went down to their first Premier League defeat since January, losing 3-2 away to promoted Norwich City.

City will be further stretched for the upcoming period after Guardiola told reporters ahead of a Champions League trip to Shakhtar Donetsk that Stones was injured in training on Tuesday.

"A month, four or five weeks," Guardiola said when asked how long Stones would be out.

Guardiola previously indicated full-back Kyle Walker and defensive midfielder Fernandinho - an unused substitute against the Canaries - could be options in the heart of City's defence.

The City boss said he could also turn to teenage duo Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis to address the growing injury crisis at the back.

"[It is a] Big challenge. For me as a manager, it's an incredible challenge: just one central defender in Nico," he added.

"But I believe a lot. People don't know the spirit and resolve to solve this problem. The players are going to come back with Fernandinho, Garcia, Harwood-Bellis.

"It's happened, but what we are not going to do is complain. If they are not able, they are not able. We have to have 11 players on the pitch, and I like it, finding a solution."

Stones will likely miss Premier League games against Watford, Everton and Wolves at least as well as an EFL Cup trip to Preston North End and a Champions League home game against Dinamo Zagreb.

City will also be without Phil Foden against Shakhtar, with Guardiola confirming: "He has a virus, a problem with the stomach. He's not able [to play] this game or I think the next."

John Stones has been ruled out for a month with a muscle injury, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

City's defensive options had already been hit by Aymeric Laporte being ruled out for six months by a knee injury, while no replacement was signed for departed club captain Vincent Kompany.

That left Stones and Nicolas Otamendi as City's only senior centre-backs and the pair looked shaky last time out as City went down to their first Premier League defeat since January, losing 3-2 away to promoted Norwich City.

City will be further stretched for the upcoming period after Guardiola told reporters ahead of a Champions League trip to Shakhtar Donetsk that Stones was injured in training on Tuesday.

"A month, four or five weeks," Guardiola said when asked how long Stones would be out.

Jesus Navas says years of covering for Dani Alves at Sevilla made it easy for him to become a full-back for Manchester City.

Having spent his earlier career as a winger, Navas was deployed as an emergency right-back in Pep Guardiola's first season in charge at the Etihad Stadium due to injuries.

Navas returned to Sevilla after the 2016-17 season and has mostly been used in defence for club and country since, including in all four LaLiga appearances this season and the 2-1 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Romania on September 5.

The 33-year-old says it was a natural progression for him to become a defender, partly because of his experience of covering for the marauding Dani Alves during the Brazilian's time at Sevilla between 2002 and 2008.

"There were players injured [at City] and he [Guardiola] asked me if I could play there," Navas said, courtesy of LaLiga. "I told him that I could do it without a problem because when I played with Dani Alves he used to attack a lot, so I normally covered him in the defence.

"I did not have any problem doing it. Everything went well."

Navas won six trophies in his first spell with Sevilla before helping City to one Premier League and two EFL Cup triumphs.

However, his crowning achievement came when his burst forward from his own half led to Andres Iniesta's winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final.

"Thinking about that play, for me to have won a World Cup is the biggest thing ever as a player," he said. "You dream of that from when you're a child. It was a dream that became true. It was incredible. The greatest moment for me.
 
"My next dream would be to win another title with Sevilla and with our fans. That would be something big."

Navas twice won the UEFA Cup with Sevilla before it was rebranded as the Europa League and he now wants to lift the trophy for a third time this season.

He also predicts a Spanish team can triumph in the Champions League - as well as former club City.
 
"Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona or another team that's always on top can win the Champions League," he said. "The Spanish teams always fight for this title.
 
"[The Europa League] is very special for us. We have won it on various occasions and feel very comfortable playing it. We know that it is difficult and a long tournament, so we have to go game by game. The truth is that this competition has given us a lot of happiness."

 

Pep Guardiola believes his "prestige" in England is down to Manchester City's players, as he defended his squad in the wake of their shock defeat to Norwich City.

