Marcus Rashford celebrates in front of the Stretford End.

Manchester United 4 Norwich City 0

Saturday 11 January 2020 16:56

Manchester United’s strikeforce did the damage as the Reds cruised to a 4-0 victory against Norwich City in the rain at Old Trafford.

Marcus Rashford helped himself to two goals, one from the penalty spot, before Anthony Martial headed a third, and substitute Mason Greenwood completed a good day for the hit-men department with the icing on the cake.

It was a comfortable triumph for the Reds and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have been pleased that all his strikers had confidence-boosting goals as United demolished the Premier League strugglers.

Rashford had been an entertaining figure in the early minutes as he dug deep into his repertoire of dazzling footwork skills that bamboozled his Norwich markers.

Those moments were the highlights of a mixed start but, of course, Rashford has clinical and predatory talents in his armoury. It was the Mancunian’s ability to spot an opportunity that led to the breakthrough in the 27th minute.

If the top scorer was the executioner, then Juan Mata was certainly the architect. The little Spaniard spotted Rashford hovering near the back post and, as he made his move, Mata delivered a killer cross that the striker steered in with his left boot for his 63rd United senior goal to mark his 200th-appearance milestone.

The Premier League’s bottom club were dogged, but not dangerous, and the Reds were able to build their attacks patiently.

However, United were not able to worry Canaries keeper Tim Krul enough to add to Rashford’s goal in the first half and David De Gea’s only save, just two minutes before the interval, was a vital one to stop Todd Cantwell from curling in a shock equaliser.

Brandon Williams had been hurting Norwich almost every time he was on the ball in the first half and it was one of his marauding left-flank runs that enabled United to go 2-0 up after 52 minutes. Rashford had sent him on his way with a ball into the 19-year-old’s run and goalkeeper Krul came charging out and brought the defender down in the box.

Referee Anthony Taylor needed no VAR or second glimpses at TV monitors to give the spot-kick and Rashford drilled in from 12 yards out, past a keeper who saved two penalties in the reverse fixture.

If United had been a little sluggish in the first period, we were rampant just after the break, and made it 3-0 when Mata’s cross was met by a leaping header from Martial. A quick corner led to the opening, with the visitors caught napping.

The impressive Williams was, however, left holding his head and cursing after he failed to make it 4-0 during a blistering spell. A rapid attack saw the teenager arrive on the end of a drilled low cross by Andreas, but he blazed the ball over the bar from close range as the Stretford End prepared to celebrate a fourth.

Greenwood had been on just four minutes, in place of Andreas, when he was adding to his senior goal stats. His ninth strike this season came as he picked up a loose headed clearance and struck a sweet low shot past Krul with his left foot, in the 75th minute.

Although the crowd bayed for more goals, Norwich enjoyed a brighter spell and at least warmed De Gea's hands with a couple of shots from distance.

Mata fired into the side-netting from a lovely pass by sub Angel Gomes in stoppage time as the Reds picked up a comfortable victory ahead of Wednesday's Emirates FA Cup replay with Wolves.

Mason Greenwood makes it 4-0 after coming off the bench to good effect.


United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire (c), Williams, Fred, Matic; Andreas (Greenwood 71), Mata, Rashford (James 59); Martial (Gomes 79).

Subs not used: Grant, Dalot, Jones, Chong. 

Goals: Rashford 27, 52 (pen), Martial 54, Greenwood 75

Norwich: Krul, Aarons, Hanley (c) (Lewis 79), Zimmermann, Byram, Tettey, Vrancic (Amadou 64), Buendia, McLean, Cantwell, Idah (Hernandez 64).

Subs not used: Fahrmann, Trybull, Stiepermann,  Leitner.