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17 November 2012
• Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk
Referee: A. Taylor
• Attendance: 26840
A. Pilkington 60'
Norwich City knock Manchester United off the top of the table with a superb win at Carrow Road. The Canaries were organised in defence and ambitious in attack against a United side which lacked imagination and inventiveness going forward. It's a massive result for Norwich and also a huge result for Manchester City, who also saw Chelsea lose away to West Brom.
FULL-TIME: Norwich 1-0 Manchester United
90' + 5'
Another great save from Ruddy! Welbeck fires a shot at goal which Ruddy parries away, the keeper then beats Scholes to the loose ball!
90' + 3'
United continue to bombard the box with aerial balls but Norwich are standing firm and defending with both brains and brawn.
90' + 3'
WHAT A SAVE! Last gasp stop from Ruddy to deny Van Persie's header! What a huge contribution from the keeper!
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Rafael
90' + 2'
Steve Morison earns Norwich a throw-in deep inside the United half. The Carrow Road faithful can almost smell the three points!
90' + 1'
What a chance! The game is there for the taking! Howson is put in one-on-one from a swift Norwich break but the substitute drags his shot horribly wide of the mark. What a let off for United. Four minutes to be added on!
Pilkington tests Lindegaard with an awkward right-footed effort after cutting in from the left flank. Very calm and composed from Hughton's side, when most sides would fear the inevitable United comeback.
Into the final five minutes and it's now or never for Manchester United, but Norwich look as comfortable now as they have all game. Infact, the Canaries look just as likely to score themselves with a counterattack.
Rio Ferdinand is replaced with Anderson for United. All out attack from Sir Alex Ferguson, needs must.
Ashley Young delivers an inviting cross towards the back post for Ryan Giggs but Whittaker is alert to the danger and does well to intervene.
It's backs against the wall for Norwich now. A wall of green and yellow stands between Manchester United and John Ruddy. Johnson does well to earn a cheap free kick in his own half to provide some respite for the hosts.
Oliver Platt reports from Carrow Road: "Manchester United are slowly beginning to advance higher and higher up the pitch, with Paul Scholes now dictating matters from the middle of the park. Norwich are going to need to defend as well as they have done so far for the final 20 minutes, but they should receive more opportunities to break forward on the counterattack."
Chance! Danny Welbeck has the run on Tettey, to get up and meet Young's cross but he sends his header just wide of the post!
Grant Holt's hold up play is superb against Rio Ferdinand. Hoolahan and Johnson come up in support and Norwich earn a free kick as a result of Rafael's needless challenge. Invaluable play from the big man up top.
Sir Alex is up on the touchline waving his arms in frustration. His side have shown some extra impetus since the substitutions, they have just under 20 minutes to turn this around.
Valencia and Chicharito make way for Welbeck and Scholes. Chicharito in particular has had a very ineffective evening.
Sir Alex Ferguson turns to Paul Scholes as he looks for a way back into the match. The midfielder scored in this fixture last season and his introduction is imminent.
Dare I say it, Manchester United are looking toothless in attack at the moment. We have definitely been here before, can the Canaries stay in front?
Norwich are all over United at the moment! Pilkington turns Carrick inside out before firing a cross across the goal. The fans are buzzing and it seems to be rubbing off on the players.
Assist Javier Garrido
Goal Anthony Pilkington
GOAL! Can't say they didn't deserve it! A superb cross from Garrido is met with an even better header which loops over Lindegaard into the far post off of Pilkington's head at the front stick. Great goal from Norwich and Carrow Road has erupted!
Clever play from Rafael to roll past once challenge and then skip past another into the box. Would have been one heck of a goal but a Norwich defender manages to block the Brazilian's shot.
The Carrow Road crowd are beginning to make some noise now as the Norwich players give them something to shout about, encouraging stuff for the Canaries.
Great spell of possession from the hosts, with almost every player enjoying several touches of the ball. The move eventually ends with Garrido failing to pick out Grant Holt with a cross from the byeline.
Some determined play from Snodgrass earns him a free kick against Patrice Evra in a dangerous position on the right flank. Lindegaard completely misses the cross taken by Snodgrass, but United get the ball away to spare his blushes.
Another decent stop from Ruddy from what was a tame finish from Robin van Persie. A ball over the top finds the striker in the box, but Turner sends him out wide and the United man has to take the shot on the turn.
Catching practise for John Ruddy. Valencia has a chance to deliver an early cross but hesitates and eventually floats a harmless cross into the arms of the Norwich keeper.
Manchester United take the kick-off to get us underway in the second period.
Goal.com's Oliver Platt reports from Carrow Road: "That was a good half of football for Norwich but you fear, on the Canaries' part, that Manchester United will not be that poor once Sir Alex Ferguson has had a word with them at half-time. The Red Devils found their wide players struggle against strong Norwich marking and if the Canaries had been a bit more positive in taking the initiative, they would probably be ahead. They went very close twice through Javier Garrido and Grant Holt."
