Norwich City 1-2 Manchester United


Welshman Ryan Giggs scored the winning goal two minutes into stoppage time with a controlled finish


By Alex Byrom
Deputy Football Editor reporting from Carrow Road 

Ryan Giggs on his 900th appearence for Manchester United scored the winner two minutes into injury time to win a pulsating match with Norwich and close the gap on neighbours City back to two points.

Giggs tapped in at the far post from an inviting cross from substitiute Ashley Young after Danny Welbeck had missed a great chance to restore United's lead after a fantastic strike by Norwich striker Grant Holt.

Norwich made three changes with Zak Whitbread fit enough to return in defence. Ruddy returned in goal and David Fox replaced Hoolahan in midfield.

United made seven changes from the defeat by Ajax on Thursday with only De Gea, Jones, Nani and Hernandez keeping their places.


Left back Adam Drury for Norwich was the sole survivor from the teams' last meeting: Norwich's 1-0 win in May 2005 when they had already been relegated.

United started brightly with Giggs volleying over with just five minutes in the clock from Jones's cross. The youngster wasn't even born when Giggs made his debut 21 years' ago. But his neat flick found Nani, who was given time to measure a cross which found its way through to another golden oldie: Paul Scholes - who nodded in unmarked at the back post.

The visitors were coming forward at will and seemed it would take a miracle to keep Norwich in the game. And so it proved. John Ruddy somehow tipped Danny Welbeck's shot around the post to stop the Champions moving out of sight.

It was a tale of two keepers as David De Gea kept United in front for long spells. In the first half, after a neat move, he saved Pilkington, who missed two golden opportunities at Old Trafford in October, saw the Spaniard keep his out his shot with his legs.

Moments later he made a great catch from in form Grant Holt's clever flicked header. He was commanding his defence well and although there wasn't many crosses he dealt with the ones he had to with ease.


Ryan Giggs also scored in Manchester United's last Premier League win at Norwich in October 1994 - a 3-1 win.

In the second half Norwich dominated but the Reds always looked threatening on the break. Welbeck should have had the game sewn up. A lovely one-two with Giggs - switched to a free role - but the young England striker's flick was cleared off the line by Whitbread.

The only wayward pass of the afternoon by Scholes ended with Norwich level with substitute Aaron Wilbraham's thunderous shot, which was brilliantly tipped away by De Gea for a corner.

The young Spanish U21 international goalkeeper then did well to punch the corner away, and United thought they had averted the danger with the clearence. But Adam Drury's long pass found Holt, who neatly took it on his chest, spun, and fired into the top corner giving De Gea no chance.

United came alive with Giggs's cross which should have been headed in by Welbeck but he missed it completeley. And just when Norwich thought they'd done enough for a point, Ashley Young's pinpoint cross found the unmarked Giggs to flick home through Ruddy's legs for his 107th Premier League goal and send United players, staff and fans into delirium.

Alex Byrom
The Football Site-  Referees Editor

"It was a fantastic game to watch for everybody involved with Norwich pushing Manchester United all the way right to the final minute. If Paul Lambert was being brutally honest, he will probably admit that he was expecting the late winner from the never-say-die United who stay in a positive frame of mind all the time and don't panic. Although Norwich had probably deserved a point from the match for the way they went about their business and their equaliser was quite special from captain marvel Grant Holt. But the qualities that United possess in those closing stages of games is what separates them from the rest season in season out. That is how they win titles. The old stalwarts Scholes, Giggs and Alex Ferguson hold the key and helped the side over the line."



Sunday 26th February 2012

Barclays Premier League

Carrow Road


Norwich City 1-2 Manchester United                   KO 1:30pm             (HT 0-1)

Holt 83              Scholes 7
                       Giggs 90+2


Norwich City:  01. Ruddy 7.5/10, 25. Naughton 5.5/10, 06. Whitbread 8/10, 22. Ward 6.5/10, 03. Drury 5.5/10, 04. Johnson 6/10 (E Bennett 63 4/10), 11. Surman 7.5/10, 12. Pilkington 6/10 (Wilbraham 70 5.5/10), 15. Fox 6/10, 10. Jackson 4.5/10 (Hoolahan 45 5.5/10), 09. Holt (C) 8/10.

Subs not used: 31. Steer, 20. Barnett, 07. Crofts, 05. Morison

Booked:      Johnson (9)


Manchester United: 01. De Gea 9/10, 04. Jones 6/10, 06. Evans 8/10, 05. Ferdinand 8.5/10, 03. Evra (C) 6.5/10, 17. Nani 8/10, 16. Carrick 6.5/10, 22. Scholes 7.5/10, 11. Giggs 9.5/10 (Smalling 90+2), 14. Hernandez 6.5/10 (Young 63 5/10), 19. Welbeck 8/10.

Subs not used: 40. Amos, 20. Fabio, 21. Rafael, 13. Park, 09. Berbatov

Booked:      Evans (48), Ferdinand (90+3)


My Man of the Match:      Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)- Rating 9.5/10

My Poorest Performer of the Match:      Simeon Jackson (Norwich)- Rating 4.5/10


Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)- 7.5/10
Attendance: 26,811



Match Facts:

Possession: Norwich City- 52%             Manchester United- 48%

Shots: Norwich City- 16                  Manchester United- 11

Shots on target: Norwich City- 7               Manchester United- 9

Shots off target: Norwich City- 9               Manchester United- 2

Corners: Norwich City- 4                       Manchester United- 4

Fouls: Norwich City- 9                     Manchester United- 10

Offside: Norwich City- 3                    Manchester United- 6

Assists: Norwich City- Wilbraham                 Manchester United- Nani, Young


Norwich City manager Paul Lambert

"We were excellent in all departments I thought, we were fantastic we really were but that's what happens against (Manchester) United. It's what they are renowned for doing. They've done that for years and years in the Premier League to all teams and that's why there the best in the business. We were running on an empty tank and running out of ideas and energy at the end but we put in a massive effort so it is all that could be expected. We were always going to be tested on mental strength and physical conditions but it was a real match for the players to see how far away they are from such levels. There is nothing to be ashamed of in losing the match today, we gave a really good account of ourselves and I couldn't be more proud of the way the lads conducted themselves out there on the pitch against some of the best in the business. Ryan Giggs was outstanding today and that's what he is all about popping up at the end. He is one of the best players I have ever seen, still doing it at such at an old age and I have nothing but admiration for the lad."

Click here for the full post-match interview with Canaries boss Paul Lambert



Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

"Norwich deserved a point today without doubt. I thought they made it really difficult for us and pressed us all over the park for most of the game. They put in a really good performance for their supporters and gave it a good go which they do in every match to be fair and Paul (Lambert) has done a splendid job I tell you. It was a great goal they scored as well through Holt, but at that moment you saw us as Manchester United and what we have done on countless occasions. I am sure this result will have an impact on the season because it was incredibly important for us to come here and get a result- it was a very hard game to come through with three points. Everyone knows we never give in and play without panic, no matter who plays us, they know they will have to play right to the death. Ryan (Giggs) and Paul (Scholes) epitomise what we have done over the last twenty years and the success of this football club, they just seek to amaze people and me included. There will never be players like these again. They are Manchester United through and through and we hope they can still provide more for us between now and the end of the season."  

Click here for the post-match thoughts of Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson


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