Talking Points: United v Norwich
Manchester United put Norwich City to the sword on Saturday, when we beat the Canaries 4-0 at Old Trafford.
The emphatic victory was the perfect response to the Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester City in midweek, and we’ve rounded up some of the topics of conversation afterwards...
REDS GRAB FOUR
The 4-0 victory means it was our biggest Premier League win since the opening day of the season, when we beat Chelsea by the same scoreline. It’s also the fourth time we’ve netted four at home this season, the others coming against Newcastle United (4-1) and AZ Alkmaar (4-0, in the Europa League). The comprehensive victory was our joint-largest winning margin against Norwich in the Premier League - we also beat the Canaries 4-0 in 2013 and 2014.
MILESTONES FOR RASHFORD & FRED
It was a significant afternoon for United duo Rashford and Fred on Saturday, with both reaching notable landmarks. The former played his 200th game for the Reds and, in doing so, became the fourth-youngest player to reach a double century of appearances - only Norman Whiteside, Ryan Giggs and George Best got there quicker than our.10.
As for Fred, he played his 50th game for United and marked it with a solid performance in the centre of the park, alongside Nemanja Matic.
NERVES OF STEEL FROM MARCUS
Tim Krul made much of the headlines last time we played Norwich, despite the Dutch goalkeeper conceding three during that clash in October. The keeper pulled off two penalty saves in Norfolk, to deny Rashford and Martial respectfully in our 3-1 victory at Carrow Road.
Therefore, all eyes were on Marcus when we earned a spot-kick at the start of the second period, yet the striker calmly slotted the ball to Krul’s left-hand side. The inch-perfect penalty gave the former Newcastle no.1 no chance and, once again, showed Rashford’s composure and unflappable mindset.
Reds silence CanariesGallery
Flick through the best snaps from our emphatic victory over Norwich City.
The Reds started the match with a front four of Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Rashford and Martial and they combined with devastating affect. With Mata on the right wing and Marcus on the left, both players regularly cut inside on their stronger foot - not least for our opening goal, when Juan picked out our no.10 at the back post. The pair moving inside freed up room for our full-backs to advance forward, while Andreas and Martial were also more than happy to drift into the wide areas. It meant United were a formidable force in the offensive areas and Norwich simply could not deal with our movement.
Juan hadn’t started any of our last seven Premier League games, but was selected from the off on Saturday. The Spaniard’s experience meant he was always likely to slip seamlessly into the side and, on top of that, his range of passing was excellent.
The 31-year-old provided perhaps the game’s clinching moment, when his outstanding cross landed perfectly on the head of Martial, for our striker to nod home our third goal. It was an all-round excellent display from our no.8, who competed 90 minutes for the first time in the league this season.
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