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West Ham United
April 26, 2014
• Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: L. Probert
• Attendance: 75208
W. Rooney 41', 48'
Mata 63', 73'
That's all that we have time for from the Premier League, with Man United's solid 4-0 keeping them firmly in seventh place. Norwich are in serious trouble after failing to look at all threatening against the reigning champions, falling to their fifth consecutive defeat. I've been Simon Harrison and I hope to see you again next time.
That was the Red Devils' biggest home win of the season thus far, with the hosts far too powerful for their relegation-threatened opponents. Ruddy can leave Old Trafford proud of his performance, as the English goalkeeper made a string of top saves to keep the scoreline moderately respectable.
FULL TIME! Ryan Giggs' first game in charge of Man United ends in a win, thanks to a solid 4-0 win over Norwich City. Goals from Rooney and Mata wrapped up the three points, leaving the visiting side one point off the relegation zone and nervously looking over their shoulders.
90' + 3'
HERNANDEZ! WHAT A CHANCE! The Mexican forward was set through on goal after a terrific one-two with Mata, but skews his eventual effort narrowly wide of the far post! He looked certain to score!
90' + 1'
We're into the first of three minutes of stoppage time.
OLSSON! The Swede's long-range effort takes a deflection off Jones, before looping towards the top right corner. The ball swerves and cracks off the top of the crossbar with De Gea completely beaten. The corner is swung in, but ends in Johnson skying a shot from seven yards.
Chants of old ring around Old Trafford, about the likes of Paul Scholes and Park Ji-Sung. The appointment of Giggs as temporary boss has had a nostalgic effect on the club and the supporters present today, but the Red Devils' resurgence couldn't have come at a worse time for Norwich.
The hosts are happy to hold onto the ball in the dying stages, to try and earn what would be a welcome clean sheet. Giggs' first game has been a success and despite a slow start, Man United have outclassed Norwich as expected in every department imaginable.
JOHNSON! The central midfielder shifts the ball quickly onto his left foot, smashing a ferocious drive towards goal from 25 yards, but it's a bit too close to De Gea - who beats away the ball comfortably. The resulting corner is whipped in, but Vidic heads it away well.
Poor effort from Young! The winger cuts in onto his favoured right foot, dropping a shoulder to try and carve open a yard of space, but curls his eventual effort horrendously high and wide of the target. Not one for the highlight reel.
ROONEY! The former Everton man clips a delicate chip onto the roof of the net, with Ruddy backpedalling furiously. Moments before, Hernandez and Mata exchanged a close-quarters one-two in the Norwich 18-yard box, but Martin was on hand to make a half clearance.
Less than ten minutes to play, with the result of this game a mere formality at this point. Another cross is whipped into the Norwich penalty area, but Turner does well to clear. Only the former Hull defender, Ruddy and Snodgrass can leave this stadium with their heads held high.
ELMANDER! De Gea was rooted to his spot, fortunate to see the former Bolton forward arrow a left-footed effort narrowly wide of the bottom corner. The United goalkeeper wasn't getting anywhere near that effort, he was waiting for it to strike the back of his net.
Just over ten minutes left to play and the atmosphere inside Old Trafford is extremely positive. The hosts are streaming forward regularly, with Ruddy needing to make a number of good saves during this game. That being said, even Moyes' United did well against the lower Premier League sides.
Ruddy is forced into yet another save, with Valencia lasering a low drive towards the Norwich net. Able fumbling the first save, the Canaries' keeper is quick to get back to his feet and smother the loose ball with Hernandez lurking.
YOUNG! So nearly five for the former Watford man! He cuts in from the left hand side, before shimmying his way across the top of the box and skewing a shot narrowly wide of the top right corner! Ruddy would probably have got there if it was on target.
GOOOOOAL! IT'S 4-0 TO MAN UNITED! Mata gets the slightest of headed touches on a Valencia cut-back to send the loose ball into the far corner and beyond the helpless Ruddy! Red shirts were queuing up in the box, with Hernandez on hand to finish off the move if Mata didn't.
Jones whips in another searching cross from the right hand side, but Ruddy is able to rise high and claim. The Norwich keeper tries to look long with his kick, aiming for the striking duo of Hooper and Elmander, but United win the ball straight back. The hosts have been solid.
Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
Ryan Giggs makes his final change, replacing Cleverley with Hernandez, as another striker is thrown into the fray. Rooney is going to drop into central midfield, allowing for Mata to play in the hole behind the Mexico international.
