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Barclays Premier League: Norwich City 1, Manchester United 2

15:42 26 February 2012

Grant Holt celebrates his equaliser against Manchester United. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Grant Holt celebrates his equaliser against Manchester United. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

Ryan Giggs marked his 900th appearance for Manchester United with an injury-time winner to deny Norwich City the point they deserved - and seemed to have secured with a late Grant Holt equaliser.

A Carrow Road full house witnessed another full-blooded Premier League battle with the Canaries fighting back tenaciously from the early blow of conceding a goal to Paul Scholes in the seventh minute.

It was a gut-wrenching finish for Paul Lambert’s men, who gave the reigning champions a very thorough examination for the second time this season.

Scholes struck early on with a header from Nani’s cross, and City keeper John Ruddy produced two fine saves before the break, but United goalkeeper David de Gea also had to be at his best to deny Anthony Pilkington and Holt before the break.

There was plenty of goalmouth action in the second period, but City seemed to have earned a draw when Holt turned the ball home seven minutes from time from Zak Whitbread’s flick.

There was a sting in the tail, however, from United’s other veteran as Giggs touched home a cross from substitute Ashley Young a minute into stoppage time. The defeat meant City had been doubled for the first time since Lambert became manager, and it was their fourth home league defeat of the campaign.

City boss Lambert made six changes after the FA Cup defeat by Leicester, with recalls for goalkeeper John Ruddy, full-back Kyle Naughton, centre-back Zak Whitbread, midfielders Bradley Johnson and Andrew Surman and skipper Grant Holt.

Russell Martin was reported to be suffering from ’flu, while the other five excluded were on the bench – Jed Steer, Leon Barnett, Elliott Bennett, Wes Hoolahan and Steve Morison.

There was no place in the 18 for striker James Vaughan, who played the final half-hour against Leicester.

United were without England striker Wayne Rooney, suffering from a throat infection, with Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck playing in attack.

Veteran midfielder Paul Scholes and England defender Rio Ferdinand were the only survivors from the team beaten 2-0 at Carrow Road eight years ago.

Fellow veteran Giggs was making his 900th appearance for United after first facing Norwich in 1991, and scoring in a 3-0 win.

De Gea was tested by a couple of early crosses from Jackson and Pilkington as City began brightly.

Ward made a timely challenge on Giggs as Nani sparked United’s first attack.

But the visitors did not have long to wait to move in front as Scholes struck in the seventh minute.

It was a fairly soft goal with Scholes starting a six-man move down the United the right and Nani floating a cross into the six-yard box, where Scholes arrived unmarked to head home.

Johnson picked up his first yellow card of the season after 10 minutes after a heavy challenge on Nani that left the United man calling for treatment.

Nani responded with a foul on Fox after returning to the action, but escaped with a word from referee Marriner.

Ruddy made a fine save from Welbeck after 16 minutes to prevent further damage, diving to his right to keep out the striker’s low shot from a pass by Hernandez.

A free-kick from Fox caused problems in a packed six-yard box for United with Jones having to hack clear for a corner, but Surman’s kick was a poor one.

Surman shot wide from 20 yards after United failed to clear a free-kick from Fox, but De Gea had not had a clear shot to save.

Evra needed attention after a bang in the face from the jumping Ward and when play resumed, Holt headed wide from Johnson’s cross.

City’s best effort yet came in the 28th minute when Naughton played Pilkington in on the right side of the area and his cross-shot was saved by the legs of De Gea.

The Canaries were enjoying a decent spell, but they still had to be on their guard and Ruddy saved again from Hernandez after he played a neat one-two with Welbeck.

There was another fine effort as Holt got in a near-post header from Pilkington’s cross but De Gea held on almost at point-blank range.

City were pegging United back and Surman was just unable to get on the end of a through-ball from Johnson.

• Half-time: Norwich City 0, Manchester United 1

Lambert made a change at the break with Hoolahan replacing Jackson.

Surman flashed a header wide straight from the restart, while Evans was shown the yellow card three minutes after the break for bringing down Hoolahan.

Johnson powered a shot wide after 58 minutes but City had not yet picked up the momentum they enjoyed in the latter part of the first half.

Hoolahan sent Pilkington clear on the right with a splendid pass, and Surman’s volley was powerfully struck but blocked by Evans.

