Manchester Utd scrape past Norwich

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Updated: October 1, 2011

Manchester United recorded a 2-0 victory over a dogged Norwich side on Saturday. Norwich defended well and has a number of gilt-edged chances, but second half goals from Anderson and Danny Welbeck gave United the win.

United dominated possession throughout the match but struggled to create opportunities in the first half.

Norwich had the first decent chance of the match when Leon Bennett ghosted past two United defenders and got to the byline. Unfortunately for Norwich, the defender could not pick out a teammate and Phil Jones cleared.

United kept possession well during the opening half an hour but could not break down the Norwich defence. Evra had the only half chance for the champions, when he got free in the Norwich box after some good movement from Rooney. The Frenchman’s shot was blocked, however.

The only real chance of the half fell to Wayne Rooney, but the striker headed a Nani cross over.

The second half saw United increase their tempo and threaten the Norwich defence, while the Canaries looked dangerous on the counter attack.

The first chance of the half fell to Anderson. Rooney found the Brazilian with a deft through ball. Anderson switched the ball onto his left foot but slipped as he shot and the ball went tamely wide.

Morison got behind the United defence in the 52nd minute. The Norwich man had the chance to play in Hoolahan, but Morison held on to the ball too long and was dispossessed by Phil Jones.

Anthony Pilkington almost gave Norwich the lead two minutes later. Pilkington took the ball past Jones before unleashing a shot. The ball deflected off Jonny Evans and Anders Lindegaard made an accomplished save.

Norwich’s best chance of the match fell to Pilkington in the 65th minute. Valencia fell over and gifted the ball to Pilkington. The Norwich man was one-on-one with Lindegaard inside the United box, but Plkington shot wide.

The miss proved to be very costly for the Canaries as United took the lead three minutes later. Giggs took a corner, which was headed into the middle of the box. Rooney headed the ball on and Anderson headed home from five yards. Norwich had defended brilliantly, but Paul Lambert will be disappointed that his side lost three headers in their own penalty box.

United were lucky to keep the lead as Norwich hit the post in the 74th minute. Pilkington shot and the ball took a major deflection off Anderson. Lindegaard was left stranded but the ball hit the post and bounced into the keeper’s hands.

The Manchester side almost doubled their lead three minutes later. Phil Jones played a brilliant cross into the six yard box and Welbeck stretched for the ball but his shot went wide.

Rooney then beat his marker in the 80th minute and shot just wide from a difficult angle. The striker then tried to chip the keeper two minutes later when he could have played in Welbeck.

Norwich continued to attack and had another chance in the 84th minute. Morison played a one-two with Hoolahan, which left Morison unmarked in the United box. Morison’s shot was poor, however, and was blocked by Rio Ferdinand.

Danny Welbeck secured the victory for United in the 87th minute. Welbeck played in Park in the box. The Korean held up the ball and passed back to Welbeck, who finished into an empty net.

Rooney should have made it three in the second minute of injury time. The striker was behind the Norwich defence with only Ruddy to beat. Rather than going for the easy finish, Rooney tried to chip Ruddy and the ball went wide.

A third goal would have been unfair on Norwich, however, as Lambert’s men could have gotten a positive result on another day.

Manchester United remain first in the Premier League on goal difference, while Norwich drop to tenth.

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