Manchester City v Norwich was season defining for both clubs

Manchester City Etihad 2

Manchester City finished the season with a 2-3 home defeat to Norwich City.

For the second season in a row, Manchester City ended the season with a 3-2 scoreline, except this time could not have been more different to the last one.

There was no last minute Aguero winner to send the Etihad into raptures, but instead a Jonny Howson solo effort which left home fans shaking their heads.

It has been that kind of season, and both clubs will reflect on this match as one which summed up their 2012/13 campaign.

I'm not afraid to revisit my pre-season predictions (maybe I should be) in which I tipped Manchester City to win the league, and Norwich to be relegated.

Norwich began the season with a terrible 5-0 away defeat to Fulham, the sort of result which certainly backed up that sort of relegation talk, but the way they have bounced back since then illustrates how manager Chris Hughton has hit his stride.

By mid-November they had recorded home wins over Arsenal and Manchester United, and knocked Spurs out of the League Cup, rising comfortably out of the drop zone which meant they were able to ride a New Year wobble.

While there were worries they may be sucked into a dogfight in the last few weeks when Wigan showed signs of rising from the ashes, the Canaries were always one or two wins away from safety.

While Norwich have perhaps accomplished their own expectations, while defying mine, Manchester City have disappointed on both counts.

Perhaps putting up a close title fight and falling short would have been tougher to take, but seeing their side pretty much having been out of the title race since March has been a dismal fortune to endure.

The FA Cup loss to Wigan was a depressing affair, with the manager dismissed officially days later, although it was reported to have been decided ahead of the Wembley tie.

And so the final game of the season, Roberto Mancini was present only in the voices of fans who cheered his name, but the City were beaten by a carefree Norwich side.

Last season with City's impenetrable home record this would have been unthinkable, but the sad fact is nobody was surprised by this latest defeat.

Next season will bring new challenges for both clubs, but the 3-2 win for Norwich yesterday ended up defining the seasons of both clubs.

image: © geetarchurchy

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