English Premiership

Man Utd fend off Norwich

2011-10-01 18:41
Danny Welbeck (Getty Images)

Manchester - Manchester United remained top of the Premier League on Saturday after second-half goals from Anderson and Danny Welbeck secured a lacklustre 2-0 win over Norwich.

But despite the scoreline, it didn't tell the full story at Old Trafford.

The off-colour home side struggled for long periods and were fortunate not to fall behind on countless occasions.

As it was, the visitors were eventually punished as Anderson headed home in the 68th minute before substitute Welbeck turned home Park Ji Sung's cross with three minutes remaining to wrap up the points.

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted the midweek Champions League draw with Basel, where his Manchester United side escaped with a 3-3 draw thanks to a late goal, was the wake-up call his players needed.

It appeared he wouldn't take Norwich lightly, with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez recalled to indicate there would be no sign of complacency.

But Ferguson wouldn't have guarded against the start Norwich produced. They threatened on more than one occasion, underlining they wouldn't be inhibited by the visit to the defending champions.

Norwich's brave decision to relegate captain and striker Grant Holt to the substitutes' bench appeared to be a shrewd move.

The more mobile Steve Morison, and his unselfish running, was proving a problem for the hosts. It almost resulted in a shock opening goal for the Canaries as Kyle Naughton's burst ended in his cross being squeezed clear by Phil Jones.

It wasn't the only scare. The sluggish hosts were becoming increasingly frustrated, with their final ball often misplaced or intercepted with Norwich's five-man midfield blocking out any threat.

In fact, it took until the 35th minute for them to carve out their first opening of the afternoon when Rooney's header from Nani's corner just cleared the crossbar.

The set-piece had already caused problems, with Darren Fletcher being denied a rare goal by Marc Tierney's goal line clearance just moments earlier.

But it was clear the home side were looking devoid of ideas and a few choice words from Ferguson would have been the order of the day.

Rooney was among those who appeared to be coasting and needed to step up his game. The England striker almost responded when his cleverly disguised pass found Anderson in space, only for the midfielder to lose his footing as he shot tamely wide.

While United were now firmly on the front foot, they ran the risk of being exposed defensively.

This was evident as Morison shrugged off the attentions of Jonny Evans but the Wales striker delayed his pass and Jones, not for the first time, timed his block to perfection in the 54th minute.

United continued to ride their luck as another breakaway resulted in Anthony Pilkington's shot deflected into the grateful arms of goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard moments later.

Ferguson threw on Ryan Giggs and Welbeck in search of inspiration. Yet Norwich missed a golden chance to take the lead in the 65th minute.

Pilkington latched onto Antonio Valencia's error. He slid the ball past Lindegaard but past the post.

That miss was to prove costly within free minutes when Anderson broke the deadlock for United, heading home his second goal of the season.

Norwich pushed forward in search of an equaliser but they were hit on the counter-attack in the 87th minute, with Welbeck sliding home from close-range as United escaped with a flattering win.

Read more on:    epl  |  danny welbeck  |  anderson  |  wayne rooney

Stars shoot down Pirates

2016-05-02 19:27


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


South African woman learns to surf at aged 70

Anthea Petzer just wants to learn how to stand on her yellow Australian surfboard and carve up the waves.



Extreme Kiteboarding in Pumping Conditions!
The Arctic becomes an unlikely surfing hotspot
A romantic holiday to beat the winter blues
Why should you do a 5k?
07 May 2016
Norwich City v Manchester United, Carrow Road 13:45
West Ham United v Swansea City, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Crystal Palace v Stoke City, Selhurst Park 16:00
Sunderland v Chelsea, Stadium of Light 16:00
Aston Villa v Newcastle United, Villa Park 16:00
Bournemouth v West Bromwich Albion, Vitality Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Everton, King Power Stadium 18:30
08 May 2016
Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton, White Hart Lane 14:30
Liverpool v Watford, Anfield 17:00
Manchester City v Arsenal, Etihad Stadium 17:00
10 May 2016
West Ham United v Manchester United, Boleyn Ground 20:45
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

SuperBru Super Rugby challenge

Enter and challenge Sport24's staff!


As the Absa Premiership nears the Christmas break, a little over half the season remains. Who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Which teams will be relegated? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.