The Canaries are singing and Utd dislike the tuneBy: Ian | November 19th, 2012
As you can probably guess from the picture, should you have missed the match, this will not be a post detailed a Utd weekend win. Instead Utd took the trip to much-improved Norwich, on a bit of a strong run at the moment, seeking three points. Hopefully producing a tiring comeback win wouldn’t be on the cards yet again, and so it transpired.
Rooney was missing and Lindegaard stepped in to replace De Gea after the latter had a painful midweek trip to the dentist. The match began with an early Van Persie chance, with the Dutchman curling a low-power but accurate shot from the edge of the box. The Norwich keeper Ruddy, who had a superb evening, saved it smartly. Norwich were happy to soak up the early Utd intent and attack on the break, which they duly did when Snodgrass set Pilkington through.
This action was followed with a few long range pops, easily saved, before Garrido drilled in a low cross just begging to be diverted in. Grant Holt was close, but not close enough, as it was chalked down as a chance and no more. Smalling then recovered well after a poor clearance, before Utd’s best chance towards the end of the half. Giggs floated a beautiful ball over the top of the Norwich defence, only for Van Persie to misjudge his footing and miss the ball. It was a pass begging to be volleyed in, and you’d pick Van Persie to do it, but it remained nil-nil at the break, with Ruddy producing another fine saved to deny Young.
The first Utd chance of the second half saw Van Persie control the ball on his second attempt, only for the result to be a weak shot at goal. This kind of summed up the match: yes, there were chances, but nothing particularly special, as everyone was still trundling around in first gear. This proved to be a more serious problem on the hour mark, as a superb Garrido cross found Pilkington, who directed his header with excellent accuracy, leaving Lindegaard no chance. 1-0 to the Canaries and pretty much deserved.
The lack of assistance meant Chicharito was withdrawn, as was Valencia, to be replaced by Scholes and Welbeck. The latter had a decent chance when he rose to nod a header just wide of the post. However, the phalanx of Norwich’s defence held firm as Utd pressed for an equaliser. This left space at the back and Norwich spurned a clear chance for two as Howson hit it well wide in a 1-on-1 with Lindegaard. Bassong’s backwards header was splendidly saved by Ruddy to keep the lead as was an Anderson drive with added pressure from Scholes.
Summarising the whole match pretty well is the phrase detailing how Utd went to the little treasure chest where they keep the secret ability/strength for a comeback and found it either empty or taken away for maintenance. It was a game Utd should have been looking to win, but the focus now switches to the next run of fixtures. QPR, West Ham and Reading are next, and that really should be nine points, especially given the interspersed Champions League games against Galatasaray and Cluj are now irrelevant in terms of group points. Navigating that sees Utd arrive at a Dec 9th meeting with City and that game should really be arrived at with one side looking to overtake the other (everything going according to expectations as Utd are now behind).
Your thoughts below.