Man Utd fend off Norwich

2011-10-01 18:41

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.


  • jabski - 2011-10-02 09:21

    united exposed again yesterday. evra becoming a joke. vidic needed and cleverley asap. anderson ok but only ok. concentration levels a joke at times. still, top of the league at a time of year when we are usually a few points off the pace will do nicely

      Yousuf - 2011-10-02 09:55

      couldnt agree with you more mate, what on earth is evra doing, if not for jones we would have lost both the previous games easily. i cannot believe that the united coaching staff havnt picked this up. He was just as poor in the champions league final, all 3 goals from his side ???????

      Byron - 2011-10-02 20:08

      Not convincing, they gave the ball away too easily in the last 3 games. The midfield not up to it, and hopefully an additional midfielder, likes of Wesley Sneijder, wiil come in January. With Cleverly out, they're poor. Darren Fletcher and Evra are currently not up to it.

      Bob - 2011-10-03 08:46

      Enjoy it while you can there is no way you deserve to be top of the league, lucky lucky scum, pathetic midfield and even worse defense will be exposed sooner rather than later, you have to wait til January to get some decent players in by then hopefully it is way to late.

      jabski - 2011-10-03 09:42

      your right bob. beating arsenal 8-2 and chelsea 3-1 doesnt even come into it. and spurs 3 nil (what was your score against them?). as usual bob, with your limited knowledge, you are right on the money. lol

      A(N)ON - 2011-10-03 09:49

      Bob ur priceless - don't deserve to be on top? - I suppose scoring 22 goals in 6 games constitute being lucky. Waiting for the January transfer window to get decent players in? We'll leave that to you guys - our squad is great right now and we winning even with the injury list - so lets wait until May to see what happens. Your team are 5th right now but could be competing with Spurs for that spot so focus man focus.

      Bob - 2011-10-03 10:22

      I admit the scum started well, but the last couple of weeks they have looked, well lets be kind and say average, check your stats, more attempts on the scum goal than any other team in the EPL, that says it all, weak midfield and defense, it will be exposed SOON.

      jabski - 2011-10-03 10:58

      wrong again crusty vidic will be back soon

  • RED MANC - 2011-10-03 08:04

    Evra is just a part of the problem . The midfield is seriously lacking . It is unfortuneate but Anderson is just not good enough for regular first team football , he looks totally uncomfortable on the ball unless it is on his left side and even then he gives it away too easily and too often and will very seldom shoot on goal , no matter what .As for his kicking ability , does the boy have to side-foot every ball , has the coaching staff not taught him to kick through his laces for a shot on goal . Pogba is a better bet than Anderson i think . Likewise Valencia , he may be fast and a bit strong but his game is very one dimensional , he cannot kick or pass the ball with his left foot which for a winger is a serious flaw in his make-up -- he lacks craft , flair and trickery and like Anderson he will not shoot on goal in a hurry . You gotta buy a ticket to win the lottery IMHO .

      A(N)ON - 2011-10-03 08:33

      Agree with all the comments but consider the following: - Evra is fantastic going forward but he leaves a gaping hole which needs cover - this is where the experience and positional play of Vidic/Ferdinand need to come into play - Anderson is extremely left-footed but he is tenacious and hard - he has formed a formidable pairing with Cleverly in the early games with Cleverly being the play-maker. United playing with Anderson and/or Carrick/Fletcher is nearly not as creative in the midfield. Pogba is coming along nicely and it won't be too long before Fergie throws him into the first side. - Valencia is coming off a lay-off imo he is not 100% fit - yes he is extremely right-footed but his advantage is his pace and strength in getting behind the full-backs. Using him at right back and Nani at right wing is not very effective - nani prefers to take defenders on and most of the time Valencia's runs behing the defence were in vain. The second half switch created a bit more space for Valencia but the Rio substition and Jones switch to right back was perhaps the right tactical formation. With all the injury woes the boys have done well to maintain pole position so after the 2 week international break and (fingers crossed) no injuries being picked up - we will be back to being nearly 100% full strength come 15 October

  • AjAxxxx - 2011-10-03 10:30

    Fact of the matter is, United got lucky, again. Totally unconvincing. Just shows you what we spoke about a few months ago, the Tott & Arsenal teams were so injury hit that they just could not compete at all. And they got super lucky against Chelea. Look at the Norwich fight at OT...newly promoted, and probably deserved something out of the game. The United side is far from perfect, and Fergi knows it. If Nani and Rooney are injured at the same time, you are #$#kd.

      Man U - 2011-10-03 11:17

      And the village idiot gives us his view on the match! Yes, we have not been convincing in our last 2 games and maybe the one against Chelsea. You say we were super lucky against Chelsea? Shame on you mate! Yes, you team had chances and so did we. Even if you somehow managed to equalise, we probably would have taken more of our chances and expose that crummy line that you call defence! I somehow feel that Utd took their foot of the gas as apposed to Chelsea playing well in the 2nd half. As for the Norwich game, well, they are a tough side with nothing to lose and should have beaten your Blues team in their own backyard! Funny no analysis on that game Ajax?

