Thursday 21 November 2019

'This has been a good week for us' - Solskjaer hails Manchester United after win over Norwich

Norwich City 1 Manchester United 3

Manchester United's Anthony Martial celebrates scoring their third goal against Norwich with team-mates
Manchester United's Anthony Martial celebrates scoring their third goal against Norwich with team-mates

Martyn Herman

Manchester United beat struggling Norwich City 3-1 at Carrow Road despite missing two penalties to claim their first Premier League away win of the season and move up to seventh in the table.

Goals by Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford put United in control by half-time but they could have been out of sight had Tim Krul not saved spot-kicks from Rashford and Anthony Martial -- both penalties awarded after VAR interventions.

McTominay swept the visitors in front on 21 minutes, United's 2,000th Premier League goal, and after Rashford was denied by Krul from the spot the striker made no mistake when he was played in by Daniel James after 30 minutes.

Krul dived to his left to save Martial's spot-kick but the French forward atoned with a neat finish after 73 minutes following a slick interchange with Rashford.

Cuban winger Onel Hernandez grabbed a consolation for Norwich with a fine solo goal two minutes from time.

United were never really threatened, though, as they completed an encouraging eight days in which they held Liverpool to a draw and beat Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League.

Manchester United's James Garner comes on as a substitute to replace Andreas Pereira who shakes hands with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Manchester United's James Garner comes on as a substitute to replace Andreas Pereira who shakes hands with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

"This has been a good week for us. It started with a decent performance against Liverpool and now two wins away from home. It gives the players confidence and momentum," United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.

VAR once again became a talking point as United were awarded a penalty that neither manager thought was correct.

With United leading through McTominay, Ben Godfrey tangled with United winger James with referee Stuart Attwell initially seeing no foul. After a lengthy VAR intervention, however, he changed his decision, although justice was served when Krul saved Rashford's penalty.

"VAR is there to help but when it takes ages like the first penalty, it is not a clean and obvious error," Solskjaer said.

"When it took that long, it is a signal that it should not have been."

Norwich manager Daniel Farke said: "It's quite obvious it was a big mistake (for the first penalty). The referee was right and it was Daniel James falling on the defender.

"I don't blame VAR for this defeat, we were not major enough in the first half."

While United moved into the top half, injury-hit Norwich are second from bottom with seven points from 10 games.

"It's important to improve. We look forward to having our centre-backs back but we have to take this as a lesson," Farke said. "You need physicality and robustness and we missed that in the first half."

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