Manchester United 3-2 Norwich City: Four Things We Learned

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Manchester United are back to their winning ways! It was not an easy match even against the worst team in the league this season, but at least this time the three points are in the pocket and United can now concentrate on some big games coming up. Man United defeated Norwich City 3-2 at Old Trafford, in a tumultuous match which had seen the Red Devils almost squander a big lead against Dean Smith’s relegation-bound side. In fact, the biggest positives from this match were only Cristiano Ronaldo and the fact United had won three points. But apart from that, we had seen more of the team’s vulnerability.

Cristiano To The Rescue

There were certain points this season when Cristiano Ronaldo was far from his old self, even struggling at times, but then there are matches like this one which just prove how valuable he can be on his day. He was ruthless against Norwich, scoring a hat-trick, the 60th of his entire career. He first netted after Elanga’s cross, then doubling United’s lead after a corner. When United made the mess out of a good game, Ronaldo was once again there, to score a great free kick which meant he was the saviour against the Canaries.

Shocking Changes In Midfield

It was a huge surprise when Man United announced their starting lineup as Ralf Rangnick decided to make some unexpected changes. The biggest one of them all was seeing Jesse Lingard back in the starting 11, considering he was thought of as someone leaving the club this summer and potentially never playing for United again. But he was part of a 4-3-3 system which had seen no holding midfielders for United. This experiment was quite odd, with Lingard, Pogba, Bruno, Elanga, Sancho and Ronaldo all on the pitch. At first it worked like a charm, but then a second-half spell had shown its negative side-effects even against the worst team in the league.

Man United Let Norwich Come Back

United have often done that this season – they had a 2-0 lead after just 32 minutes and everything was going well. But just seven minutes at the end of the first start of the second half were needed for Norwich to bounce back and score twice. First, it was through Kieran Dowell just before the break and then Teemu Pukki equalised. This meant Rangnick had to bring on the likes of Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata, who altered the way the team played and ultimately, those substitutions preceded Ronaldo’s match-winning goal.

Devils Make Up The Lost Ground

And one of the most important aspects of this match is that United have managed to make up the lost ground in their race for Champions League qualification. With Spurs losing 1-0 to Brighton and Arsenal losing their third consecutive match, United are now three points behind the fourth-placed Tottenham. Arsenal have as many points as the Devils, but they have a game in hand. What now comes is crucial – United’s matches against Liverpool and Arsenal…

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