      A(N)ON - 2011-10-03 11:20

      AjAxxxx u suffer from short-term memory lapses don't you? Recall newly promoted Norwich at Stamford Bridge 3 or so games ago - 1-0 up and relinquishing that lead only after a dubious sending off. The fact is Norwich will not be a whipping boy in the EPL this season - they are a bunch of committed individuals who are enjoying their rise to the top. I see when Torres don't play u guys manage to score more than a goal or 2 lol...

      A(N)ON - 2011-10-03 12:41

      My humblest apologies - unfortunately the "Comments" section of my report was mis-informed perhaps I should have just trusted on the final score.....after all thats all what counts - correct?

      AjAxxxx - 2011-10-03 12:47

      you, as in line with the united support culture, are ill/mis-informed. And no, it's not only the final score that counts. That's what you people do not understand. The game stretches over 90 minutes. Everything that happens in that 90 minutes are equally important as the final score. If we won 3-1, and we did not deserve to, then it matters to me. I look at the game as a whole, not only at the end result. Stop watching Blitz, focus on the game.

      jabski - 2011-10-03 13:17

      isnt blitz for lighting braais with?

      AjAxxxx - 2011-10-03 14:02

      clever joke bru.

      A(N)ON - 2011-10-03 14:14

      AjAxxxx the last comment shows your stupidity. Since when are trophies handed out for courage, team-ness, football style and dominance over 90 minutes? Are you trying to lobby for one so that your team can maybe buy one? Maybe Roman will pull out his cheque book and convince the FA to come up with one of these trophies....

      AjAxxxx - 2011-10-03 14:17

      you're knowledge of the game is restricted to the end score. there's no cure for that.

      Man U - 2011-10-03 14:42

      Ajax: Typical come back from an a$$! When will you ever grow up and realise that if you play brilliantly you will win and when you play cr@p you will lose? There is no column lablled “how good the team performed” End of story fool! Or is it just one of the excuses you will use with your Boys when you meet up to have your klippies and coke in some trailer park come next year May? Fact of the matter is that your team had to graaf hard to beat Norwich, WBA but at the end of the day, 3 points is what they wanted and got it. Utd scored 8 against Arsenal but winning by 1 clear goal would have got them the same 3 points. Pitty we are blessed with Morons like you in this world!

      AjAxxxx - 2011-10-03 15:00

      I need to blog with more intelligent people. I really do.

      Harold - 2011-10-03 15:04

      @AjAxxxx -You need to blog with your own kind. I notice the story on Chelsea has no comments. What also beats me is how the United haters know so much more about United than their own teams. Explain that to me if you are so 'intelligent".

      AjAxxxx - 2011-10-03 15:10

      United haters are football supporters. Not glory hunters. We know the game better. I probably know every single team better than you do. I definitely know United's team better than you do. Without googling I can tell you the nationality and former club of each of your players, and probably their signature fee aswell of most. Its a tradition for SA's united fans to only watch United games, just to stay in the loop. But not to really support the game for what it is. The game goes beyond united, and you cannot understand that. The game is much bigger than one club. Isnt that why you can't understand when you're club slips up?? Everyone FREAKS when united slip up, simply because they do not appreciate that other clubs will be better on the day. There's ALWAYS an excuse if you drop points. Always. Never, "Well, we were outplayed today, and probably deserved to lose." You need to be able to say that, even if you've won on the day. I'll say we were lucky against Bolton, keeper's mistake 3 times. The score is not a fair reflection of the game. If you beat Bolton 5-1 you'll have comments like "UNITED IS THE TEAM FOR ME AND A KNICK KNACK PADDYWACK BLA BLA" without giving the other side any recognition. Open your eyes

      A(N)ON - 2011-10-03 15:45

      And the newly introduced trophy for the most knowledgeable footie fan in the world goes to......AjAxxxx. Get a life, get a girlfriend, get married get kids you obviously don't have enough to do on weekends but watch all 380 EPL broadcasts

      A(N)ON - 2011-10-03 15:48

      Actually we beat Bolton 5-0 with no hint of a Bolton goal (or 2) and score could have should have ought to have been a few more...

      AjAxxxx - 2011-10-03 16:19

      HAHA! YOU IDIOT. JUST READ YOUR'E TWO REPLIES TO ME. IT IS EXACTLY WHAT I'M TRYING TO SAY, IN EXAMPLE FORM. I cannot believe you are stupid enough to actually back up everything I am saying with two, unitedlike, idiotic comments. In.credible.

      AjAxxxx - 2011-10-03 16:26

      Oja, are you really trying to insult me by suggesting I watch too much sport? Too MUCH sport? You play too much computer games.

      Man U - 2011-10-03 16:34

      Ajax: LOL! And all Utd haters and uneducated football fans (you included) FREAK when we win! So, name me 1 player that you know of pre the Zola, Vialli days? Thought so, google it quickly cause that's how all the Chelsea supporters get to know their team! Please go blow smoke at another site, maybe there is a blog dedicated to chelsea supporters, or maybe not as there are probably only 2 of you around! Enjoy!

