‘Probably the best thing about today’ - City defender so grateful for full-time show of support at Old Trafford
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
The defiant reaction of the Norwich City away faithful left defender Christoph Zimmermann feeling hugely thankful for the loyal support shown in the wake of a chastening 4-0 defeat at Manchester United.
The travelling supporters showed unity in defeat, as Daniel Farke's team endured a difficult afternoon at Old Trafford, leaving them with just one win in 17 Premier League games and still seven points adrift of safety.
A warm reception for the City players after the final whistle emphasised the journey that the club has been on in recent years, after seeing their team come unstuck against one of the top-flight big boys.
"I was very, very happy to see how well our fans have taken it because, not just for us, but for them, it's been a rough afternoon," Zimmermann said.
"I was surprised how positive they were and probably they appreciated that we kept going and tried to go forward and score, to give them something to cheer about.
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"And also I think they can judge that in those games away at Old Trafford, Manchester United will always be the favourite.
"I'm very grateful for the support we've got, that was excellent and nice to see - probably the best thing about today."
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While next weekend's home clash with survival rivals Bournemouth was always going to be the bigger game, with few expecting the Canaries to take any points at Old Trafford, the German centre-back admits the performance left the visitors thoroughly disappointed.
"It was quiet (in the dressing room) because I think everybody realised today that we deserved to lose, we were second best," he continued. "Manchester United over 90 minutes were the better side and we realised that quite quickly after the final whistle.
"So therefore obviously we were not happy with what we did, we know we can do better, but it was a tough one to take.
"In the first half, we know we didn't play well, it didn't look like our football. Man United were playing like we wanted to play and, to be fair, that's understandable with the club they are and the players that they've got.
"But even though we didn't play our game and we didn't play the way we wanted to, we were still just one goal down and there was a really big chance before half-time to equalise (through Todd Cantwell) and even though we had a poor first half, we would have been sitting in the dressing room just with a draw.
"Also when just one goal down it's not too bad but the start to the second half just killed us, we conceded two goals way too easily and being 3-0 down, it was a long afternoon."
The decisive moment came just six minutes into the second half when Marcus Rashford sent left-back Brandon Williams clean through and keeper Tim Krul brought him down. Rashford converted and just two minutes later Anthony Martial made it 3-0.
On that penalty decision, Zimmermann felt Krul could point the finger at his outfield team-mates, adding: "Obviously they've got quick players, Tim slides out and because he sees he's not going to be first to the ball he tries to get his hands and body out of the way but because the pitch is wet he couldn't.
"I guess there was contact and he just misjudged the ball but, to be fair to him, we didn't track Williams in that situation, so to put him in that situation is difficult."