Norwich City 1-3 Manchester United: Canaries winless run extends to five as United win first Premier League away game since February
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City were beaten 3-1 by Manchester United on Sunday afternoon, with goals from Scott McTominay, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial ensuring the Red Devils left Norfolk with all three points.
Onel Hernandez' late strike proved to be merely a consolation as the Canaries run without a victory extended to five matches.
City were toothless in attack and stretched defensively as United's attacking quartet caused havoc all afternoon.
Prior to kick-off, Carrow Road stood in solidarity for former City captain Duncan Forbes, who sadly passed away on Wednesday evening.
Forbes formed part of the foundation from which the modern era of the football club was built; he was a fearless defender who appeared as though his powerful physique had been carved from granite. In the subsequent years after his playing career, he occupied numerous positions at the club, maintaining that connection with supporters through the creation of the Club Canary coaches, a system still in place today.
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The poignancy and emotion was pertinent within the ground. This was not merely a player who adorned the colours but understood what they meant. As head coach Daniel Farke uttered, his name will live on for as long as the football club exists.
Following the goalless draw with AFC Bournemouth last weekend, Farke opted to field an unchanged XI after the encouraging defensive signs witnessed on the south coast.
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Out of possession, the Canaries deployed a 4-1-4-1 formation, with captain Alex Tettey screening the back four once more.
United arrived in NR1 after breaking their demons on the road and conquering Partizan Belgrade in Serbia. Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer elected to alter his line-up, reverting to a conventional 4-2-3-1 with an interchangeable front three which consisted of the dynamic trio of Martial, Rashford and Dan James.
Despite the success of the last two fixtures, Solskjaer deployed a more offensively-minded side designed to help improve their position in the Premier League table.
The first chance of the game fell to the Canaries, with some impressive wing play by right-back Max Aarons resulting in a sweeping pass which fell to Todd Cantwell who could only fire over.
United's probing in the opening exchanges lacked intent, with City dispossessing them at regular intervals. Their first sight of goal fell to attacking midfielder Andreas Pereira, who could only curl the ball beyond Krul's right-hand post.
On 19 minutes, Rashford exchanged passes with James before firing an effort at City's keeper but the Dutchman got down effectively to thwart the effort with his feet.
Krul was in the thick of it once more a moment later, as he made a wonderful reflex save to deny Martial's header from inside the six-yard box. United were beginning to construct chances at regular intervals, with City struggling to regain possession.
On the 21st minute, United did take the lead.
Another corner led to a goalmouth scramble which eventually fell for Cantwell to clear but the 21-year old missed his kick leaving Scott McTominay to sweep the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the net to give United the lead.
United's relentless wave of attacks continued, with James played through by Pereira and, after a coming together with Ben Godfrey in the area that saw both men fall to the ground, VAR declared that City's defender had committed an offence and subsequently awarded the penalty.
Rashford stepped up having only missed once before in his senior career. His effort was denied by Krul, who dived to his right and saved the spot kick. Carrow Road erupted, it had the potential to change the dynamic of the game.
However, merely moments later, James spotted Rashford's burst and picked him out with an exquisite crossfield ball, leaving the striker to slot under City's keeper to double their advantage.
Teemu Pukki was cutting an increasingly isolated figure but the Canaries did have a rare foray forwards after some good work by the Finn led to a strike from range by Cantwell which was saved by David De Gea.
VAR was again involved, after it was adjudged Cantwell had used his arm to deny Fred's strike from range with United awarded their second penalty of the afternoon.
Krul's theatrics went unpunished as he sought to save his second of the match.
This time, it was Martial. Fresh from scoring from the spot in the Europa League fixture on Thursday, the Frenchman stepped up and shot to the left-hand side of Krul's goal.
Once again, the Dutch goalkeeper saved fantastically.
City trailed at the break without effecting the game from an offensive prospective, with two efforts from Cantwell being all they produced. United were the opposite, McTominay's goal was their 2000th in the Premier League and they would have considered themselves unfortunate not to be leading by a bigger margin at the interval.
City had another brilliant chance in the opening period of the second half as Aarons set off on another surging run forward before picking out Pukki with a low cross, the Finnish striker uncharacteristically lacked composure as he scooped it over the bar.
Offensively, City were threatening from the right wing, with Aarons the protagonist again yet, they couldn't construct genuine chances from those promising positions.
On the 73rd minute, United scored their third after Rashford's cute back heel played in Martial who chipped delightfully over Krul.
Numerous City operators required treatment in the period that followed which, given the extent of their injury crisis, left Farke to scratch his head in disbelief. Amadou was merely occupying space as a centre-forward for the closing moments as he was hurt in the aftermath of Martial's goal.
On the 87th minute, City did pull one back through Hernandez.
Wan-Bissaka defended superbly against the Cuban for the majority of the second half but his determination was rewarded as his low drive flew past De Gea and into the net.
- Norwich City (4-1-4-1): Krul; Aarons, Godfrey, Amadou, Lewis (Byram, 66); Tettey (c); Buendia Leitner (Stiepermann, 45), McLean, Cantwell (Hernandez, 45); Pukki. Subs not used: McGovern, Byram, Trybull, Drmic, Srbeny
- Bookings: Aarons
- Goals: Hernandez, 87
- Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Young (c); Fred, McTominay; James (Lingard, 80), Pereira (Garner, 82), Rashford; Martial (Greenwood, 75). Subs not used: Romero, Mata, Rojo, Williams
- Bookings: Wan-Bissaka, Young
- Goals: McTominay 21, Rashford 28, Martial 73
- Added on time: 3 mins/ 6 mins
- Attendance: 27,108 (2,321 away)
- Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)
- VAR: David Coote (Notts)