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Norwich Upset Magnifies Loss of Laporte for Man City

Norwich City F.C.
By Isaac E

The frustration was palpable after Norwich City regained their two-goal lead on Saturday against Manchester City. The goal came from a turnover just outside the box by Nicolas Otamendi. In Otamendi’s defense, John Stones passed him the ball while he was facing his own goal and compounded the mistake by failing to notify him of an approaching forward.

Otamendi and Stones sruggled as a tandem throughout the day. The club’s top centre-back Aymeric Laporte is out until early 2020 after having surgery to repair damage to his cartilage and meniscus in his knee. Vincent Kompany would have been the likely choice over Stones if he still was with the club.

Stones has spent most of his time with Manchester City on the bench. Now that Kompany is back with R.S.C. Anderlecht. Manchester City’s signing of Stones in the summer of 2016 made him the world’s second most expensive defender in soccer history. Stones has failed to live up to the hefty expectation that came with the contract.

The communication between Otamendi and Stones will need to improve quickly. The transfer window closed two weeks ago, and Phillippe Sandler is on loan with R.S.C. Anderlecht. The slate of fixtures will also increase with Champions League group stage starting this week and a League Cup defense beginning the following week.

Norwich City the EFL Championship champions found themselves in a dream scenario Saturday. The Canaries are keen to ensure their return to the Premier League will not be a short stay picking up their second win in five outings.

The shock of this win was magnified based on the club did not put their best side on the pitch. Norwich City has dealt with early-season injuries that made their win over Manchester City even more improbable. One key player’s health that is crucial to Norwich City’s chances this season is Teemu Pukki. Pukki has an assist and scored a goal Saturday. Pukki now has six goals this season for the club.

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