Norwich 1 Manchester United 3
Manchester United emerged with a well-earned 3-1 victory from Sunday’s Premier League clash with Norwich City.
The game’s early moments were an indication of what was in store at Carrow Road, with plenty of entertaining, attacking football, and it was the hosts who created the first real chance of note in the fifth minute.
Right-back Max Aarons bounded down the wing and his side-footed cross was met by Todd Cantwell coming in from the opposite flank. However, the midfielder’s shot sailed just over David De Gea’s crossbar.
Soon after, the Reds created a similar chance, with Andreas Pereira’s curling effort flashing past Tim Krul’s far post.
The Dutch goalkeeper had his work cut out in the home goal and produced a save-of-the-season contender to deny Martial moments later. The ball was flicked on from a corner and our no.9 turned the ball towards goal, yet, somehow, Krul’s outstretched arm kept the ball out from point-blank range with a superb reaction stop.
However, he could do nothing to stop McTominay netting soon after. After the ball was kept alive in the Norwich box, our midfielder reacted ahead of Cantwell to a bouncing ball and swivelled then blasted it into the bottom corner to open the scoring.
The United onslaught didn’t stop after that and, almost immediately, the Reds earned a penalty. Quick as ever, Daniel James picked the ball up in the centre of pitch and ran at Norwich defence, before eventually being taken down in the box by Ben Godfrey.
Initially, referee Stuart Attwell didn’t award the spot-kick but, after what felt like an age, the VAR officials in Stockley Park gave the penalty and Rashford stood over the ball. The striker shot too close to Krul and the keeper made the save to deny a second goal.
The Academy graduate would not let that disappointment sour his afternoon and, within minutes, he doubled our lead. James found Rashford with an excellent pass that presented him with a one-on-one chance and he slipped the ball through Krul's legs, to the delight of the travelling fans.
Norwich then enjoyed a brief flurry of chances with Aaron Wan-Bissaka's sliding challenge stopping a shooting opportunity for the Canaries, before De Gea was forced to tip over Cantwell’s dipping effort.
The Reds were still on top, however, with the variety and speed of our attacks proving too much for Norwich to deal with.
With half-time on the cards, Fred tried his luck from outside the area after a corner was cleared. The referee deferred again to VAR, this time to judge whether the ball had hit Cantwell’s arm.
Story of the match gallery
Take a look at the best images after a wonderful afternoon for United in East Anglia.
Emiliano Buendia then went close just moments before the referee’s half-time whistle, but the Argentinian’s shot hit United’s side netting.
The second half started with the same level of rigour and purpose, with Teemu Pukki putting the ball over the bar in the first few minutes. But United were still the most dangerous side, especially when our rapid attackers were given the opportunity to fly at the Norwich defence.
Krul was on hand again to deny Martial, after he was played though by James, and Rashford headed over.
After such a frenetic start, the pace dissipated a little around the hour mark, with the Reds managing the game well and creating the majority of chances.
The third goal came not long after, again courtesy of our direct and lightning fast attack. United launched a raid with devastating effect, once Ashley Young won the ball, and Rashford’s neat backheel presented Martial with a tight angle to score from.
But, the 23-year-old just knows where the back of the net is and he managed to dink a cute finish over Krul and effectively secure the three points for the Reds.
The game continued in the same ferocious manner and, late on, Norwich were reduced to 10 men when Ibrahim Amadou was forced off with injury after Daniel Farke’s men had already used all three substitutes.
On what was a disappointing afternoon for the Canaries, the home supporters were given something to cheer just before the end of normal time, when Onel Hernandez, who was introduced at the break, managed to put the ball in the bottom corner of De Gea’s net.
Thankfully, Norwich’s revival proved too little, too late, although they ended the match on top and Hernandez came close to grabbing a second. However, Mason Greenwood should have scored at the other end, after being teed up by fellow substitute Jesse Lingard, but Krul saved with his legs.
The Reds comfortably held out to earn a first away win of the season and close the gap to our top-four rivals by leaping to seventh place in the table.
Norwich: Krul; Aarons, Amadou, Godfrey, Lewis (Byram 66); Tettey, McLean; Buendia, Leitner (Stiepermann 45), Cantwell (Hernandez 45); Pukki.
Subs not used: McGovern, Trybull, Drmic, Srbeny.
Booked: Godfrey, Aarons.
United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young (c); McTominay, Fred; James (Lingard 80), Andreas (Garner 82), Rashford; Martial (Greenwood 75).
Subs not used: Romero, Rojo, Williams, Mata.
Goals: McTominay 21, Rashford 30, Martial 73.
Booked: Wan-Bissaka, Young.
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