After a dull result against Everton away at Goodison Park, coming into the game Manchester United look to rekindle their top 4 aspirations against a Norwich side destined for relegation. With Manchester United winning the last 12 of the 15 outings against Norwich with a 1-0 victory as recent as the 12th of December 2021 due to a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty in the 75th minute, a result against the Canaries seemed to be all but likely.
As likely as it may have seemed, Norwich made it incredibly difficult for the red devils. After a two goal lead the same old Manchester United showed their true colours by conceding two back-to-back goals inviting pressure to their top 4 aspirations. Ultimately it was the man they refer to as the ‘Goat’ who provided the difference by topping off his fantastic display with his second hat-trick for the season to win the game for the red devils with a 3-2 result, thinly keeping Manchester United’s top 4 dream alive.
Story of the game
As the whistle blew to kick off the first half, it was evident of Manchester United’s intent to play attacking football with the surprising midfield set up of Jesse Lingard, Bruno Fernandes, and Paul Pogba. Due to this style of play from Manchester United, Norwich City looked to play quick counter attacking football with an early chance for the Finland international Teemu Pukki after a brilliant through ball in the 2nd minute which was dealt with well by David De Gea who appeared to come off his line effectively.
Shortly after Norwich’s goal chance, Manchester united went up early on the scoreboard after Anthony Elanga pursued his man into a turnover and impressively lined it up for the once again hero Ronaldo to get the red devils up 1-0. For the large part of the first half Manchester United looked a more cohesive unit, dictating the game with the style of play discussed before the game.
As the Red Devils rolled on into the half, the team looked to be in control of the game with the final ball being the ultimate issue. After consecutive sequences of polished play, the Red Devils added to their tally with a Ronaldo header coming from an Alex Telles corner.
After an impressive showing from the red evils, Norwich piled on the pressure in the last remaining minutes of the half scoring a late goal from a cross played towards the back post by Teemu Pukki, resulting in an open header for Kieran Dowell.
As the Second half started Manchester United looked to persist with their attacking style to expand the score line as Norwich looked to start more slowly in comparison to the last few minutes in the first half. Although it was seen to be Manchester United the team showing more intent it was the Pukki again providing the difference by equalizing after a quick counterattack.
With Manchester United desperate to get the three points Norwich looked to be taking advantage with David de Gea forced to add another collection to #DaveSaves after denying Rashica from a shot that looked destined to hit the back of the net.
After a promising first half Manchester United reverted back to the club we all know too well by giving up an important two goal lead which saw the midfield experiment come to an end with Jesse Lingard being subbed off for the anchor Nemanja Matic.
After a stagnant display in the second half Manchester United looked to their bench, with Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata being the men Ralf Rangnick put faith in to change the game, and oh boy did the game change. After a free kick awarded to Manchester united from a dashing Anthony Elanga run, the stage was set for a hero to change this game, and who better than football greatness Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 37-year-old came to United’s rescue once again putting the red devils up 3-0 whilst capping off a personal hat-trick in the process. As the final whistle blows to a 3-2 victory for the Red Devils, one thing will resonate through fans of the sport worldwide, the man once referred to as a ‘problem’ by pundits and supporters is the best problem we have had all season.