The champions were beaten in the league for the first time since January on Saturday, losing 3-2 to a patched-up Norwich side at Carrow Road.

Aymeric Laporte's absence through injury was certainly felt, with Norwich's third goal coming as a result of a mix-up between John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.

City's defeat leaves them five points behind leaders Liverpool after five matches, but Guardiola – whose style of play was questioned at times during his first season in England – jumped to the defence of his players, claiming he will only be concerned if his side stop caring after a defeat.

"They [the players] gave me all the prestige I have in England, when the first season when it was 'fraud' Guardiola, 'Fraudiola'," Guardiola told a news conference.

"This kind of game here in England – it's not possible to play because you need to have tackles and you have to play like that – these players gave me the prestige that I have.

"And now all around the world people say how good a manager I am. So, it's for them, not for me.

"In the moment where they don't care about losing the game, when they don't care about absolutely anything, that would be a problem.

"But I know how they suffer, because in the past when we don't win, they haven't done that. What do we have to do? Work harder, work more, talk more, be more precise.

"Start winning games and winning games and winning games and in the end, if we are not able [to win the title], then we will congratulate the opponent."

Guardiola elected to start with Kevin De Bruyne on the bench against the Canaries, despite the playmaker's excellent start to the season.

Although Liverpool already hold a commanding lead at the top, De Bruyne has issued a reminder that City were seven points behind the Reds deep into last season.

"Last season we were seven points behind – it happens. Of course, we want to win every game, but it is difficult," De Bruyne said.

"It will be tough, the next seven months, like last year. It never stops. It is our job and sometimes it is hard, but you have to take it on the chin.

"We lost four games out of 38 last season and that is a good record. We can still win this season with the same points at the end of this season."

Norwich City caused the biggest shock of the Premier League season on Saturday when they registered a famous 3-2 win over reigning champions Manchester City at Carrow Road.

That stunning result means Liverpool are now five points clear at the summit after Jurgen Klopp's side ran out 3-1 winners over Newcastle United to maintain their perfect start to the campaign.

Arsenal threw away a two-goal lead over Watford at Vicarage Road to draw 2-2, while Tammy Abraham netted a hat-trick as Chelsea thumped Wolves 5-2.

With the help of Opta stats, we take a deep dive into the weekend's biggest stories.

 

UNSTOPPABLE PUKKI STUNS CITY

Norwich were outstanding in their dramatic win over Pep Guardiola's side, inflicting a first defeat for the champions against a newly promoted opponent since March 2015 when they lost to Burnley.

It was a defensive nightmare for City, who conceded twice in the opening half-hour of a Premier League game for the second time under Guardiola. The other occasion was against Leicester City in December 2016, when they also conceded three times in total.

Central to the Canaries' success was Teemu Pukki, who has now been involved in eight goals (six scored, two assisted) in his first five Premier League appearances. Only Sergio Aguero has been involved in more goals (nine) in the same number of games at the start of their time in the competition.

Aguero's strike on the stroke of half-time, meanwhile, saw him become just the third player to score in a team's first five Premier League matches of a season after Jose Antonio Reyes for Arsenal in 2004-05 and Wayne Rooney for Manchester United in 2011-12.

LIVERPOOL SWEEP ASIDE MAGPIES

Newcastle took a surprise early lead against Liverpool, but Jurgen Klopp's side bounced back in style to become just the fourth team to win 14 consecutive English top-flight matches.

The Reds have now won their opening five games of the Premier League season for a second consecutive campaign. The only previous two teams to do so in back-to-back seasons were Chelsea (2009-10 and 2010-11) and Manchester City (2015-16 and 2016-17).

Andy Robertson proved a handful for Newcastle with another industrious display. His assist for Sadio Mane's equaliser took him to 17 for Liverpool in the Premier League since the start of the 2017-18 season, more than any other defender in that period.