There was a double change after 63 minutes when City replaced Johnson with Bennett and United sent on Young for Hernandez.

Within seconds, it was almost 2-0 as Welbeck got behind the City defence but his goalbound effort was hooked away by Whitbread a yard in front of the line.

As City continued to press, De Gea did well to hang on to a cross from Bennett as Naughton picked out the winger on the right.

Hoolahan fired over when he might have done better to keep the move going and, with 20 minutes left, Lambert made his final change, replacing the busy Pilkington with Wilbraham.

Giggs almost had a goal to celebrate on his big day when he met Jones’ cross with a left-foot volley that clipped the bar and went over.

Scholes came to the rescue for United with a header to prevent Ward cashing in on Wilbraham’s knock-back, then Holt headed over from Hoolahan’s cross.

There were appeals for handball when Hoolahan’s cross was cut out by Evra, but the officials were unimpressed.

Seven minutes from time, Wilbraham almost brought City level with a stunning effort that De Gea tipped over after Scholes had passed straight to the substitute.

But the resulting corner led to the equaliser from Holt, his 12th goal of the season.

De Gea punched clear from the flag-kick but Fox retrieved and Drury crossed into the area where Whitbread nodded on and Holt turned and fired left-footed past the keeper.

Carrow Road erupted and Holt brought De Gea into action again with an overhead flick before United broke and Welbeck missed a golden chance to make it 2-1, failing to get his head to a Giggs cross.

Ruddy blocked with his legs from Welbeck as United suddenly realised two points were slipping away, then Ward produced a dramatic clearance as the game entered stoppage time.

More than a minute into time added on, though, Giggs delivered what was a sickening winner for City. Young crossed from the left and Giggs arrived to touch the ball home left-footed on the volley.

Ferdinand was booked following the celebrations as time ran out for City to hit back again.

• Result: Norwich City 1, Manchester United 2

• Norwich City: Ruddy; Naughton, Ward, Whitbread, Drury; Pilkington (Wilbraham, 70), Fox, Johnson (Bennett, 63), Surman; Jackson (Hoolahan, 45), Holt. Subs (not used): Steer, Barnett, Crofts, Morison.

• Manchester United: De Gea; Jones, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Nani, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs (Smalling, 90); Hernandez (Young, 63), Welbeck. Subs (not used): Amos, Fabio, Rafael, Park, Berbatov.

• Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)

• Attendance: 26,811

• Goals: City: Holt (83). United: Scholes (7), Giggs (90)

• Bookings: City: Johnson (10). United: Evans (48), Ferdinand (90)

Adam Drury

Grant Holt

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60 comments

  • Interesting that it signs itself "The Legend"

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Two - One, beyond Gutted!

    Report this comment

    joestaubs

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Redsforever, would you go into a pub close to the ground after the game and start gloating. I doubt it as you would get what you deserve, so instead you hide behind your key board and rub people up. What a man you are. Taxi to the play ground for you mate. After all, your behaviour is more akin to that of a 6 year old isn't it!

    Report this comment

    baguio

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Just following up on Baguio's point about Wilbrahams. Can someone tell me what he has done wrong to get booed? As far as I can tell he was bought on the cheap to be cover for Holt. He didn't get too many games last season because he got injured (his back I think), but when he has come in he has always put a shift in and does a job for the team. Lambert likes him because he knows what he will get from him.

    Report this comment

    Preston Canary

    Monday, February 27, 2012

  • Redsforever...don't let me laugh...you wouldn't be a red forever when the going would ever get tough for your team!!! We've been through a tough patch and are now 8th in the PL... No tourists on here please

    Report this comment

    ROB FLECK

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • I stopped worrying about safety some time ago. I can't see any of the bottom 5 getting more than our 35 points so IMO we're already safe. Now we're just looking for a bigger share of the final position pie when the money is dished out via league positions.