MATA! Rooney floats a clever ball deep into the penalty area, with the Spaniard able to get a toe on the ball to try and poke it beyond Ruddy. The England goalkeeper is equal to the effort however. One of Adams' last rolls of the dice, as Redmond is replaced by out-and-out striker Gary Hooper.
Norwich really haven't put in a performance which will evoke any kind of optimism from their fans, as they're essentially being beaten without so much as a whimper. Elmander has done nothing since coming on, but the visitors' lack of striking presence surely has to come from the collective not performing well.
JOHNSON! Another former Leeds man has a go from range, but drags his effort narrowly wide of the post with De Gea scrambling across. Meanwhile, Snodgrass is busy claiming that Vidic tried to headbutt him off the ball. Lee Probert isn't interested.
Another change for Man United, as Young replaces Kagawa, giving the hosts a more orthodox option on the wing. Howson tries his luck from 20 yards, but Vidic makes a good block to deny the former Leeds midfielder.
Yellow CardPatrice Evra
GOOOOOAL! JUAN MATA SCORES WITHIN MINUTES! Ruddy initially makes a good save to palm a Rooney effort out of the top corner, but Man United keep the move alive, with Jones putting in a good cross for Mata to turn home from close range!
Juan Mata is wearing a black armband this afternoon, as a mark of respect towards former Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova, who tragically passed away yesterday. With half an hour to go, the Spain international will be hoping to stamp his creativity on the remaining minutes.
Ryan Giggs makes his first substitution, with Welbeck replaced by Juan Mata. This could signal a change in formation, with Rooney left on his own up front and a trio of Kagawa, Mata and Valencia in behind him. Man United might just be looking to close things up slightly in midfield, given Norwich's middle three.
SNODGRASS! Two efforts from the Scotland international in quick succession, as De Gea beats a long-range free-kick attempt away from the danger zone, before collecting a cross from the same player. The Spaniard has looked solid whenever called upon.
Howson tries to flick a near post free-kick delivery towards goal, but it's easily claimed by De Gea, who hasn't a lot to do this evening. Norwich bring on Elmander to replace Van Wolfswinkel, with the Swede able to contribute more to all-round build up play.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel
ROONEY! The goalscorer receives possession 25 yards out from goal, before setting himself to shoot immediately, aiming for the same bottom right corner. Ruddy isn't to be beaten in the same way twice, collecting the England international's effort easily.
WELBECK! Good save from Ruddy! Evra sees a shot blocked, before the rebound falls kindly to Welbeck. He tries his luck on the half volley, but Ruddy is equal to it, conceding a corner in the process. Vidic is found at the back post, but the Serbia international's bullet header shaves the crossbar.
Martin makes a rather rash challenge to try to dispossess Valencia, after the winger exchanged a smart one-two with Welbeck. He doesn't make enough contact to merit a penalty for the hosts, however. United are stepping it up a gear now, that second goal is acting as a real catalyst.
Good covering from Whittaker! Kagawa breaks down the right hand side smartly, before squaring a pass back to the penalty spot in search of Valencia. The Ecuador international takes a touch to set himself from 12 yards, but Norwich's right-back makes an important challenge.
It's now looking very likely that Norwich are resigned to their fifth defeat in a row, with Adams perhaps needing to make a change sooner rather than later. Van Wolfswinkel has been a ghost up front, with Hooper lying in wait on the bench to replace the Dutchman.
GOOOOOAL! ROONEY NETS UNITED'S SECOND! The England international sets his sights from 25 yards out, before firing a low drive into the bottom left hand corner, with Ruddy unable to palm it round the post! That's the start that the hosts would have wanted!
We're back underway for the second half, as Ryan Giggs looks to steer Man United towards victory in his first game in charge of the club. Norwich have suffered at the hands of a Rooney penalty, but still have some options on the bench to make things interesting.
The hosts have been lacking a bit of invention in the final third, but Ryan Giggs won't mind due to his side leading. Both respective coaches have 15 minutes to instil their ideas and share their criticism, with the spoils still up for grabs due to the mere one goal advantage for United.
HALF TIME! Man United head into the dressing room with a slender 1-0 lead, courtesy of a late penalty from Wayne Rooney. Norwich haven't troubled De Gea in the hosts' net, but are by no means out of this contest yet. The home side certainly aren't in full flow.