Defeat for Newcastle represented a 13th loss in their last 14 Premier League away games against 'big six' opponents, with three of those losses coming at Anfield.

AUBAMEYANG HEROICS NOT ENOUGH FOR GUNNERS

Arsenal will consider themselves lucky to have scraped a point at Watford despite holding a two-goal lead thanks to the prolific Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Since his Premier League debut in February 2018, the Gabon international has been directly involved in 46 goals in the competition (37 scored, nine assisted). Only Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (53) has had a hand in more in this time.

The Hornets were rampant in the second period, attempting 31 shots – the highest tally the Gunners have faced in a Premier League game since Opta began collecting such data in the division in 2003-04.

It should perhaps come as little surprise that Watford's leveller was from the penalty spot. Since the start of last season, no side has conceded more goals via penalties than the Gunners (10, level with Brighton and Hove Albion).

ABRAHAM MAKING HIS MARK ON THE BIG STAGE

Tammy Abraham enjoyed a day to remember as Chelsea ensured Wolves' wait for a league win this season goes on.

The England striker – who was prolific on loan with Aston Villa in the Championship last season – became the youngest ever Blues player to score a hat-trick in the Premier League and is the youngest Englishman to do so since Raheem Sterling against Bournemouth in October 2015.

He also became just the third player in Premier League history to score two or more goals in three consecutive appearances aged 21 or younger after Cristiano Ronaldo in 2006 and Dele Alli in 2017.

Wolves, meanwhile, conceded five goals in a home Premier League game for the first time since a 5-0 defeat to Manchester United in March 2012.

Daniel Farke will celebrate Norwich City's surprise victory over Premier League champions Manchester City with "a coffee and a piece of cake" after training on Sunday.

Norwich produced a brilliant display to see off City 3-2 at Carrow Road on Saturday and claim their second win of a vibrant start to the 2019-20 season that has included some good moments in defeats to Liverpool, Chelsea and West Ham.

Kenny McLean and Todd Cantwell put the Canaries two goals ahead, before Sergio Aguero reduced the arrears on the stroke of half-time.

Teemu Pukki restored Norwich's advantage after Emiliano Buendia caught Nicolas Otamendi napping, with Rodri's late effort proving solely a consolation for Pep Guardiola's side.

Asked how he would celebrate the famous victory, Farke said: "To be honest, it was a really complicated week and I'm happy when I'm back on my sofa this evening because I'm too old and too exhausted to celebrate.

"We have training Sunday morning and we have to analyse the game so for that I have to watch the game back.

"So it will be a pretty late night for me to be prepared, but hopefully on Sunday afternoon on the sofa I can have a coffee and a piece of cake, I will celebrate with this.

"All our supporters are definitely allowed to celebrate and enjoy this day because if you don't value these moments you lose your motivation, but we will definitely stay calm."

Norwich were without seven players due to injury and Farke felt that provided additional sweetness to an unexpected success, though he always sets his team out to "reach something excellent".

"It is definitely a proud night, without any doubt," he said. "To win against the best team in the world, with world-class players, a world-class coach, a top club, as Norwich City, as a newly promoted side who has no chance to spend an unbelievable amount of money in the summer in a situation with an unbelievable amount of injured players, it's really special.

"I always believe in my players. We know we were not the favourites and everything has to come together. But we play football to reach something excellent, not just realistic things.

"We have had several good games but the outcome in terms of points was not perfect because we played some really decent sides and so you struggle with self-confidence.

"It was important to give them back the belief and some self-confidence - but it seems like we found the right words and decisions.

"Against such quality you have to play slightly different because you can't control possession against Manchester City. We had to try and allow Manchester City possession in certain areas and with certain players.

"It was complicated to prepare this game, but my lads fulfilled everything we tried to work on in the last few days in a perfect way."

Pep Guardiola congratulated Norwich City after they inflicted one of the biggest shock results in Premier League history on champions Manchester City.