    Report this comment

    baguio

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • I have had a very trying day redsforever so why dont you go back to Moss Side and crawl in your hole.You ALWAYS have 12 men on your side. Andy Marauder so called referee was the man in red today.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Watched the game in a bar in Joburg, surrounded by Manchester United and Liverpool fans, all of whom were full of praise for Norwich, and, who all of whom thought we were well worth a point at least. Proof some Manchester United supporters do have some grace. And, ironically, they wondered how their own Danny Welbeck gets in the England squad ahead of Grant Holt. Remember how meek we were in defeat last time in the PL, and compare that with now. Proud as punch. OTBC

    Report this comment

    Johannesburg Chris

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • At least Wilbrahams try that's more can be said for Morrison of late

    Report this comment

    leslie cater

    Monday, February 27, 2012

  • If Ged has anything to say other than brilliant, then he is an idiot, but we know that anyway.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Could it be to do with his haircut Preston?Would he be better off with a Mohican?

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Monday, February 27, 2012

  • When we signed Wilbraham, I was a bit non-plussed to be honest. As someone else said, cover for the great man probably. However, the more i've seen him play, the more i've been impressed with his close control and his finishing, and not least his effort and commitmnt. Some very near misses. Lambert's judgement and faith is very rarely wrong and he clearly saw something in Wilbraham that hardly any of the rest of us saw at the outset. Once again, he demonstrates why he's managing NCFC and I'm not. He may not be worth a new contract in the summer, but i reckon he'll play his part in a few more games this season.

    Report this comment

    Tom Jeffries

    Monday, February 27, 2012

  • It doesn't matter what level Grant Holt plays at, if you put a ball in the box or give him a chance very rarely does he miss.He is a fantastic natural goal scorer.If Emile Heskey is 'good' enough to play in the World Cup Grant Holt is definitely. He deserves to play for England.

    Report this comment

    OTBC Ted

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • He played a reasonable shift towards the end of last season but only got one goal. He has spent most of his career in the lower levels and so at 31 it probably took a bit of time to adjust to the Norwich pace and then the Premier League. However, if you follow the reserve matches, he has been really doing well and has certainly done well on his last two introductions, he will need to get some goals though before people get excited about him coming on. Clearly, he has showed the management that he is really up for it in training and the reserve matches and they are happy. A bargain version of Fernando Torres. Morison's form is more of a concern at the moment.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Monday, February 27, 2012

  • It is a problem, PW - I wear the shirt with pride, and everyone thinks I'm supporting Bafana Bafana. Or Brazil, if they have particularly poor eyesight. But they do love the Premier League over here, so at least many have now heard of Norwich. And many more will after today. They still ask whereabouts in London Norfolk is but it's a start!

    Report this comment

    Johannesburg Chris

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Ref. Wilbraham, though we see little of him he does look like he`s had a Lambo makeover. He looks fitter and sharper etc. Like Holty does. To me he seems a good pro and has good control and work rate. Probably totally wrong here, but I think we may be seeing more of him on the run-in. GH said good things about him in a recent interview. Trouble is he`s 32. Then Giggs is 38! I cannot see how Aaron has done anything to deserve being booed by City fans, if indeed he was.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012

  • The cream does rise to the top in the shape of the man city unlucky city we deserved at least a point otbc

    Report this comment

    Spud

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • More thoughts, getting a point wasn't really important, just think what Lambert can do with that sort of performance. Just give each and every player a copy of the match, tell them to watch it a few times and say "how good were we". All players can tackle and kick and head a ball, the difference is in your head, and head is now full of confidence !!!!!!!!!

    Report this comment

    Lobbo

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • What's occuring Ged? Your inability to finish professionally a fortnight ago was very frustrating as well. Very poor, nil points, sort it out!

    Report this comment

    Sian

    Monday, February 27, 2012

  • Above and beyond the call of duty. We've come of age. OK, a draw would have been great but the sides below us keep on struggling. Get ready Stoke !!!

    Report this comment

    Lobbo

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Just watched MOTD2. Holt`s goal superb. Like Pilks, he can use both feet and not just to stand on. Pilks could have had a goal. Why did de Gea have a rare good game v us? And as for our Aaron, he is a really good pro and despite being "old" at 32 or so, looked as sharp as a pin and what a terrific shot. Seemingly preferred to Morison just now. So disappointed not to get a point. That was proper Prem football from a proper Prem team. Nobody was a weak link. MUFC were pretty good too! OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • baguio - It is pretty disgusting to boo Wilbraham when he came on, what happened to supporting your players? I thought he played really well and hopefully shut the boo boys. Any NCFC ''fans'' that have a bad word to say about today performance don't know what they're saying.