      AjAxxxx - 2011-10-03 16:38

      Why should I know someone pre-viali days? I was 7 years old. I did not watch football then, and I'm not claiming I did.

      AjAxxxx - 2011-10-03 16:52

      Im just here to shut you United fans up. And show you how ill-informed you are about the game. I win.

      Deon - 2011-10-03 21:01

      Ajaxxx, can i ask a humble question? How come you post more on a United game than Chelsea game? "Im just here to shut you United fans up. And show you how ill-informed you are about the game. " "United haters are football supporters. Not glory hunters. We know the game better. I probably know every single team better than you do.' Says the man who's a Chelsea supporter who basically from what i've read only been a supporter since a year or 2 before Roman came along. Lets be real, how many Chelsea fans on here and around the world are "glory hunters" same goes for Liverpool and City. No-ones going to wake up and say i'm going to be a full blown QPR fan. United have there prawn sandwich brigade but so do all other clubs.

      Man U - 2011-10-04 07:52

      Ajax: Confirmed! You actually support any other team that plays against Utd as apposed to Chelsea. Typical of someone like you. But we Utd supporters are faced with you Morons on a daily basis so we are used to those a$$hole tendencies! When you get challenged, you come out and say we know nothing about football, we glorry hunters etc... I feel for your kids or when you have some one day! Ja, and i believe you were 7 pre the Vialli / Zola days and I am actually Chuck Norris!

      AjAxxxx - 2011-10-04 07:55

      You are correct, I have only been a Chelsea supporter about a year or two before Roman came along. What is your point there? We did not win any cups at that time, but still ended up between 3 and 6, which made us a pretty decent outfit. Are you suggesting I knew Roman was coming, and thats why I started supporting Chelsea, to be a "future" glory hunter? Sorry mate, I did not know the club was going to be bought by a multibillionaire. Let me guess, you probably didnt start supporting United during Liverpools domination of England, did you? Thought so. You started supporting them after 1999 when they won the treble. Because you read in the Huisgenoot who David Beckham is. I agree that there's always a sense of glory hunting when it comes to supporting one of the big clubs, but with United its completely different. Its a SAF comfort zone, which will be ended soon. Would love to know who you peeps are supporting next.

      Deon - 2011-10-04 08:51

      Ajaxx, i've always been a United supporter since birth, 1983. I come from a family of United supporters. my dad has been a United supporter for almost 60 years (which is something as his Uncle captained Liverpool). My grandfather was a United supporter. So although i have been lucky that i can't really remember the bad times (not winning trophies) at United and have been able grow up with United success. It sure as hell doesn't make me part of the prawn sandwich brigade. Hell even i remember the days of pre Valli and Zola (That guy was talented). Chelsea were spending massive amounts of cash before Roman took over. Buying players like George Weah, Marcel Dasilly, Poyet, Deschamps, Leboeuf, Tore Andre Fol, Gallas, Babayaro, Petit, Gud Johnson, The massive spending didn't start with Roman!!

      AjAxxxx - 2011-10-04 09:08

      And I suppose United is not on the big spender's list? HAHA! If you take everything into account (all the years of football compared to the average signature fee), United has spent much more than Chelsea, simply because they have always been richer before Roman came along. Simply.

      Deon - 2011-10-04 09:29

      your actually wrong about that Ajaxxx, Chelsea and City have spend more than United have since 1992. go look at

      AjAxxxx - 2011-10-04 09:31

      Vialli joined in Chelsea in 96 i think. I was 8 then. Before 96 I was 7. Douchebag.

      jabski - 2011-10-04 09:32

      uniteds money has bean earned. even in the 70s and 80s we were the best supported club, despite no success. and recently, even during the barren glazer years fergie has still managed to outwit everyone else, adding the 80m ronaldo money into the coffers to boot

      A(N)ON - 2011-10-04 09:54

      AjAxxxx please don't show your naivity - my comments were aimed at being sarcastic!

      AjAxxxx - 2011-10-04 10:01

      "all the years of football compared to the average signature fee" Im not talking post 1992. United is the most successful club. Therefore they will be able to attract the most expensive players. You can say what you want, since the 1900's United has added a top class striker almost every year, because they can afford it. Period.

      Deon - 2011-10-04 11:29

      Since the 4pound a week salary cap was finally lifted in the 1920's United have always been known as one the "worst paying" clubs for a player,

  • Deon - 2011-10-04 09:43

    Jabski, it goes back even further to the 20's when John Henry owned the club

      RED MANC - 2011-10-04 13:35

      United are so much more than a football club - they are what every other club aspires to be . There is an aura of greatness and glamour surrounding the club and it's players and this goes back to the early years of the club .They epitomise what English football is about . In world football there are and have been several really successful clubs yet there have always been only a handful of truly glamourous clubs and United has always lead the way with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich and these days even in the States there is a distinction between the Galaxy and the rest of the MLS . Barca play probably the best football at the moment but they do not have that intangible something . You either have it or you don't . No amount of money can buy it .

      AjAxxxx - 2011-10-04 13:38


      AjAxxxx - 2011-10-04 13:39

      This comment reminds me of the Fireflies song. Only gayer.

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