Live Commentary: Norwich City 1-0 Manchester United - as it happened

Alex Ferguson
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live updates from Manchester United's trip to Carrow Road to take on Norwich City.

Manchester United travelled to Norwich City this evening with a record of seven wins from their last eight visits to Carrow Road.

The form book was thrown out the window though as a second-half header from Anthony Pilkington was enough for the hosting Canaries to claim all three points against Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

Read how the match unfolded with our minute-by-minute commentary below.


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4.31pmEvening all. We've got a decent game in prospect this evening. Man United are favourites, but Norwich have been in good form lately and are sure to raise their game for the visit of the Red Devils.

4.35pmThe game holds a big significance for United in particular when you consider that their rivals and fellow title challengers Manchester City are currently cruising to victory over Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium.

4.36pmIncidentally, you can follow our live commentary of that match here. City lead 5-0 at the moment.

4.38pmBack at Carrow Road, Man United's television channel MUTV are reporting that David de Gea misses out for the Red Devils today. He has apparently had his wisdom teeth out. We will look to confirm that asap.

4.41pmMan United X1: Lindegaard; Rafael, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evra; Carrick, Giggs, Valencia, Young; RVP, Hernandez

4.43pmSo De Gea does indeed miss out for United. Elsewhere in their starting lineup, Wayne Rooney misses out, meaning that Javier Hernandez is given the nod. Ryan Giggs also starts.

4.46pmNorwich X1: Ruddy; Whittaker, Turner, Bassong, Garrido; Tettey, Johnson; Snodgrass, Hoolahan, Pilkington; Holt

4.48pmThere's no real surprises in that Norwich lineup. Scotland international Steven Whittaker starts at right-back, while Grant Holt will feature as a lone striker.

4.53pmAnd here are the substitutes.

Norwich: Bunn, Howson, Jackson, Morison, E. Bennett, Tierney, R. Bennett

Man United: Johnstone, Jones, Anderson, Welbeck, Scholes, Cleverley, Fletcher


4.57pmHeading into this encounter Sir Alex Ferguson has called upon his side to tighten up at the back. Time after time this season they have conceded the first goal of the match. That's something that Norwich will be looking to exploit this evening no doubt.

5.02pmHaving said that, they have been the masters of coming from behind to claim victories this season. They have recovered 15 points from losing positions this season. Although I'm sure Ferguson would prefer routine wins!

5.07pmThis match is not all about United though. After a difficult start, Chris Hughton has turned them into a competitive outfit. They've lost just one of their last six Premier League encounters.

5.08pmDuring that run they have also kept four clean sheets. Have to say that the signing of Sebastien Bassong has contributed greatly to that. He has the pace that the other Norwich defenders do not possess. Keeping him fit will be key for them this season.

5.14pmChanging the subject slightly - it's a big game for Javier Hernandez today. He's scored goals from the bench in recent weeks but today has the opportunity from the start. No striker wants the tag of 'supersub' after all.

5.19pmTalking of goals, Holt has rediscovered his goalscoring boots for Norwich in recent weeks. He scored in this fixture last season, which United won 2-1 courtesy of a strike from Ryan Giggs deep into stoppage time.

5.25pmRight, the players are in the tunnel. Not long now until we are off and running at Carrow Road.

5.30pmHere we go then - Norwich get the match started...

2 minCHANCE! United have seen a lot of the ball during the opening exchanges, with Robin van Persie forcing John Ruddy into action with low save.

5 minHalf an opportunity for the hosts as Robert Snodgrass sends a bouncing effort well over the crossbar.

8 minCHANCE! First real sight of goal for Norwich as Anthony Pilkington breaks quickly into the United area. He's under pressure from Antonio Valencia though and as a result he drags his shot wide.

13 minSAVE! Ashley Young whips in a freekick from 30 yards out but it's easy for Ruddy in the Norwich goal to collect.

17 minSAVE! It's Norwich's turn to attack which ends with Hoolahan forcing Lindegaard into a save down to his left. It's a good effort from the Irish international, although it never really troubled the Dane in goal.