    Report this comment

    ImDrunky

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • No other words for it, CCG gutted. Fantastic effort from the players and Lambo and Cullverhouse superb on the tactics, pulling Cinnamon back to keep the ManU midfield occupied and bringing Wes on to confirm the change, even bringing on Wilbrahamavic and it worked out. Holt, fantastic, Zak and big John amazing and Naughton and Drury brilliant. Really unlucky, no change from the ref. but we had them on the rack. OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Yet another 3 points dropped due to our inability to finish a game professionally. Very frustrating, but luck had played a big part in us even getting on level terms, so I guess we can't complain. Poor.

    Report this comment

    Ged Steroo

    Monday, February 27, 2012

  • On the subject of "many have now heard of Norwich" in Jo'burg, it's a pity an ABC sports reporter here in Oz referred to City as "Norwich County". What a total cretin.

    Report this comment

    qantasqf1

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Good to see Sir Alex give Norwich some great comments saying they were the better team and did not deserve to lose. They must have known they had been in game to make such comments he don't ususally. Well done City and well done PL great performance onward and up play like that we won't lose many between now and end of the season. Just to keep it going we are so proud of you CTID

    Report this comment

    The General

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • SO gutted when Giggs got that goal! But for Sir Alex to admit Norwich were the better side and deserved a point, PLUS we're sitting 8th in the table is an incredible achievement.Staying in the Prem this year is like earning a third consecutive promotion, PL has done an amazing job. I think we only need to win two or three more games out of 12 and will be secured for definite next season. OTBC

    Report this comment

    OTBC Ted

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Interesting that it signs itself "The Legend" could it be Redsforever -> Red Stooge -> Ged Steroo, the avatar's avatar?

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Two - One, beyond Gutted!

    Report this comment

    joestaubs

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • The cream always rises to the top. Ryan Giggs - THE Legend!!!!

    Report this comment

    Redsforever

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • The cream does rise to the top in the shape of the man city unlucky city we deserved at least a point otbc

    Report this comment

    Spud

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • i thought notwithstanding some strange substitutions by pl that we were a top rate team today and well worth our premiership status....i thought also that the man u fans were particularly rude and lewd and as ill mannered as alleycats...their prolific use of profanities is at best unedifying and at worst corrupting of the many youngsters that form an important part of the norwich faithfully...

    Report this comment

    jellybean

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Redsforever - Well done for getting the win, no doubt Giggs is a legend, top player. But coming on here when we all feel hard done by will of course rub people the wrong way.

    Report this comment

    ImDrunky

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Deflated would be my description.When Giggs goal went in it was like a huge balloon around Carra Rud being popped.The bigger picture is what a superb performance and what a wonderful Holt goal worthy of at least a point.I'm firmly in the Holt for England camp.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Once again people have got hold of the wrong end of the stick especially baguio. If heshe wasn`t so blinkered they would have noticed that Ashley Young was coming on at the same time as Wilbraham and it was him that was being booed. This point was made on Canary Call but obviously some people weren`t listening.

    Report this comment

    stayingup

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Two - One, beyond Gutted!

    Report this comment

    joestaubs

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Holt for England Jo'burg.How is Nelson Mandela's health?Why have South Africa stolen our shirts?Is the ANC disintegrating? OTBC Keep the Yellow flag flying high!

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Really good performance from everyone, which was mightily important, Naughton and Whitbread were fabulous. Lovely to compete so much with United, and as far as I know remain 8th. Was a great finish from Holt too, and with Bent now injured, it'd be amazing to see him be given a chance, come on he's proving himself all the time! Not quite the special 2-0 I saw a little back but also not a fluke that we as said by SAF, were the better team.

    Report this comment

    Billy

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Hairstyles are the mark of a good player.I like 70s style.Stevie M-get an Afro,Colin Suggett style.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012

  • Gutted,totally deserved at least a point if not more.If Morrison ever wonders why he gets stick occasionaly for his attitude and isnt in the team i suggest he takes a long look at the work,mileage and effort put in by holt today for the answer

    Report this comment

    woodfarm canary

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • So 'Stayingup' beings that you are our resident know it all, please explain to us all why Ashley Young was being booed and not our Wilbraham because it looked for the life of me that it was our player and probably to him too? Also I wasn't aware that every Norwich supporter was required by law to listen to Canary call. I must let British rail aware of this fact, In fact I'm surprised that you hadn't already organised it already to have the trains speakers broadcasting it, or are you too blinkered about your own self importance. Now run along you ignorant person if you can't be civil to your fellow fans!

