Manchester United - Norwich 1 Manchester United 0
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Norwich 1 Manchester United 0

United suffered a defeat at Carrow Road this evening going down by a solitary goal but producing a performance that wasn`t good enough!

Sir Alex Ferguson was forced into making two enforced changes to his starting eleven for this fixture with Wayne Rooney having gone down with tonsillitis and David De Gea being dispatched to the dentist for some treatment, presenting Javier Hernandez and Anders Lindegaard with starts.

United started well with a long range shot forcing John Ruddy to save low down before a quick volley from Snodgrass flew over the bar, United then survived a scare when Pilkington shot just wide from twenty-five yards out.

A quickly taken free kick from Giggs saw Van Persie clear the bar with his shot. Despite the early scares United were now dictating the tempo. Young saw a free kick easily saved by Ruddy before Norwich threatened again when Hoolahan, with a decent cross, saw Snodgrass flick a header wide.

Norwich were coming more into the game now and Pilkington and Garrido combined to deliver a ball, across the face of the goal that evaded Holt before Smalling conceded possession cheaply but, thankfully, the resulting shot on goal was charged down.

United, it`s fair to say, were losing the battle in midfield and it was left for Smalling to deprive Holt, with a great tackle, after a cross from Snodgrass begged to be tapped home.

As half time approached a delightful long ball from Giggs dropped invitingly over Va Persie`s shoulder for the Dutchman to volley home but it seemed to sum up our half when the striker missed the ball altogether. But it required a great save from Ruddy, from a close range Young effort to keep the score at 0-0.

Half Time - Norwich 0 United 0

United started the second half by creating the first chance but Ruddy pulled off a smart save from Van Persie to keep it all square. Norwich were still looking good in the middle third but lacking any real killer ball to trouble the United rearguard, but it only needed one lapse to give the home side the lead and that was exactly the case.

Delia Smith danced a jig of delight when Anthony Pilkington headed our hosts in front, on the hour mark, when Garrido, fed by Hoolahan, delivered in a decent cross that Pilkington expertly headed home past Lindegaard.

United, just like last week at Villa Park, needed to mount a comeback. Sir Alex made two changes with Scholes and Welbeck coming on with Valencia, and the hero of last week, Hernandez coming off. With twenty minutes left could United turn it around?

Welbeck almost made an instant impact but his effort, from a Young cross, somehow went wide, for a corner, after extreme pressure was put on him by the home defence. United were, with a quarter of an hour to go, pouring forward. At times the home defence lived a charmed life, proven when Whittaker somehow cleared a dangerous looking cross, from Young, at the far post with Giggs closing in.

With minutes remaining Sir Alex made his last change bringing on Anderson for Ferdinand. Young delivered another decent cross but a maze of bodies saw the ball drift out of play.

Norwich relieved the pressure by launching a rare attack which saw Lindegaard produce a fine save from a Pilkington effort from all of twenty-five yards out. Matters could have gotten worse when Norwich then broke two-on-one only for Howson, released by Morison, to pull his effort wide.

Four minutes of stoppage time were announced and some hectic action saw Ruddy turn over the crossbar a header by his own defender, Bassong, that looked destined for the net. Lindegaard, with things looking desperate, came up for the corner but the home side survived before that man Ruddy reacted quickly to prevent Scholes reaching a loose ball from an Anderson ball in and that was that.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Red Boy Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday November 17 2012

Time: 7:25PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
The team has got away with winning despite not playing well far too much and sooner or later this was going to happen. Perhaps this is the wake-up call the squad is in dire need of so they start playing like the champions we contend to be from the first minute to the last rather than when we go a goal down onwards.
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17/11/2012 20:04:00

what happens if RVP gets injured? who will score the goals then? wellbeck and Hernandez are impact players, Rooney is playing deeper and deeper not Centre forward, but you are right is that you are not playing well, and slowly being found out......... Everton, Spurs, AND Now Norwich...... lose more than 5, no title, so 3 down then.
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17/11/2012 21:34:00

Not overly concerned about losing as winning 2 and losing 2 works out better than drawing 4.. Don't think we've been sussed either, I just think it solely down to too many getting complacent and underperforming and expecting to win simply by turning up. My concern comes down to the players motivation, never had an issue with losing just as long as we went down fighting but we were limp, it's as if the players just expected that one of our match winning players would do something out of nowhere.
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18/11/2012 08:33:00

Spot on famous7. Seems like unless we are backed intona corner, we actually refuse to put some effort into it... I dont get it....also, saf is making a mess out of his midfield choices, having cleverley & ando on the bench and going with giggs? Yesterday he made a mess of the subs as well. Chose the right players to go in, but took out the wrong ones. Shouldve been young and giggs going out
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18/11/2012 09:10:00