Norwich were without 11 players due to injury and head coach Daniel Farke had to include two goalkeepers as substitutes in order to fill his bench, but they pulled off a stunning 3-2 home win.

The Canaries led 2-0 thanks to goals from Kenny McLean and Todd Cantwell and held their nerve despite Sergio Aguero halving the deficit before half-time.

Nicolas Otamendi's error led to Teemu Pukki making it 3-1 and although Rodri's late strike set up a nervous finale, the promoted outfit were able to hold on for a famous victory.

City's first loss in the Premier League since January leaves them five points behind Liverpool, who have won all five of their games in the 2019-20 campaign, as Guardiola's men seek a third consecutive title.

"Sometimes games like this happen – we had our chances to score but didn't, so congratulations to Norwich," Guardiola said. "It is football – we had many opportunities today, they had three or four and scored three goals.

"The first one was a set-piece we didn't defend, the second we were caught on the counter-attack and the third came from a mistake, but we know what we are as a team, we know what we have done and we know what we are going to do.

"I love my players and it's a pleasure to be with them. They didn't create so many chances, but they got three goals – we played Bournemouth and they had more chances than Norwich did today, but we won that game – football can sometimes do this."

Guardiola sprang a surprise by starting with Kevin De Bruyne on the bench and while he introduced the Belgium star in the second half, along with Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez, City could not find an equaliser.

"Even at 2-0, we knew we were still in it because we can create a lot of chances in a short space of time," Guardiola added.

"But the third goal hurt us because we had started [the second half] well and we were there, but in the end it didn't happen. In football you can't always avoid mistakes.

"They are a really good team with good players who have quality, we saw that in the Championship last year, they were clinical today.

"We did not have urgency in the final third that we normally have. Even at 3-2 we had chances to make it 3-3 – this team never gives up and that's why we have done what we have done."

Pep Guardiola insists he does not need to bring in defensive reinforcements in the January transfer window despite Manchester City's surprise 3-2 loss at Norwich City. 

Aymeric Laporte is expected to be out until the new year after undergoing surgery on a knee injury, with the Premier League champions losing at Carrow Road in his absence on Saturday.

Goals from Kenny McLean, Todd Cantwell and Teemu Pukki earned the injury-hit Canaries a famous win, while Sergio Aguero and Rodri were on target for City.

Before the game Guardiola indicated City would not enter the market to replace Laporte despite being left with only two senior centre-backs, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi, after the departure of club captain Vincent Kompany.

Stones and Otamendi were both at fault in a dreadful defensive performance as City lost in the league for the first time since January, with McLean's headed opener coming from a corner.

Asked if City have a problem defending near-post corners in particular, Guardiola said: "In four seasons, yes. Our quality of play is different but we defended incredibly well in the past."

Guardiola, who surprisingly left talisman Kevin De Bruyne on the bench, feels Stones and Otamendi can still form a reliable partnership in the wake of their error-strewn display, while Kyle Walker was involved in conceding a cheap second goal to Cantwell.

"It's football," he added. "We talk and improve from this, Kyle knows it and this happens sometimes, try to improve for the next time.

"They [Stones and Otamendi] play how many times together? A lot, they are the centre-backs we have. Maybe Fernandinho or Rodri can play there. I'm not worried, it's football. How many games John and Nico played in more than three games together? A lot.

"Normally I count their chances and I think they didn't create too much, three goals, I don't know from how many shots on target but I don't have that feeling they had many, many chances, but sometimes this happens."

An injury crisis left Norwich without 11 players and Daniel Farke could not even fill his bench of seven substitutes without including two goalkeepers.

"Of course it is special day for us and for the club," he told BBC Sport. "Against one of the best teams in the world and when we have so many injuries.

"We had to be special in our plan for City because they are the best team in the world, but we had setbacks too with our injuries.

"We deserve the win, we were exceptional."