There's one minute of added time at the end of the first half.
Good goalkeeping from De Gea, who races off his line and punches a deep cross 20 yards clear of the penalty area. He's not had a lot to do, but the sign of a good goalkeeper is to remain alert.
The only question which the home fans are left asking, if how Whittaker didn't receive a red card for his challenge. It was a slightly soft one, but Whittaker appeared to prevent the England international from firing beyond Ruddy - surely a goalscoring opportunity?
Penalty GoalWayne Rooney
GOOOOOAL! ROONEY CONVERTS THE PENALTY! They've had to wait, but finally Rooney has had a big impact on this game, sending Ruddy the wrong way and burying the ball in the bottom right corner. It was a comedy of errors from the Norwich defence to give it away, but Man United won't mind.
PENALTY FOR MAN UNITED! Fer, Martin and Turner miss a cross, leaving Whittaker at the back post to haul down Welbeck!
Smart stop by Ruddy! The England goalkeeper gets down smartly to his right to prevent a Valencia strike from zipping beyond him and into the far corner, with Whittaker able to hoof away the loose ball!
KAGAWA! Half chance for the attacking midfield, as he manages to turn a clever effort towards the near post from an impossible angle! It's off target, but slightly promising nonetheless.
De Gea has been a mere spectator from the start, with Ruddy called into action on occasion to lump a clearance upfield. A rather uninspiring performance from both sides, given their respective reasons for wanting to win this match.
Norwich are permitted to grow back into the game, with Redmond driving at Jones down the left. Jones stands up well to the English winger, with Valencia able to pick up the loose ball and drive out of defence. That said, the hosts' counter-attacks are just that little bit too slow.
Norwich are still sat in their shape, marshalling the midfield well and forcing United to play some inaccurate searching long balls. Retaining the ball hasn't been much of a test for the hosts, but penetrating advanced areas really has been.
Less than a quarter of an hour to go and the Red Devils are still looking a little bit short on ideas. Going forward, there's not been much quality forthcoming, with no testing deliveries for Martin or Turner to contend with.
Yellow CardJonny Howson
Howson is given the first booking of the game, sliding in somewhat rashly in an area of the field which didn't merit such a challenge. Man United have the upper hand, but Rooney hasn't seen much of the ball in dangerous areas, with Ruddy still only having one save to his name.
Man United have looked fairly comfortable during the opening half an hour, holding onto the ball well and getting the ball wide quickly. That said, with Kagawa tucking in from the left, the edge of the box is a little bit congested and Norwich are able to remain hard to play through.
Good interception by Turner! Jones finds himself in space on the right, offering Valencia an outlet and receives possession. The former Blackburn defender's cross is blocked excellently by Turner, who has started the game rather solidly.
KAGAWA! The former Dortmund man is found in a pocket of space in the box, before sidestepping to get beyond Martin, but the Japanese forward's eventual strike is blocked well by the covering Turner!
Kagawa receives the ball short from a corner, with the Japan international sizing up Redmond and bypassing the winger, before being outmuscled slightly by the former Birmingham man. Norwich win a goal kick and the Red Devils' pressure subsides.
The crowd claim for handball, but the players don't appeal whatsoever! Evra drives to the edge of the penalty area, before being robbed of the ball by Martin, with the ball skipping up into the Scot's midriff. For all of the talk from their new coach, Man United haven't been too incisive going forward.
Turner makes an important interception to deny Valencia, before Norwich try to break. The likes of Snodgrass and Redmond possess pace and quality to hurt Man United on the break, but Van Wolfswinkel has been nearly anonymous yet again.
Despite Giggs' intentions, it hasn't been a particularly intense start from the home side. They're retaining the ball, but the eventual aim appears to be whipping a cross in through Valencia or Evra, with Kagawa again being deployed in a slightly alien left midfield position.
WELBECK! Good save from Ruddy! Turner's header is merely a half clearance to prevent Valencia from meeting a cross at the back post, with the rebound falling to the unmarked Welbeck. The England international fires a powerful strike at goal, but Ruddy beats it away well at the near post.
Rooney and Welbeck haven't seen too much of the ball thus far, with Norwich looking well organised and fairly tough to break down. Scoring goals has been the main issue for the away side throughout the entire season, their solidity is only called into severe question occasionally.
