You cannot concede goals like that, admits Lambert
PUBLISHED: 12:30 05 December 2011
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Norwich City boss Paul Lambert admitted his side had conceded soft goals as they suffered the heaviest defeat of his managerial reign at the hands of Premier League leaders Manchester City.
The Canaries kept out the multi-million pound Blues for more than half an hour but Sergio Aguero’s 32nd-minute goal cleared the way for a comprehensive 5-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium.
Ageuro toe-poked a shot through a forest of legs and Samir Nasri made it 2-0 six minutes after the break with a free-kick that goalkeeper John Ruddy could only help into the net.
“They are a top, top side. Their movement is brilliant, first class,” said Lambert. “But you don’t help yourselves when you concede the goals we did.
“The first goal was poor and the second one should never have gone in from that distance. But I won’t blame individuals, I think you know that. We win together and we lose together.”
The Canaries kept nine outfield players behind the ball for most of the first period and frustrated the leaders for long spells.
“We did that part of it really well, defensively. The problem you have if you go and play them at their own game, they’ll pick you off all over the place because their movement is that good,” said Lambert.
“The gameplan worked to an extent but the second goal was really poor.
“Benno (Elliott Bennett) had a great chance to make it 1-1. If we had taken the chance, I’m not going to say we would have gone on to win it, but it would have given us that little bit of belief. But with the second goal, the ball’s travelled a long way.”
Yaya Toure scored the third for the hosts before Steve Morison’s header reduced the arrears with nine minutes left, his fourth goal in five games. Substitutes Mario Balotelli and Adam Johnson rubbed salt in Norwich’s wounds, however, with two late goals.
“As a team, I was delighted we kept going at 3-1,” said Lambert. “That was the disappointing thing because at 3-1 it was respectable. We did OK but with the last two going in, people who weren’t at the game would think it was an absolute mauling.
“I am honest enough to say we were beaten by the better side but I am delighted we never folded.”
Lambert accepted that it was mightily difficult to compete with the quality of the opposition.
“I don’t know how much Balotelli cost – was it £24m? How do you compete with that?” he said. “And the lad, Adam Johnson – the values are severe. But what my group have got is a great willingness to try to do well.
“The reality for us is we try to stay in the league. We’ve come along way in this two-year period but you’re pitting your wits against some of the best players in the world.”