Manchester City fans experienced that rare feeling of Premier League defeat under Pep Guardiola as Norwich City overcame the odds in sensational style at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Many were suggesting the heavily depleted Canaries' best hope was to avoid a cricket scoreline against the defending champions.

But a clinical performance, coupled with some questionable Man City defending, saw Daniel Farke's side secure a memorable 3-2 victory, with Kenny McLean, Todd Cantwell and the in-form Teemu Pukki on the scoresheet for the hosts.

The loss marked an end to a 25-match unbeaten streak against promoted sides for Man City, while Norwich had lost 11 of their previous 12 encounters against the team defending the Premier League title – their last such victory coming against the same opponents in May 2013.

It was an unlucky 13th Premier League defeat for Man City since Guardiola took over ahead of the 2016-17 campaign and their first since January.

We look at their most surprising top-flight reverses under the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach.

Leicester City 4-2 Man City (10/12/2016)

It is easy to forget Guardiola's maiden campaign at the Etihad Stadium was not all sunshine and roses. A week on from a 3-1 home reverse to Chelsea, City were turned over by a Jamie Vardy inspired Leicester. The Foxes were three to the good inside 20 minutes as Vardy scored twice either side of an Andy King effort, with the ex-England striker completing his hat-trick in the 78th minute. Late goals from Aleksandar Kolarov and Nolito did little to ease the disappointment.

Everton 4-0 Man City (15/01/2017) 

Just a month later, Guardiola was left accepting his side's chances of defending the title were over after a shambolic performance at a rampant Everton. Romelu Lukaku and Belgium team-mate Kevin Mirallas assisted each other to put the Toffees 2-0 up by the 47th minute and late goals from Tom Davies and Ademola Lookman compounded the visitors' Merseyside misery.

Man City 2-3 Crystal Palace (22/12/18)

A 2-0 loss at Chelsea a couple of weeks previous had put paid to City's chances on going unbeaten in the Premier League, but this was an altogether more shocking defeat. Ilkay Gundogan's 27th-minute opener suggested a routine win was on the cards but two goals in as many minutes from Jeffrey Schlupp and Andros Townsend – the latter an unbelievable 30-yard volley – put Palace ahead at the break. Luka Milivojevic's penalty cemented the lead and not even Kevin De Bruyne's late strike could salvage a point for City. Eagles boss Roy Hodgson would describe the result as "one of those bonanza days".

Leicester City 2-1 Man City (26/12/18)

Four days later, an unhappy festive season was completed with another defeat thanks to familiar Foxes foes. Marc Albrighton cancelled out Bernardo Silva's 14th-minute strike and a late stunner from Ricardo Pereira gave Leicester a late Christmas present. Fabian Delph received the one card he would not want to get in December when he saw red for a late tackle on Pereira in the closing stages.

Newcastle United 2-1 Man City (29/01/2019)

Sergio Aguero, as he always seems to, scored against the Magpies with a first-minute goal and he saw a second soon chalked off for offside. However, a couple of defensive errors enabled Salomon Rondon and Matt Ritchie to score – the second netting from the spot – and City slipped to defeat at St James' Park.

Norwich City 3-2 Man City (14/09/2019)

Norwich and boss Daniel Farke drew plenty of smiles for the light-hearted way they dealt with a grim-looking injury list prior to a visit from the champions. Pre-match odds of 22-1 underlined the task the home side were facing, but McLean took advantage of City's slack defending at a corner to head Norwich into an 18th-minute lead. More sloppy work at the back led to Pukki brilliantly teeing up Cantwell to double the lead, before Aguero nodded home before the break to bring the champions back into the game. Comical work from Nicolas Otamendi led to Emiliano Buendia teeing up Pukki for Norwich's third. Rodri's drilled strike late on set up a nervy finish, but Norwich held on for the win.

Manchester City lost in the Premier League for the first time since January as a 3-2 defeat at injury-hit Norwich City left them five points behind leaders Liverpool in the title race.

