Man City hangs on for 4-3 win over Norwich in EPL
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Manchester City survived the first-half sending-off of Samir Nasri for an apparent headbutt to edge past Norwich 4-3 in a Premier League thriller on Saturday, keeping the champions seven points behind leader Manchester United entering 2013.
City was 2-0 ahead after four minutes at Carrow Road thanks to a double from Edin Dzeko, but Anthony Pilkington's free kick halved the deficit before Nasri was dismissed after squaring up to Sebastian Bassong in the 44th minute.
Sergio Aguero restored City's two-goal lead five minutes after halftime, only for Russell Martin to make it 3-2 in the 63rd and then 4-3 in the 75th after Norwich goalkeeper Mark Bunn had deflected in Dzeko's low drive for an own goal.
The champions had some nervy late moments but hung on to stay within touching distance of United heading into 2013.
After starting the game in such dominant fashion, City _ surprisingly beaten 1-0 by Sunderland on Wednesday _ looked in the mood to cruise to victory, only for the momentum to change because of Nasri's straight red card.
It was a dubious decision by referee Mike Jones, with the France playmaker squaring up to Bassong after being clattered by a robust challenge from the defender. The pair's foreheads clashed _ and Nasri motioned a butt _ but while Bassong was given a yellow card, the City player saw red.
"Both players came forward with their heads, so if you are going to send off one, then you have to send off both, not only Samir,'' City manager Roberto Mancini said.
"Samir said he touched his head, OK, but the other player has done the same . it is incredible.''
Mancini will be delighted to see his strike force answer his call for more goals, having criticized them this week for being "soft'' in recent games.