- Carroll passes West Ham medical
- Pearce to leave as England U21 coach
- Hearts rejected late investment bid
- Italy U21 2-4 Spain U21
- Scolari calls for calm from protestors
- Stoke change mind on Pennant release
- Newcastle confirm Kinnear return
- League reveals anniversary fixtures
- Barnsley sign Jennings from Bayern
- Villa sign Denmark forward Helenius
Man United Pick The Lock And Get Out of Jail, After A Phenomenal City Performance…
THE CANARIES were handed a standing ovation as they trudged off the Carrow Road pitch, dejected, at full-time. Manchester United did what they always do, snatching a victory when it looks least likely, Ryan Giggs was the culprit poking home in stoppage time. This was after Norwich had fought bravely to get themselves back in the game, after Paul Scholes’ opener. Grant Holt scored a superb equaliser, but heartbreakingly for City, it wasn’t enough with United snatching victory.
TEAM NEWS – There was a more usual look to the side, with several key players coming back after last week’s disappointing defeat to Leicester City. John Ruddy replaced Jed Steer in goal, Russell Martin was absent through flu which led to a back four of Kyle Naughton, Elliott Ward, Zak Whitbread and Adam Drury. In midfield, Bradley Johnson came in with Elliott Bennett rather harshly being dropped. That meant that City lined up with Johnson, David Fox, Anthony Pilkington and Andrew Surman in their midfield while Grant Holt and Simeon Jackson began as the two strikers.
FIRST-HALF – Norwich came flying out of the traps, Simeon Jackson was working hard down the wing and tested De Gea with an early cross. Though the Spanish keeper who had been heavily criticised earlier in the season, claimed well. United came back into it with Ryan Giggs looking to burst through, though Ward stifled the threat superbly and made an excellent challenge. They were coming into it a little more, with Jones crossing for Giggs who could only fire over the bar. A few minutes later, the visitors took the lead. It was rather too easy for United, with Nani flinging in a teasing cross. It wasn’t dealt with by City defenders, fell to Scholes at the far post who was unmarked and headed past Ruddy. The Canaries weren’t to let their heads drop though, with Bradley Johnson crunching in on Nani after the Portuguese winger decided to showboat. Johnson picked up a yellow card for his troubles, but sparked a roar from the crowd who well and truly exploded into life as the game progressed. The Canaries were looking to settle down and ride the wave United were throwing at them, but they were in debt to their goalkeeper for a terrific save. Hernandez built down the wing before sliding the ball into the box, Welbeck controlled turned and although he scuffed his effort, it was drifting to the far corner. Yet, Ruddy, at full stretch, pulled off an excellent stop to keep the deficit at 1.
There were ironic cheers from the home faithful on 21 minutes as referee Marriner pointed towards the Barclay – giving City a free-kick. Some had felt United had been getting the better of the decisions so far. Fox whipped the ball in, it caused all kinds of havoc before Elliott Ward saw his poked effort deflected wide. Norwich were encouraged and came again, winning another free-kick 35 yards from goal. Fox’s initial delivery was cleared though Surman was on hand to pick up the pieces, firing wide from distance. The Canaries had ridden that early storm and were now beginning to stamp their authority on proceedings. Bradley Johnson drifted in a looping cross to the far post, Holt rose though couldn’t quite direct his header which fell wide. The Carrow Road faithful responded with roars of encouragement, the atmosphere was soaked in belief for the Canaries who responded with a magnificent passage of play. Pilkington found Naughton down the wing, he waited for the former Huddersfield man to power past. Naughton curled a delightful ball over the top, Pilkington controlled with a wonderful first touch before lashing a low effort at goal. De Gea reacted brilliantly, making a fine stop with his foot before the ball was hacked away to safety!
United were having to resort to playing on the break with Evra’s cross being thumped clear by Ward. United came again with Hernandez being played through after neat play on the edge of the box. He took a touch before sliding in an effort which drew Ruddy into a decent stop. The Canaries came again, with a cracking piece of football. Pilkington checked back on himself, seeming to slow the momentum of a City attack. Yet he fizzed in a deadly cross, Holt stole past his marker and flicked a header at goal – using all the power of the cross. Yet once again De Gea was on hand to make a fine save from close range. Norwich were certainly having a right, good go against their illustrious visitors, with Holt holding the ball up to good effect. Once Surman arrived on the scene he played him in, with the South African born midfielder lashing in a volley which was well blocked by Evans. The Canaries flew forwards again with Surman finding Jackson, he teed himself up though as he pulled the trigger Evans managed to get a block on it with the ball looping up into the air. With half-time approaching the Canaries carved out another chance with Johnson flicking the ball over for Surman. He couldn’t quite control and was only able to muster a shot wide of goal. In the closing stages Ruddy had to be alert to claim a Nani cross low down, before up the other end Jackson challenged De Gea for a cross with the Spaniard claiming well.
