Manchester United got Ryan Giggs’ tenure as interim manager off to the perfect start with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Norwich at Old Trafford.
A pair of Wayne Rooney goals, the first from the penalty spot, in the minutes immediately before and after half-time set the Reds on their way and another double, from substitute Juan Mata, ensured that the Giggs era began with the victory craved by a packed Old Trafford.
The new boss received a rapturous reception from the supporters more used to seeing him out on the pitch than in the dugout, but a determined Norwich side ensured that his side did not have it all their own way until Rooney broke the deadlock.
Danny Welbeck, partnering Rooney in a 4-4-2 formation, had United’s best chance when his powerful shot from a tight angle forced Canaries’ keeper John Ruddy into a vital save at his near post. But when Welbeck was dragged down in the area by Steven Whittaker, Rooney sent Ruddy the wrong way from 12 yards to open the floodgates.
Rooney doubled the lead just after half-time when he curled the ball in off Ruddy’s left-hand post from outside the area, having been allowed licence to cut across the Norwich defence from the left flank. Welbeck had forced Ruddy into action with a fierce volley and Nemanja Vidic had headed over when Mata put the game out of reach, converting Phil Jones’ cross with a snap-shot from close range.
United’s dominance was confirmed when Mata stooped to nod in a deflected Antonio Valencia effort from inside the six yard box, Rooney was not far from a hat-trick when he looped the ball onto the roof of the net and Javier Hernandez missed a great chance for 5-0 in the closing seconds.