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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 27 May, 2020


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On the day when Leicester are crowned Premier League champions (!), there’s still plenty to play for.

Manchester United make the long trip east to Carrow Road aiming for a win that will keep their Champions league dream alive.

Norwich, of course, are fighting for their lives.

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Robbie Brady and Weso start for the home side:

Norwich: Ruddy, Ivo Pinto, Martin, Bassong, Olsson, Redmond, O’Neil, Howson, Brady, Hoolahan, Jerome.

Subs: Whittaker, Naismith, Mbokani, Bamford, Rudd, Jarvis, Dorrans.

Man Utd: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Darmian, Carrick, Lingard, Mata, Rooney, Depay, Martial.

Subs: Januzaj, Romero, Ander Herrera, Schneiderlin, McNair, Borthwick-Jackson, Fosu-Mensah.


Anthony Martial will not start. The Frenchman pulled up in the warm up with a groin injury — it looks like — and Ander Herrara gets the nod. Anthony Rashford has been left at home for a rest.

Paul Scholes is getting stuck into LVG for that decision to leave Rashford at home. “I don’t understand it.”


It’s actually a hamstring that’s done for Martial.


Letsbehavinya! The Carrow Road crowd are in fine voice… are we’re up and running.


Van Gaal’s 100th game in charge starts in a familiar way with Memphis overhitting a cross and a good move comes to nothing.


The heatwave we were promised may not have materialised where you are, meanwhile, but it’s the hottest day of the year in East Anglia.


Ireland’s Robbie Brady drives at the United defence in what is a great run that results in a corner. Cameron Jerome turns it goalwards but it’s cleared.

As I type, Redmond stands the ball up for Jerome but he heads straight at De Gea. The United defence are under big pressure here.


Rooney makes a good run down the left and finds Juan Mata for the first time in the box. The Spanish playmaker can’t gather the ball and ends up giving away a free out.


Darmian’s in some discomfort after a nasty knock and he looks in a lot of pain. Owen Hargreaves, with his injury experience, is quick to diagnose it form the gantry as an achilles issue.


Darmian’s off the pitch waiting for a stretcher for the last five minutes. He’ll be replaced by Borthwick-Jackson momentarily.

The Italian, of course, will be worried about his participation in the Euros. Ireland’s group rivals have lost a few players to injury already.

This day isn’t going well for Van Gaal and co so far, is it?


Norwich City v Manchester United - Barclays Premier League - Carrow Road Norwich City majority shareholder Delia Smith shows her support in the stands. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images


Valencia and Mata almost carved open the Canaries’ back four but the Spaniard’s return pass was cut out at the near post. 20 minutes gone now.


Good move again by the home side but O’Neill is slow to get a shot away and it’s cut out. The Canaries have worked the ball forward well — especially through the likes of Brady and Wessi — but they’re really lacking a good striker, aren’t they?


Big chance! Smalling heads over from a corner! He should have stuck that one.

The England centre half attacked it well though.


10 minutes to half time and there’s a bit of a lull here. A draw is no good for either side really — for different reasons — which at least ensures us an entertaining second half, if they go in scoreless at the break.


There’s no Fellaini today at Carrow Road, thanks to his ugly tussle with Leicester City defender Robert Huth last week.

Elsewhere, the big German is preparing for his side’s trophy presentation:

Well played.


Norwich break to much encouragement from the home crowd. Jerome steams into the box and goes down under a tackle from Borthwick-Jackson but the half-hearted penalty claims are waved away.


The BT cameras have shown a tusssle between Jerome and Rojo while the ball was up the other end. Nothing too nasty though, before it was broken up by Smalling.


What did you make of that then?


Right, we’ve had the cup of tea, half a Twix and we’re back up and running at Carrow Road. This is going to be a big half of football for these two sides and their managers.


Good work and an opening from United.

Mata picked out Herrara and the Basque midfielder took it on the turn but shot into the side netting.

‘He had more time than he realised’ is the consensus from the BT Sport team.


Both these sides really have to up the tempo or change things around here. We’re almost an hour in, both teams need a win and yet there’s not a whole lot of endeavour on show here.


Alex Neil is going to change things up. Dieumerci Mbokani is ready to be introduced but will it be Jerome trotting off or is the Scot going to go for it with two strikers?


It’s the end of Robbie Brady’s afternoon. The Dubliner has been replaced by the aforementioned Congolese forward.

“I wouldn’t have taken him off,” says Owen Hargreaves, ominously.



That is a big, big goal.

Bassong made a bad mistake at the back in missing a header, Rooney got in on goal but played it for Mata when Bassong recovered and the Spanish international first-times it home.


Another Memphis cross over the stand…


Boro and Brighton have drawn 1-1 and the Riverside crowd is celebrating a return to the Premier League.

Chris Hughton’s side will have to go through the playoffs.

Anyone got Ravenelli’s number?


Five minutes to go at Carrow Road and the Canaries are going without a fight it seems.

Van Gaal is preparing to introduce Fosu Mensah. Janusaj had his tracksuit top off and was getting ready to go on — for the second time remember — but was unceremoniously sent back to his seat, much to the amusement of Anthony Martial.


We’re into the last few minutes. Juan Mata’s been awarded man-of-the-match.


Four minutes into a five-minute period of added time.


Man Utd move to within a point of the Champions League places while Norwich look on the brink.

Chris Sutton says the Canaries are down now but this is how it looks down there:


Thanks for your company. It wasn’t the end-to-end, loser-leaves-town tie we anticipated but there you go.

Keep those comments coming after what’s a significant result for the complexion of the table at the top and bottom.

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