Man United stunned by Norwich

2012-11-17 21:41

Norwich - Manchester United spurned an opportunity to regain first place in the English Premier League table when they were stunned 1-0 at Norwich City on Saturday.

Last year's champions Manchester City had moved to the top of the table earlier in the afternoon thanks to a 5-0 home victory over Aston Villa.

And a header on the hour by Norwich winger Anthony Pilkington - a former United trainee - ended up consigning Alex Ferguson's side to their third defeat of the season after only 12 matches.

United were forced to do without Wayne Rooney because of tonsillitis but fellow striker Robin van Persie had been passed fit after missing a mid-week international friendly because of a thigh strain.

Anders Lindegaard kept goal for the visitors, with youngster Sam Johnstone on the bench because David de Gea had to visit the dentist because of a swollen jaw.

The visitors made a bright start, with Van Persie forcing Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy into an early save as Roy Hodgson, the England manager, watched from the stands.

Norwich replied with efforts from Robert Snodgrass and Pilkington that only narrowly failed to hit the target and that was also the case at the other end, where Ryan Giggs's corner was hit first time by Van Persie.

Snodgrass was involved in much of the home side's best moments before the break and fired in a shot on the turn that went wide.

United were lacking urgency although Ashley Young's corner might have led to an opener but Patrice Evra, having got goal-side of his marker, completely missed his header.

Snodgrass once again went close, this time with a header, before Norwich's ex-Manchester City man Javier Garrido fired an angled effort across goal and wide.

Norwich captain Grant Holt was denied an opener by Chris Smalling's timely block after more good work on the right by Snodgrass, but it was United who finished the first half the stronger.

The Canaries were grateful that Van Persie could make no connection at all after Giggs's long ball had dropped over his shoulder in front of goal and Ruddy's reputation was enhanced by another good save, this time to deny Young.

The second half began with Van Persie failing to get the connection he wanted following another ball over the top of the home defence, but he recovered to force Ruddy into a save.

United continued to play at a slow tempo and were punished on the hour mark when they failed to deal with a swift Norwich attack.

Wes Hoolahan teed Garrido up for a cross from the left that Pilkington - having arrived ahead of Chris Smalling - headed high past Lindegaard.

With 20 minutes remaining, United made a double change, with Antonio Valencia and the disappointing Javier Hernandez replaced by the 38-year-old Paul Scholes and Danny Welbeck.

Welbeck immediately saw a header deflected around a post and soon afterwards forced Ruddy into a save with another.

United piled on the pressure to the end and Ruddy had to tip over a header from his own defender, Sebastien Bassong, after substitute Jonny Howson had missed a chance to make it 2-0 at the other end when put through with only Lindegaard to beat.

The final whistle sparked joyous celebrations from the home fans, who have seen their side improve steadily after a shaky start to the season under new manager Chris Hughton.


  • - 2012-11-17 22:17

    the is trphy is no city this year again.m.u must fgt it - 2012-11-17 22:22

      It ain't won in November. - 2012-11-17 22:22

      It ain't won in November.

      Daniel Nunes - 2012-11-18 09:47


  • kabelo.k.monageng - 2012-11-17 22:29

    Good for Norwich City.United is only in the top 5 because of favouritsm of referees

      Jacques - 2012-11-17 23:25

      Round of applause!

      Jacques - 2012-11-17 23:25

      Round of applause!

      tatsee - 2012-11-18 12:21

      Did u see initially 3 mins injury time was given then it became 4 THEN the ref added another one on top of the 4?

      bj.pieman - 2012-11-18 13:03

      Then why do you watch (and comment on) a provincial league from the other end of the world if you think it's fixed by refs?

  • david.s.duncan.1 - 2012-11-18 10:29

    ha ha ha ha ha ha...HA HA HA HA :-)

  • josh.lekoloane - 2012-11-19 11:51

    perfect, the refferee was not the to help them like always

  • josh.lekoloane - 2012-11-19 11:52

    Oh they lost, this time the was no Howard Webb or Mark Clatterburg to help them win

  • ruben.maistry - 2012-11-19 14:13

    Added time from 3 min. to 4min. and then a good few added seconds? What is the FA doing about this?

      krishnen.n.pillay - 2012-11-20 15:36

      You need to understand the rules of the game, for every sub the allowance for time added on is 30seconds, if i remember correctly there was a sub during added time. Also the time added on was 3 minutes on the television btw (they are not the 4th official). at no point did the fourth offcial show the board with 3min added time. This was incorrectly showed on television. So before you comment about added time go read the rules of the game.

  • dor.narf - 2012-11-19 16:29

    although i support United ,im really glad they lost ...Giggs ,scholes ,wellbeck ,carrick should not be playing ,giggs and scholes were great but at 38 and 39 there time is over ,the other 2 are just rubbish ...add an average evra ,young ,valencia and its not good ,United have been getting wins while playing bad which has masked how bad the midfielders are .....lets hope SAF buys some quality to support the good players ....

      krishnen.n.pillay - 2012-11-20 15:41

      I agree fully we need an enforce, why did we not by dembele, there was no excuse for fergie to rest the likes of cleverly and anderson for the CL as we have already won the group. The mid on saturday was absolutely slow. United are known for counterattacking football with pace, if the mid is too slow there is no way counter attacking will work. We played like an italian side on saturday ie sitting back and waiting for something happen.

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