    Report this comment

    baguio

    Monday, February 27, 2012

  • Also note Bent and Rooney have withdrawn from England squad. You'd like to say, Stuart Pearce, would have a little glance at the Premier league top scorers charts to see who is in form, and Danny Graham and Holt would be drafted in. Won't hold my breath. Brave New World, same old faces.

    Report this comment

    Johannesburg Chris

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • That`s why he`s only got as far as ABC. Probably never even been to Hobart, Tasburgh, Nelson`s County. Where all those manic Van Demons live, in white Transits.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Nobody would decry Ryan`s record as a top footballer. He deserves to feel triumphant, but why should you? Cliche-ridden claptrapologist.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • My responses to Redsforever`s stuff have largely been done by others. So now, instead of accepting that Giggs is a well-respected footballer, you have stirred up the pot of his private life. Just so you can take vicarious pleasure from his achievements. Should not have suggested you are a t**t. Unfair on quality t**ts. You are a sad t**t.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Redsforever, I had missed the fact that your spelling was akin to a 6 year old too! Oh dear, I bet you're not feeling so smug now are you? I have to agree that Giggs is a great footballer though. It's such a shame that he is such a disgusting human being. I feel sorry for his brother sharing that blood. His morals are a slur on alley cats!

    Report this comment

    baguio

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Nelson Mandela is the same age as Ryan Giggs + Paul Scholes + Jed Steer

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • and- and a very large filling came out just before half time so my mouth resembles the peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro with a few stumps on and therefore it is quite clear my dentist is to blame for the defeat.Logic.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Blimey, two City fans doing an impression of a pair of Harry Enfield`s Scousers! Save it for the enemy, lads! OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, February 27, 2012

  • like every NCFC supporter I'm gutted we didn't get a point from that game like we deserved. But it shows how far we've come when we're gutted we lost against the current Champions, I'm proud and happy of our performance and continue to play like that and we'll finish 7th or 8th this season.

    Report this comment

    ImDrunky

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Gutted but proud of the boys for a great effort. However I feel very disapointed that some fans booed when Wilbraham came on. Shame on each and every one of you. I bet you would have cheered if his shot and gone in wouldn't you! Now we just have to wait for the crazy comments from Gedward and Billy the bookend!

    Report this comment

    baguio

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Redsforever - only people who can spell argument can win one.

    Report this comment

    Saturday Skin

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Absolutely GUTTED for the boys after such an exciting match with such a cruel finish - very proud of you all. OTBC!! x

    Report this comment

    CANARY-CRUISE-GIRL

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • 2 - 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Report this comment

    Redsforever

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Mad Brewer, I know that when people resort to insults then I have won the arguement.

    Report this comment

    Redsforever

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Redsforever, what I was trying to penetrate your skull with, is that Ryan Giggs is widely accepted as a top-class footballer. No question. But you are a top-class t**t! Get counselling. No exclamation marks. No need.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Gutted but proud of the boys for a great effort. However I feel very disapointed that some fans booed when Wilbraham came on. Shame on each and every one of you. I bet you would have cheered if his shot and gone in wouldn't you! Now we just have to wait for the crazy comments from Gedward and Billy the bookend!

    Report this comment

    baguio

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • Redsforever - only people who can spell argument can win one.

    Report this comment

    Saturday Skin

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • What a superb performance from City. So many stars, not appropriate to differentiate. They all did what we know they can. Deserved a point (again) v MU. Kosher cameo from Wilbraham, preferred to Morison just now? Now the time of the Season to go out and pick a pocket or two, my boys! Still 14 points clear of the hangman`s flap with 12 games to go. Difficult last few games though, so let us sort it at Stoke. OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

  • WELL SAID BAGGY MOST MANCS ARE JUST LIKE SHEEP (i love man utd cos we they win.) I.L.W.T. O.T.B.C.

    Report this comment

    yarco

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

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