The first ten minutes have passed without much in the way of action, but Valencia has enjoyed some joy down the right flank for the hosts. Norwich are crowding the middle third, with Cleverley really having to drop deep to receive possession, forcing the home side down the wings regularly.
Van Wolfswinkel manages to test De Gea with a looping back post header, but the Dutchman is penalised for a shove on Phil Jones. It was a good spot by the referee and Norwich can take heart from challenging the Man United goalkeeper for a first time.
Giggs is applauded as he walks into his technical area for the first time, causing chants of 'Ryan Giggs' red and white army' once again. Man United have started this game well, possibly feeding off the positivity of the crowd.
Norwich have seen very little of possession in the opening minutes, with Snodgrass and Redmond still trying to give the away side some width. Hughton was criticised for his negative football, which isn't the case under the current caretaker but the Canaries can't afford to shirk their defensive responsibilities this evening.
Rooney has space open up ahead of him at the edge of the box, but opts to spray the ball wide to Valencia instead of taking a shot at goal. Olsson makes the block to deny the Ecuadorian's delivery, giving the hosts their first corner. The set piece comes to nothing.
All United in the early stages, with Welbeck put through on goal twice in the opening few minutes. Ruddy is able to collect both passes, however, as the service to the England international hasn't been accurate enough. Plenty of optimism in the wake of Moyes' dismissal.
Ryan Giggs has promised plenty of passion and desire from his players, as the home side appear to want to inject some positivity back into the Old Trafford crowd. The atmosphere is excellent, with chants about the new interim coach echoing around the stadium.
We are underway in the first half! As expected, Ryan Giggs got a hero's welcome after emerging from the Old Trafford tunnel, but now we need to get down to business! Given that Norwich are playing for survival, the hosts might just need to come flying out of the traps to prevent Adams' men from getting a foothold in the game.
A quarter of an hour remains before kick-off, so be sure to stick with us for all of the action, as Ryan Gigg's tries to kick-start his stewardship of Man United with a win. Norwich are in dire straits if they fail to pick up any points this evening, with all of the bottom three stick within touching distance of the Canaries. This promises to be a hard fought affair, rather than a game with that distinct end-of-season feeling.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel has managed merely one goal in 26 Premier League appearances this season, despite commanding a rather large chunk of former manager Chris Hughton's transfer budget last summer. Left on his own up front, with Adams' formation having the potential to be a 4-3-3 or a 4-5-1, it could be a quiet afternoon for the Dutchman, or the opportunity to be a lethal poacher.
Norwich substitutes: Bunn, Hooper, Gutierrez, Elmander, Bennett, Tettey, Murphy.
Norwich starting line-up: Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin, Turner, Olsson; Fer, Johnson, Howson; Snodgrass, Van Wolfswinkel, Redmond.
Man United substitutes: Lindegaard, Mata, Smalling, Hernandez, Nani, Young, Fletcher.
Man United starting line-up: De Gea; Jones, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Kagawa; Rooney, Welbeck.
TEAM NEWS: Ricky van Wolfswinkel is given the burden of goalscoring responsibility for the Canaries, with Gary Hooper dropped to the bench. Nathan Redmond and Robert Snodgrass will provide the width, with the defence unchanged. The likes of Johan Elmander, Alex Tettey, Gary Hooper and Jonas Gutierrez could see some action from the bench.
TEAM NEWS: Ryan Giggs opts to leave any David Moyes signings out of the starting eleven, with youth product Adnan Januzaj and Marouane Fellaini not featuring in the matchday squad whatsoever. Danny Welbeck and Nemanja Vidic are recalled, with Tom Cleverley partnering Michael Carrick in the centre of midfield in what looks like an orthodox 4-4-2. Juan Mata is on the bench.
I'm Simon Harrison and I will be keeping you up to date with proceedins from Old Trafford, as a much-changed Ferguson-esque Man United look to dispatch of this evening's opposition. Four consecutive defeats suggest that Norwich should be sent home with their tails inbetween their legs, but the Theatre of Dreams certainly hasn't been a fortress this season.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Ryan Giggs' first game in charge of Man United, as the Red Devils host Norwich City. The Canaries are currently in a period of transition too, with caretaker manager Neil Adams still at the reigns, but sit merely two points above the relegation zone at the start of play. There's more for the away side to play for, but at a club like Man United, defeat is never acceptable as David Moyes found out earlier this week.
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