Thursday, 5 May 2016

Norwich Vs Man Utd


Barclays Premier League | 7 May 2016 | Carrow Road
| Attendance: 27,132 | Scorer: Mata 72'

Manchester United applied pressure on neighbours
City ahead of the Blues' clash with Arsenal on
Sunday thanks to a narrow 1-0 win at Norwich

Juan Mata scored the only goal of the match to
boost the Reds' hopes of qualifying for the
Champions League but compounded the Canaries'
relegation worries.

Despite the importance of the game for both
teams, it was the most low key of opening halves
with precious few moments of excitement. Perhaps
the loss of Anthony Martial in the warm-up, with
the injured Frenchman replaced by midfielder
Ander Herrera, blunted the Reds' attack and Louis
van Gaal's team was further depleted when Matteo
Darmian was forced off on a stretcher early on.
Daley Blind and Marcus Rashford were already
rested for the clash and not included the squad.

There was a clear opportunity as early as the
fourth minute as Cameron Jerome could only steer
a header against David De Gea's knees from point-
blank range following a cross by Nathan Redmond.

However, this failed to set the tone for a
disappointing period as United struggled to make
any headway towards John Ruddy's goal.
A first attempt on goal for the visitors arrived on 29
minutes, when Chris Smalling nodded over Mata's
corner after climbing above Jerome, and it was
followed with the only United shot on target of the
first half, a Jesse Lingard attempt bent tamely into
Ruddy's arms.
Memphis Depay's free-kick straight into the wall
summed up the frustration and the first 45 minutes
dwindled to a close despite three minutes of
stoppage time being played.

Possession: Norwich 38% United 62%
Shots at goal: Norwich 3 United 8
Shots on target: Norwich 1 United 1
Corners: Norwich 1 United 3

Herrera slipped as he volleyed a penetrative pass
from Mata wide as van Gaal's men started the
second period with more thrust, without testing
Ruddy. Norwich did manage sights of goal as Gary
O'Neil sliced a speculative shot wide and Jerome
mistimed a header before the breakthrough arrived
at the other end with 18 minutes left.

Antonio Valencia's ball over the top was misjudged
by Sebastien Bassong and Rooney advanced
towards goal. The captain had to check inside both
Russell Martin and Bassong but had the presence
of mind to lay the ball into the path of Mata, who
arrived on cue to steer home a side-footed finish.

Jerome sent another header wide but substitute
Morgan Schneiderlin should have made the points
safe on 85 minutes, instead firing wide after being
sent clear by Rooney's precise pass. Memphis
curled a free-kick just the wrong side of Ruddy's
right-hand post and Herrera fired over in stoppage
time as the visitors remained in control. The hard-
fought success may not have been pretty but it
means United will head to West Ham on Tuesday
will all still to play for in the race for a top-four

Possession: Norwich 33% United 67%
Shots at goal: Norwich 8 United 14
Shots on target: Norwich 2 United 2
Corners: Norwich 1 United 6

United: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Darmian
(Borthwick-Jackson 12); Carrick (Fosu-Mensah
88), Herrera; Mata, Lingard (Schneiderlin 78),
Memphis; Rooney.
Subs not used: Romero, McNair, Januzaj.

Norwich: Ruddy; Pinto, Martin, Bassong, Olsson;
Redmond, Howson (Dorrans 78), O'Neil, Brady
(Mbokani 63); Hoolahan; Jerome (Bamford 78).
Subs not used: Rudd, Whittaker, Jarvis, Naismith.
Booked: O'Neil.

"It's so important that we are still in business and
we keep in business by keeping the pressure on
our competitors. I'm very happy. I'm, more or less,
a Gunners fan tomorrow!" - Louis van Gaal

"The fans have had a difficult season - hopefully
we can get in the top four and win the FA Cup for
them." - Juan Mata

"We will recover on Sunday and hopefully City v
Arsenal will go in our favour. Then it's down to us."
- Chris Smalling


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