So much for the expected backlash. Required to respond to last Monday's home defeat by Chelsea with the sort of vibrant attacking performance which would confirm that loss to have been no more than a blip, Manchester City again misfired.
While they dominated possession to a quite extraordinary degree, especially during the second half, Manuel Pellegrini's side failed to break down limited but splendidly determined opposition and in the end were fortunate not to lose.
Not, however, that the Chilean saw it as missed opportunity. "Norwich played a very good game. I was concerned about this match, just as I was concerned about the Chelsea match, because we have a lot of players who are not 100 per cent fit," said the City manager.
Yaya Toure, Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko were among the names Pellegrini mentioned as carrying knocks and all three were some way from their best. But then, so were most of the City players.
"I don't think it's linked," said Pellegrini, when asked if his team were still feeling the effects of the Chelsea defeat. "I repeat: the most difficult thing is to score goals, and today we played against a team that played very well."
Norwich manager Chris Hughton sent out his team in a formation which suggested he might attempt to replicate Jose Mourinho's successful tactics in that game. "We knew we had to have a good defensive shape, but we also had to have a threat," said Hughton, and the manner in which the pacy Nathan Redmond, operating on the left of midfield, skinned Vincent Kompany and then Gael Clichy in the first few minutes was distinctly promising, though in the 15th minute, when left with only Joe Hart to beat, Redmond blazed wildly over the bar.
Hart was required to make a save soon afterwards, blocking Leroy Fer's header from a corner. Gary Hooper turned in the loose ball, but was correctly flagged offside. Over half an hour had passed before the visitors had their first effort on goal, Pablo Zabaleta seizing on a fortunate rebound but shooting well wide.
They should have been ahead soon afterwards though. Norwich failed to pick up Martin Demichelis when he flicked on a Jesus Navas corner, leaving Negredo with only Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy to beat. The header was poorly directed against the top of the bar.
Ruddy might have got a touch, but the goalkeeper made an unquestionably fine save when David Silva laid the ball back for Stevan Jovetic to volley just before half-time.
The break came at the right time for the home team in terms of interrupting Manchester City's improving rhythm. The second period began scrappily, though it needed a fine block by Martin Olsson to defy Navas' close-range effort.
Pellegrini brought on Dzeko for Jovetic, but while his side continued to dominate possession they rarely forced Ruddy into action, and in the final few minutes Norwich should have won the game. Redmond beat Demichilis and pulled the ball back across the six-yard line, but, instead of turning it into the goal, Ricky van Wolfswinkel somehow allowed it to go through his legs.
Even so, the Norwich supporters gave their side a standing ovation on the whistle. "I think they know the game and how good Manchester City are, but it was more that they saw us trying to win the game at the end," said Hughton.