The Reds extended their perfect run to five wins from five with a 3-1 comeback victory at home to Newcastle United in Saturday's early kick-off.

And that victory was given even more importance when the Canaries rocked the champions at Carrow Road despite being without 11 players who are in the treatment room.

There were also big wins for Tottenham and Chelsea, Manchester United handed Leicester City their first defeat of the season, Southampton won at 10-man Sheffield United and Burnley struck late to claim a 1-1 draw at Brighton and Hove Albion.

LAPORTE LOSS HURTS CHAMPIONS

Aymeric Laporte has been ruled out for six months after surgery on his right knee and City's diabolical defensive performance indicated the centre-back will be horribly missed.

Kyle Walker, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi were all at fault at various times as goals from Kenny McLean, Todd Cantwell and August's Premier League player of the month Teemu Pukki earned Norwich a deserved victory against massive odds.

Pep Guardiola began with Kevin De Bruyne on the bench ahead of the Champions League starting next week and the decision backfired as City looked lost without their midfield talisman, although Sergio Aguero and Rodri struck to spark hopes of a comeback.

It is early days in the title race, but Liverpool are already looking very strong while City's weaknesses were ruthlessly exposed by Norwich in their second home win of the season.


FIVE IN A ROW FOR REDS

Newcastle United took a shock early lead at Anfield thanks to a thunderbolt from left-back Jetro Willems, but that proved as good as it got for Steve Bruce's men as they went down 3-1 to leaders Liverpool.

Sadio Mane was inspirational as the Senegal star scored twice to turn the game on its head, his second thanks to poor goalkeeping from Martin Dubravka, before Mohamed Salah wrapped things up.

With a perfect record from their five fixtures in 2019-20, Liverpool are up to 14 straight wins in the Premier League – and they are the first team in the competition's history to do so scoring more than once in each game.

This result moved them five points clear at the top and the European champions could hardly be in better shape ahead of beginning their Champions League defence away to Napoli on Tuesday.


SPURS AND CHELSEA RUN RIOT

At half-time, Spurs were 4-0 up at home to Crystal Palace while Chelsea were 3-0 up away to winless Wolves, Fiyako Tomori netting a stunner with Abraham scoring at least twice for the third Premier League game in a row.

He went one better after the break to set a record for the Blues, though a touch of the shine was taken off his performance when he put through an own goal to hand Wolves a consolation, which they added to through Patrick Cutrone.

Abraham, now the top scorer this season with seven strikes, is the first player in the history of the Premier League to score a hat-trick as well as an own goal in the same game, with fellow England talent Mason Mount also on target late on.

Son Heung-min proved unstoppable for the Eagles, with the South Korea star involved in Spurs' first three goals before Harry Kane set up Erik Lamela to make it four.

It was a much-needed three points for Spurs, who were on a three-game winless run, with a trip to Olympiacos in the Champions League to come next for Mauricio Pochettino's side.


RASHFORD PENALTY SEES UNITED BOUNCE BACK

Like Spurs, United had failed to win any of their three league games going into the international break, but they showed resilience to edge a slim victory at home to Leicester despite being without Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw and Jesse Lingard.

Rashford won an early penalty when he was clumsily brought down by Caglar Soyuncu and, unlike in their 2-1 loss at home to Palace, this time he converted from 12 yards to condemn the Foxes to their first defeat of the season.

Moussa Djenepo's excellent goal earned Southampton a 1-0 win at Bramall Lane, where the Blades were cut down to 10 men when substitute striker Billy Sharp was dismissed for a challenge on Stuart Armstrong.

Brighton looked to be heading for their first home league win since March 2 thanks to Neal Maupay's controlled volley but Burnley substitute Jeff Hendrick marked his 100th Premier League appearance with a stunning late equaliser.

In the first minute of added time, the Republic of Ireland midfielder collected a lay-off from Matej Vydra to rifle a first-time drive into the bottom-right corner from 25 yards.

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