HALF-TIME: Norwich 0-0 Manchester United
45' + 1'
Rafael wins the ball for United in midfield and attempts to pick out Ashley Young in acres of space on the left flank. A poor pass in the end from the Brazilian as the visitors threatened to carve open the hosts.
Great save! United are turning it on now. Ashley Young is on the end of Van Persie's corner at the back post and his low volley is well turned past the post by Ruddy. Good stuff from the Norwich stopper, who then catches confidently from the resulting corner.
What a chance! Ryan Giggs floats a beauty of a pass over Bassong and into Van Persie. The Dutchman allows the ball to drop over his shoulder but uncharacteristically takes his eye off it momentarily and the chance is gone. Let off for the Canaries who would have felt very hard done by conceding then.
Best chance of the game! Snodgrass does really well to beat Ferdinand and deliver an inviting cross in the box, but Chris Smalling does equally as well to deny Grant Holt the chance to poke it past Lindegaard.
Another comfortable catch for Ruddy, this time from Rafael's cross from the right-hand flank.
The visitors are becoming frustrated by Norwich's organisation, which so far has been near perfect. However, United are just one moment of quality away from snatching what wouldn't be a surprising goal.
A loose ball from Young hands back possession back to Norwich, Tettey then tests Lindegaard with a low shot.
Bradley Johnson fires one at goal from the edge of the area but Chris Smalling is on hand to make a crucial block.
Valencia does well to skip past Hoolahan but puts his cross into the stands. Manchester United are yet to find any sort of rhythm so far, credit for that has to go to the Norwich midfield.
Chance! Pilkington collects the ball on the left-hand side and plays a neat reverse pass into the overlapping Garrido, but his cross cum shot eventually goes out for a throw-in. That was a big moment in the match.
Close from Snodgrass! The winger gets himself in the box in an attempt to turn in Hoolahan's cross but sends his effort just wide of the far post.
Good block by Turner to deny Hernandez the chance to pick out Robin van Persie in the box. Poor from Tettey though, he needlessly lost the ball in his own half earlier in the move.
Norwich have their best spell of possession so far and are displaying all the confidence and ambition that Aston Villa did against United in the Premier League last weekend.
Norwich are inviting Manchester United to come on to them, with the intention of hitting the visitors with a sucker punch on the counterattack. So far so good for Chris Hughton's side.
Ashley Young tries to beat Ruddy with a free kick from more than 30 yards out and it's comfortably dealt with by the England international in the end.
The visitors attempt a training ground set-piece, with Ryan Giggs picking out Robin van Persie on the edge of the area for a shot. Good idea, poor execution.
Norwich straight on to the counter! The Canaries don't hang about after United's attack and Wes Hoolahan breaks up the pitch before feeding Pilkington, who unfortunately drags his shot wide of Lindegaard's post.
Decent opening for United as Antonio Valencia finds space on the right-hand side. He delivers a dangerous cross into the box but Norwich manage to clear their lines.
Snodgrass tries an audacious volley on the turn from Whittaker's throw-in but it sails harmlessly high and wide.
United waste successive corners but look keen to take the lead in this match.
Manchester United try to make and early impression in this match and Robin van Persie quickly forces John Ruddy to make a smart save with a low left-footed shot.
Norwich take the kick-off and we are underway!
A quick word from Goal.com's Oliver Platt from Carrow Road: "The players are out in Norwich and kick-off is approaching. Carrow Road is, as you would expect, sold out, and there's a good atmosphere developing in the stadium. A chorus of boos greets the United players as they take to their half following the handshakes."
The teams have emerged from the tunnel and we are just moments away from kick-off.
The odds are stacked against Norwich this evening but the Canaries have actually only conceded two more goals than Manchester United this season. Factor in two impressive recent home wins against Arsenal and Stoke and what seems to be and improving defence and we might just have a game on our hands!
As for the Canaries, they remain unchanged from their goalless draw at Reading last weekend.
So the big line from the team news is that Wayne Rooney, who was originally a doubt for this game, misses out altogether. That means, just as promised by Sir Alex Ferguson last weekend, Chicharito is handed a place in the starting line-up alongside Robin van Persie. Elsewhere, David de Gea didn't travel with the squad, so Anders Lindegaard gets a game in goal.
Manchester United: Lindegaard; Rafael, Ferdinand, Smalling, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Young; Chicharito, Van Persie. Subs: Johnstone, Jones, Anderson, Welbeck, Scholes, Cleverley, Fletcher.
Norwich: Ruddy; Whittaker, Bassong, Turner, Garrido; Snodgrass, Johnson, Tettey, Pilkington; Hoolahan; Holt. Subs: Bunn, Howson, Jackson, Morison, Elliott Bennett, Tierney, Ryan Bennett.
Good evening ladies and gents! Welcome to Goal.com's play-by-play coverage of Norwich vs Manchester United from Carrow Road LIVE!
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