SECOND-HALF – As the teams emerged for the second-half, Lambert made what was later said to be a tactical change, with Hoolahan replacing the lively Jackson. It was a bit of a quieter start to the second period, Holt was chasing all up the United end like the mad man he is and Whitbread had to be at his best to stop Ryan Giggs in full flow. Bradley Johnson was the first to have a pop in the second period, drilling a 35 yard low drive wide of goal. Norwich continued to look the more likely, with Pilkington sending in a deep cross. It found Surman at the far post who saw his vicious volley blocked. Lambert made his second change just past the hour, with Bradley Johnson being replaced by Elliott Bennett. United brought on a lively winger of their own, with Ashley Young entering proceedings for the visitors. After their fine start to the second period, Norwich nearly found themselves 2 down as Welbeck managed to lose his marker. The ball was clipped through to him by Giggs, he lofted the ball over the advancing Ruddy and but for Whitbread hacking the ball off the line – it would have been 2.
The Canaries continued to come forwards, with Wes Hoolahan curling over from distance after good work from Bennett. Lambert chose to make another change with Aaron Wilbraham coming on, after a lively cameo against Leicester, with Anthony Pilkington the man making way. Though again United could have had a second on 72 minutes. Phil Jones sent in a dangerous cross to the near post, Giggs got a cross and clipped the bar with an acrobatic effort. Norwich responded with good work from Fox and Naughton, the ball was sent into the box with Wilbraham nodding it down. It was heading for Ward though he was dumped to the floor by Scholes who headed the ball out. Some appealed for a penalty, though it would have been rather harsh on the ancient United midfielder. A few minutes later though Norwich had every right to feel hard done by as their latest penalty appeal was turned down. After Naughton had brilliantly broken up a United attack, Hoolahan built patiently before clipping in a cross. It appeared to strike the arm of Evra, though Marriner appeared to be suffering from a case of ‘referee’s sight’, where one sees something there wasn’t or misses the obvious. In this case it was the latter, with the referee uninterested in the Canary appeals.
United had a rare attack with Welbeck wriggling amongst City defenders on the edge of the box, he whipped in a low effort which Naughton got a block on – taking the sting out of it, allowing the ball to roll through to Ruddy. Wilbraham had looked decent since his introduction and was alert to latch onto a misplaced United pass. He strode forwards before lashing a thumping drive at goal, to De Gea’s credit he made an excellent save fisting the ball out for a corner. After the initial ball in had been cleared, the move was recycled. The ball was nodded back into Whitbread, finding Holt with his back to goal, he was strong under pressure. He squirmed past his marker, spun brilliantly before sending a superb strike soaring into the top corner of De Gea’s net. It sparked absolute madness inside Carrow Road, it was the minimum the Canaries deserved for an excellent performance.
The Canaries had their tails up, pushing for the winner with another cross finding Holt in the box. He controlled with his back to goal, before flicking the ball over his head and into De Gea’s clutches. Though as the game approached stoppage time United seemed to wake up, they attacked with Welbeck sending in a low cross. It evaded everyone, finding Young at the far post who pulled the trigger yet Ward was on hand to make a fantastic block. Welbeck was the next to have a chance to fall to him, the ball was crossed by Giggs. The young striker leapt, only 6 yards from goal though glanced wide with Ruddy at a standstill. The visitors weren’t done with Welbeck managing to trickle through into the box, he advanced towards goal but Ruddy came roaring out! The United striker pulled the trigger though somehow Ruddy blocked the effort, it was vital save from the City stopper. Again Man United attacked, again Norwich held strong with Elliott Ward leaping like a salmon to head a cross out of play from in front of his own goal! Though United were to have one last chance, one that broke City hearts. Ashley Young sent in a devilish cross, it went all the way through to the far post where Giggs was waiting to poke past Ruddy. The Canaries rightfully got a standing ovation at the final whistle, with United knowing they’d got out of jail with that late, late Giggs’ strike.
MAN OF THE MATCH, ANDREW SURMAN – Surman had an excellent game and is looking every bit a Premiership player. His link-up play is superb and defensively he never ignores his duties.
SUMMED UP IN A SENTENCE, I’m absolutely gutted, considering we’re a promoted side and we’ve lost against Manchester United, the fact I’m gutted just says it all.
Post a Reply
You must be Logged In to post an Reply.
Not a member yet? Sign Up Now »