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De Bruyne stars as Man City thrash Norwich

Jesus’s first-half goal against Norwich means he has now scored 22 goals in all competitions for City in 2019-20, his best return in a season since he arrived in Manchester in 2017

Manchester City legend David Silva made his final Premier League appearance but Kevin de Bruyne stole the show as his side brushed aside already-relegated Norwich.

Silva, who has won four league titles during a glittering 10-year spell at City, was desperate to mark the occasion with a goal, but his best effort was kept out by Tim Krul’s flying save.

City still ended up comfortable winners, thanks to Gabriel Jesus’s close-range finish from a deflected Raheem Sterling cross and a superb curling strike from De Bruyne, who as usual took centre stage.

De Bruyne slipped Sterling clear to add a third, meaning the Belgian equalled Thierry Henry’s record of 20 assists in a single Premier League season.

After Riyad Mahrez blasted home a fourth, Silva was applauded off, although an empty Etihad Stadium was not the send-off he deserved.

De Bruyne was not done yet, brilliantly bending home his side’s fifth goal off the inside of the post before the end.

Norwich had their moments too as they bid farewell to the top flight, with Ederson denying Teemu Pukki and Onel Hernandez in one-on-one situations.

Hernandez thought he had put the Canaries ahead with the score at 0-0 but his low long-range effort was disallowed after he was ruled offside by the video assistant referee.

It meant Ederson kept his 16th clean sheet of the season, enough to give him the Premier League’s golden glove award outright after Burnley’s Nick Pope conceded against Brighton.

City finished runners-up, 18 points behind Premier League champions Liverpool – keeping the record they set for the biggest winning margin, 19 points in 2017-18.

Manager Pep Guardiola will now turn his attention to the Champions League – they host Real Madrid in Manchester in the second leg of their last-16 tie on 7 August.

Man City hit a century of league goals

Doubts remain about City’s defence despite Ederson’s accolade but they continue to have few problems in front of goal – they have found the net 34 times in 10 league games since the restart.

As a team they are the top scorers in the country and passed the century mark in the Premier League in this final game. Individually, they have plenty of men in rich scoring form too.

Sergio Aguero will miss the Real game through injury, but Jesus appears to be growing in confidence – with 22 goals in all competitions his best City return, including four in his past six appearances.

Like the Brazilian, Sterling is also having his most prolific season and his goal on Sunday means he found the net 30 times in all competitions, including 20 in the Premier League.

Norwich fail to take their chances

The highlight of Norwich’s season was a victory over City at Carrow Road in September, but a repeat of that performance or result always looked beyond them.

They did create chances on the break despite being penned in their own half for the majority of the game, but their failure to take them was a reminder of why they are the Premier League’s bottom side – as well as conceding the most goals in the top-flight in 2019-20, they have also scored the fewest.

Once Norwich go a goal down, they seem unable to respond – in the 27 games where they have fallen behind in the league this season, they have ended up losing all of them, and are the only team in Premier League history to fail to recover a single point from a losing position in an entire campaign.

It might have made some difference if Pukki had put away his golden chance when he ran clear before the break. But the Finnish striker has not scored for 14 matches and his shot – straight at Ederson – belied his lack of belief as Norwich lost their 10th successive league game.

Man of the match – Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)

De Bruyne missed out to Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson this week for the Football Writers Association’s Footballer of the Year award but this was another demonstration of his supreme talent – whether it be making goals, or scoring them

Norwich’s season to forget – the key stats

  • Manchester City have scored 100+ league goals in a top-flight season for a fifth time, an English record (also 1936-37, 1957-58, 2013-14 and 2017-18).
  • Norwich’s return of 21 points is the sixth-lowest figure in Premier League history, while it is the Canaries’ lowest return in any division in their history.
  • Norwich are the third team in Premier League history to lose 10 consecutive matches, after Sunderland (20 as of September 2005) and Aston Villa (11 as of April 2016).
  • Raheem Sterling became the first Englishman to net 20 goals in a top-flight campaign for Manchester City since Brian Kidd scored 21 back in 1976-77.
  • Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne assisted his 20th Premier League goal of the season, a joint-record in the competition alongside Thierry Henry in 2002-03.
  • De Bruyne has been directly involved in 33 Premier League goals this season (13 goals & 20 assists), the most of any player.

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