The game started very poorly but Odion Ighalo gave United the lead after 51 minutes with a poacher’s finish in the box. Todd Cantwell brought Norwich level with 15 minutes to go, firing past Sergio Romero from over 20 yards out.
At the end of regulation time, Timm Klose was shown a straight red for pulling Ighalo down when through on goal. That meant extra-time was an attack vs defence exercise, but with two minutes to go Harry Maguire stabbed home the winner from six yards out.
Uneventful first half
The first half passed by with very little to take notice of. Norwich looked the livelier of the two sides, and very nearly took the lead just before the break. After promising play down the left, the ball was pulled back for Lukas Rupp 10 yards out, but his shot was straight at Maguire and the danger was cleared.
Norwich’s full backs were impressive in the first half, getting forward at every opportunity and trying to feed Teemu Pukki as best they could. Assuming the Canaries get relegated this season, keeping Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis (who are only 20 and 22 respectively) at the club could give them a great chance of coming straight back to the Premier League.
United had a swagger and an air of confidence in the 3-0 victory over Sheffield United, but their first half display at Carrow Road had an air of complacency. They seemed to be strolling around and waiting for something to happen. As has become the custom since late January, it was Bruno Fernandes who looked the liveliest. His quick passing presented a couple of half chances for United, but nothing clear cut.
The second half began with a decent chance for each team. A delightful pass from Fred saw Fernandes miscue a scissor kick from close range. Norwich then worked their way well down the left, but Cantwell was tackled in the box by Eric Bailly.
United finally made the breakthrough in the 51st minute thanks to Ighalo. 4th in 4. A Luke Shaw cross was deflected up in the air and as it came down, Ighalo calmly poked it past a static Tim Krul. That goal was the Nigerian’s fourth in four starts.
In the 69th minute, a Norwich free kick seemed destined for the net, but was somehow cleared off the line by Norwich defender Ben Godfrey. Replays showed he would’ve been offside, but the ball hit his left shoulder and bounced clear.
Norwich pulled level through Cantwell with 15 minutes to play. The ball was neatly worked to the edge of the box and he unleashed a swerving low drive past Sergio Romero.
The goal prompted Solskjaer to bring Paul Pogba on, who immediately released Mason Greenwood down the right. He cut inside and hit a vicious shot just wide of the top left corner. It was Norwich he then piled on the pressure and created a couple of presentable opportunities.
Klose was then sent off in the 88th minute after pulling Ighalo down as he bore down on goal. He was released by a wonderful Fernandes flick. The regulation time ended with a great double save from Krul.
Attack vs defence in extra time
The first half of extra time was a training exercise, with Norwich camped in the final third. United passed and probed but failed to create any clear openings.
The first big chance of the second half came when Krul clawed a Maguire header off the line at the far post. A series of half chances were created by United but the ball just wouldn’t sit right for anyone.
The breakthrough finally came through Maguire with three minutes left to play. Pogba played a lovely chipped ball into the box which Ighalo tried to lay into the path of a teammate. It broke favourably and Maguire stabbed home from six yards.
Man of the match
Despite looking a bit suspect for United’s opening goal, Krul made a number of extremely impressive saves during extra time. He denied Maguire on the line, and fended multiple Fernandes shots away. As a goalkeeper who is known for his penalty saving abilities, it was impressive the way he put that out his head and did everything he could to get his side to spot kicks.