Manchester United 3 Norwich City 2
Teemu Pukki equalises for Norwich City at Old Trafford. Getty Images: Jan Kruger

Norwich City travelled to Manchester more in hope than expectation both of a result and of surviving in the Premier League. The Canaries pushed United close but ultimately fell short.

  • Story of the game

Norwich appear to be on the brink of relegation back to the Championship but the character and desire on show at Old Trafford will have pleased their supporters. Despite going two nil down early on they showed tremendous desire to get back into the game. A mistake from Ben Gibson gifted Cristano Ronaldo an easy chance to open the scoring and then in the thirty second minute, the number 7 scored his second, heading home a corner. 

City were always in this game and looked bright going forward for the majority of this game. The visitors opener arrived when a fantastic cross from Teemu Pukki found Kieran Dowell at the back stick and the number 10 slotted beyond David De Gea to reduce the areas just before half time. 

The Canaries were back on level terms when a superb pass from Dowell found Pukki who ran beyond Manchester United's defence and finished deftly inside the near post. Unfortunately Dean Smith's side couldn't quite keep the point they deserved and fell behind again when Ronaldo grabbed his hattrick from a well taken free kick. 

Embed from Getty Images Ronaldo celebrates his hattrick. Getty Images: Jan Kruger

  • Norwich's team and tactics 

Recently, Norwich have returned to the tactics and formation which served previous manager Daniel Farke so well and helped win two Championship titles in three seasons.. Earlier on in his reign, current manager Dean Smith opted for a 4-3-3 formation but in the games against Burnley and Manchester United went for a 4-2-3-1 formation and as a result the team have looked a lot better and a lot more cohesive going forward. Kenny McLean and Mathias Normann complement each other well when playing as a midfield pair, Pierre Lees-Melou has been a revelation played further forward and he along with Kieran Dowell and Milot Rashica get forward well to give Teemu Pukki the chances he thrives on. 

  • Norwich's remaining games 

Norwich have six games remaining and time is running out for what would surely be the greatest of great escapes. They host Newcastle on April 23rd, visit Aston Villa on April 30th before finishing the season with games against West Ham at Carrow Road, a double Midlands header away at Leicester and then Wolves before finishing off against Tottenham on the final day of the season. 

 

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