British record signing Jack Grealish marked his home debut for Manchester City with a goal as the Premier League champions demolished promoted Norwich City 5-0 on Saturday.
Grealish bundled in a low cross by Gabriel Jesus in the 22nd minute to double City’s lead after they had taken the lead in the seventh minute with a Tim Krul own goal.
Beaten in their opening game at Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, City looked far sharper and swarmed all over a lightweight Norwich. They also had a Ferran Torres goal ruled out inside the opening 20 minutes.
Norwich, who lost 3-0 to Liverpool on the opening day, avoided any further damage until midway through the second half when Aymeric Laporte fired in from close range.
City then turned the screw with Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez both getting on the scoresheet with well-worked goals.
“One week ago, we are not contenders to win the Premier League. Now we are scary!” City manager Pep Guardiola said.
“Listen, we are the same team except for Sergio (Aguero) who went to Barcelona, and Jack (Grealish) coming in. We are the same guys and the same team we were last season — and last season was exceptional.
“Today was a result the consequence of the performance and normally this happens. We played really good.”
It certainly was an impressive display by City and a memorable day for their 100-million pound man Grealish, although it was Brazilian Jesus who stole the show with three assists.
It always looked like being a long afternoon for Norwich once they fell behind in cruel fashion in the seventh minute when defender Grant Hanley’s clearance from a Jesus cross cannoned into keeper Krul and into the net.
Jesus was a constant menace down the right flank, and it was another of his crosses that hit Grealish on the knee to wrong-foot a Norwich defender and cross the line.
Norwich defended resolutely, but City always had another gear and stepped it up midway through the second half with Laporte shooting home after Norwich failed to clear a ball into the area.
Sterling and Mahrez had both started on the bench but were quick to join the party when replacing Torres and Grealish.
Norwich were sliced open again in the 71st minute by Kyle Walker’s through ball which Jesus turned across the area to give Sterling the easiest of tap-ins.
Ruben Dias then chipped a pass over the Norwich defence and Mahrez controlled superbly before guiding his shot past Krul.
For Norwich it has been a chastening return to the top flight, and they will have to dust themselves down for the visit of Leicester City next weekend.
“I am disappointed with the way we conceded the goals because four times we conceded more or less the same goal,” manager Daniel Farke said.
“More or less we had prepared for that move from City the whole week because they always play this.”