Norwich City manager Dean Smith disputed the penalty awarded to Manchester City in the closing stages of Saturday’s 4-0 Premier League home defeat at Carrow Road but accepted they had been beaten by the better side.
Raheem Sterling netted a hat-trick to condemn Norwich to their first loss in five games in all competitions but Smith complained to referee Andre Marriner after he awarded a penalty following a coming-together between Grant Hanley and Liam Delap.
“It’s a frustrating evening, we were beaten by a really good team,” Smith told Sky Sports.
“For the fourth goal I told Andre — I think he’s a good referee — that decision was pathetic.”
Norwich had a lively start but did not capitalise on their chances before Sterling opened the scoring while a mix-up after the restart allowed Phil Foden to make it 2-0.
“The second goal kills us. We forgot our principles and allowed a tap-in. That deflated the whole stadium, it was tough after that,” Smith added.
“The way they play, it’s difficult for centre-halves as you don’t know who to mark. We could have got out a little quicker.”
Norwich, who spent the first half of the season at the bottom of the standings, remain 18th with 17 points, one point behind Newcastle United who have two games in hand.
But Smith said this defeat should not derail their progress as they fight for survival.
“I’ve said to the players our season won’t be defined by playing against Man City,” he said. “We knew our players had to make very few mistakes and we made too many.”
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