It is still all down to a totally inept midfield, something most of us have been banging on about for three years. Why on earth does Fergie play no speed in there? We have Anderson and Cleverley who despite their shortcomings in other areas have speed and mobility. Giggs and Carrick in there makes us so static it hurts and to change it round we have Scholes who slows it further and other than sitting there like a quarterback in the NFL spraying things around offers virtually no support to our striker, yes striker and that's another matter for discussion we need bloody two against the likes of Norwich. Football is a matter of opinions and in mine we need to wake up Mr Fergie and smell the coffee.
Brummie Red
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18/11/2012 10:15:00

Midfield was non existent again Giggs had an absolute shocker like Brummie Red said the midfield has been a problem area for years but Fergie seems to be the only one who doesn't see it
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18/11/2012 11:57:00

Seriously think this is Giggs last year in football, his been largely uninvolved with first team football and I don't think he done himself any favours yesterday. When playing him is more of a hinderance than a help then its clear we don't need him anymore. No doubting the midfield needs something world class added to it. Anderson and cleverly are the sort of player we need however unless Anderson fulfills his potential, which I can't see happening anytime soon, both only of squad player quality. Still believe Rooney is what we need in midfield and should be player there next to Scholes or Carrick. What I also find concerning is whilst we have an abundance of width the wingers themselves, par Valencia, are inconsistent. Young and Nani could provide us with some thing which will win us a game one minute or leave us effectively playing with 10 men the next. I do wonder whether we'd be better off shipping them out and trying to get some good but also consistent wingers in.
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18/11/2012 12:48:00

Sorry lads, but everyone has been telling you you've been in a slow decline for the past few seasons, yet you just laughed at us. Even now, when you've just lost to Norwich, and scraped by Villa last time out (we beat them 5-0 BTW) you still can't seem to see the writing is on the wall. Signing RVP papered over a few of the cracks, but the whole house is starting to subside now. Still, I guess I shouldn't complain, as the bewildered looks and howls of anguish as your club has a good long spell away from winning anything will be delightful to watch.
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18/11/2012 16:23:00

Laughed at you and your crystal ball fcb? Never! No wait maybe we did simply because it's nonsense. The team isn't of the standard as that of seasons past however it is still a very strong side brimming with talent and depth and an abundance of potential. This was pretty evident and made notable from the fact that we lost the title to the last kick of the league and even then only on goal difference to a team that's supposedly so much better than ours and spent hundreds of millions to get there with no regard as to whether it was something they could sustain, all without our best CB. Now either you're severely overrated, or we're seriously underrated, though seeing as it seems to be a general attitude I can only assume its the latter. Congrats you beat Aston Villa at home 5-0 (even though you lost to them earlier on in the season....) and we beat Arsenal at home whilst you could only muster a draw at home against them but it doesn't really stand for fu(k all. You're only piping up now because you're top of the league, you wasn't saying any of this when you were below us, nor were you saying anything when we were 10 points ahead last season. You don't say anything when things are going well for the simple fact that you know its a load of bollox, you crop up when we have a bad game and only say it then as you feel it gives your argument some validity. The only real crack in the club is Fergie and his age and who is going to replace him but that's a bridge we'll cross when we come to it. As for now a lack of motivation and consistency and the strengthening of a couple of departments is far from a downfall but rather the toils every fan feels at some point following their football club.
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18/11/2012 16:44:00

Yeah sure, whatever Famous - because you know everything, you're a united fan after all. Enjoy the slide.
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18/11/2012 16:47:00

fcb it's not an opinion you hold all year round but only when we lose. It's such a knee jerk reaction to a couple of losses it's something you'd expect the press to come out with. A Liverpool sized downfall based on the fact that we lost to Everton, Tottenham and Norwich? Lets just ignore that we're 2nd in the league and beat Liverpool and Chelsea, something we dont typically do during a premier league season. We'll drop points where we didn't last season but we'll pick up points elsewhere also. Overall, we're above a silly spending and supposedly much more talented Chelsea team and a point below a silly spending and supposedly much better City team. Things don't seem too bad to me.
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18/11/2012 23:10:00

Welcome back fcb we've missed your voice of reason. How the champions league going for you lads?
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19/11/2012 08:20:00

On the contrary, my opinion of your team has not changed for several years - it remains that you are seriously in decline due to years of underinvestment. RVP might get you a few goals, but he was a vanity purchase by a manager that is desparate to try and claw back the title from City, and an unnecessary one, as your problems lie in midfield and defence. Playing two players in their late thirties is desparate, and even quite a few of your own fans can recognise that fact. United are poor, they are getting poorer, and you would be mid-table at best without Ferguson bullying and harrasing hiw way to winning games for you. Like I said, I'm not here to argue with you,l feel free to believe what you want. But the demise of united is making me happy.
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19/11/2012 23:31:00


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