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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 15 November, 2018


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Man United 4-0 Norwich

Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

Team news below…

MAN UNITED: De Gea; Jones, Vidic (c), Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Kagawa; Welbeck, Rooney.

Subs: Lindegaard, Smalling, Mata, Chicharito, Nani, Young, Fletcher.

NORWICH: Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin (c), Turner, Olsson; Johnson; Fer, Howson; Snodgrass; Redmond, van Wolfswinkel.

Subs: Bunn, Hooper, Gutierrez, Elmander, R Bennett, Tettey, Josh Murphy.

Some pre-match reading material for you:

Britain Soccer Premier League Source: AP/Press Association Images

(A merchandise seller stands alongside his stall featuring a mask of interim manager Ryan Giggs.)

So here’s a quick poll for you. Who do you think would be the best choice as the new Man United manager?

Poll Results:

We’re underway…

Good, attacking start by United.

Rooney’s shot is deflected into the path of Valencia, and his cross is blocked for a corner.

The ball is in the back of the United net, but the referee has long since blown his whistle.

Van Wolfswinkel was penalised for nudging Jones, before heading the ball goalwards.

A deep cross in the Norwich area is only half-cleared, and Welbeck’s subsequent shot is parried away for a corner from Ruddy.

It’s been a quiet enough start, but that’s better from United.

United have been the better team without really testing Norwich at the moment.

They’ve dominated possession and pinned the Canaries back into their own half, yet their play lacks the dynamism of the Red Devils at their best.

There are signs that the crowd are growing a little frustrated after 25 minutes.

The hosts are finding a well-organised Norwich team difficult to break down at the moment.

Giggs has already sent Hernandez, Young and Nani to warm up.

The atmosphere is somewhat downbeat, with United giving fans little to cheer about so far.

Norwich look a little devoid of ideas at the moment, and Giggs has left his bench to express his frustration for the first time.

United are conceding possession with increasing regularity, as a sense of desperation begins to creep into their play.

Norwich have yet to have an attempt on goal with just under 40 minutes played. That gives you a sense of the visitors’ lack of ambition.

United, meanwhile, have had seven shots, but only two on target.



Man United 1-0 Norwich: A cross deflects into the path of Welbeck, and he is dragged back by Whittaker.

The referee points to the spot, and Rooney slots the ensuing penalty home with aplomb (40 mins).


So it hasn’t been a vintage display, but United at least currently hold a lead that’s probably just about deserved.

Norwich have been startlingly unambitious throughout, and were orchestrators of their own downfall for the penalty that led to the goal.

The second half has begun…


Man United 2-0 Norwich: The Norwich defence fail to close down Wayne Rooney, and he finds the corner of the net with a powerful strike from outside the box, despite slipping as he shot (48 mins).

Norwich surely need to adopt a more ambitious approach now.

Van Wolfswinkel’s quiet afternoon has come to an end. He’s replaced by Elmander.

Norwich have been relatively lifeless in attack so far.

Snodgrass at least gets an attempt on target for Norwich, but it’s fairly comfortably punched away by De Gea.

Meanwhile, Juan Mata has come on for United. He replaces Welbeck in attack.


Man United 3-0 Norwich: Ruddy parries Rooney’s initial attempt, but Jones’ subsequent cross finds substitute Mata, who taps it home from close range (62 mins).

If there were any doubts before, it’s surely all over now.

Vidic and Snodgrass have just had a disagreement, with the Serb appearing to headbutt his opponent in an innocuous, Alan Pardew-esque fashion.

The United defender is lucky that the referee chooses to essentially ignore the incident.

Gary Hooper has replaced Nathan Redmond for Norwich, but it appears a lost cause at this stage.

It really has been a tepid display from the Canaries.

This is what Mata’s goal looked like:

Meanwhile, Javier Hernandez has replaced Tom Cleverley, with Wayne Rooney set to drop back into central midfield as a result.


Man United 4-0 Norwich: Mata has scored again (72 mins).

The ex-Chelsea player heads home, after Valencia volleys across the face of the goal.

The fact that United have had 11 shots on goal compared with Norwich’s one is fairly indicative of how one-sided this game has been.

The home side have grown in confidence as the game’s developed, perhaps owing to how reticent Norwich have been.

Elmander finds some space on the edge of the box and flashes his shot just wide.

Less than 10 minutes to go now.

Rooney almost chips Ruddy with a good effort from outside the area.

It’s been a while since United’s players have looked so relaxed and confident when playing.

Good effort by Johnson from well outside the area, which De Gea is forced to parry away.

Norwich are belatedly showing some signs of life — it’s just 85 minutes too late.

An Olsson shot from distance takes a wicked deflection, and hits the bar.

Somewhat surprisingly, it’s Norwich who are finishing more strongly here.

Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney has been named Man of the Match.

Mata plays Hernandez through, and the Mexican somehow finds the wrong side of the post.

That’s perhaps indicative of the striker’s lack of confidence right now.


Right, that’s all from me for tonight, but we’ll have more reaction to follow.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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