21 minCHANCE! It's end-to-end stuff at the moment. This time United have an opportunity which Patrice Evra really should do better with. He leapt highest to meet Young's corner, but he fails to connect cleanly with the ball and the chance goes a begging.

23 minCHANCE! Norwich go close as Snodgrass flicks on a cross from Hoolahan. However, the ball just misses the target to the right. Lindegaard looked well beaten there.

25 minCHANCE! The home side are beginning to get on top. Pilkington threads a pass through for Javier Garrido, who drills the ball across the six-yard box. Any touch and Norwich would be leading.

29 minAfter that flurry of chances, it's all gone a bit scrappy at Carrow Road. In truth Norwich have been the better side, with United being guilty of being too casual on the ball at times.

33 minStill very little happening here. Unless they step it up between now and the break, the United players may well be in for some of the famous 'hairdryer treatment' from Ferguson. They haven't performed well at all.

37 minSome last-ditch defending from United's Chris Smalling in front of his own goal denies Holt a certain goal. It looked for all the world that the Norwich skipper was going to tap into an empty net, but Smalling put his body in the way.

40 minCHANCE! Ryan Giggs's lofted pass finds Van Persie unmarked inside the Norwich area, but the Dutchman fails to connect and the ball skips out of play.

42 minSAVE! A great stop from Ruddy down low to his left results in Young being denied from a tight angle. United are now beginning to move through the gears.

45 minWe're going to have at least one minute of stoppage time...

6.16pmHALF-TIME: Norwich 0-0 Man United

6.18pmChris Hughton will certainly be the happier of the two managers heading into the break. His side have been well organised and have broke astutely on occasions. United on the other hand have been wasteful. Still, it was the same last week against Villa and they ended up scoring three goals. Big 45 minutes for both clubs coming up. Stay with us.

6.30pmThe players are now back on the pitch and there are no changes from either team. United will restart the match...

47 minSAVE! Early opportunity for Van Persie, who fires straight at Ruddy. It was important that the goalkeeper held the ball there because Hernandez was lurking.

50 minNorwich have now settled into the half following a quick start from United. Have to say they've been impressive defensively today. Hughton has drilled his side well.

55 minThe hosts continue to look comfortable in possession. Worryingly for United, not much has changed from the opening 45 minutes. They are being extremely sloppy with the ball.

59 minGOAL! Norwich 1-0 Man United (Pilkington)

61 minAnd on the balance of play you have to say that Norwich deserve that. Garrido crosses from the left for Pilkington, who guides a header inside the back post. We've got a real match on now.

65 minFair play to Norwich. Instead of looking to defend their lead, they are still pressing forward. United look a little shell shocked.

69 minSUBSTITUTION: Double swap for United as Paul Scholes and Danny Welbeck take the places of Hernandez and Valencia.

73 minI'm surprised Giggs was not taken off when United made changes there. He's given the ball away time and time again this evening. Perhaps we will see Tom Cleverley or Anderson introduced in his place soon.

76 minSAVE! A routine stop for Ruddy as Welbeck floats a Van Persie cross into his hands. United are beginning to push. Can Norwich hang on?

80 minUnited are still piling forward but at the moment they can not a break a stubborn Norwich defence. Ten minutes to go...

83 minSUBSTITUTION: Two alterations for Norwich as Steve Morison and Jonny Howson come on for Holt and Hoolahan. Fresh legs are much needed for the Canaries. Also, Rio Ferdinand has come off for United and Anderson is on.

87 minUnited continue to probe but the door is being slammed in their faces at the moment. You can feel Man City and Chelsea willing Norwich to hold out!

89 minWHAT A MISS! Norwich should be over the hill and far away. Morison plays in Howson, who is clear on goal. The midfielder seems to panic though and shoots horribly wide. Will Norwich be made to pay for that?

90 minWe will have four minutes of stoppage time...

90+1 minSUBSTITUTION: Snodgrass, suffering with cramp, is replaced by Elliott Bennett.

90+3 minSAVE! Is that a match-winning stop from Ruddy? Van Persie's freekick is flicked on by Welbeck, but Ruddy gets a firm hand on the ball to tip over.

90+4 minSAVE! And again Ruddy does the business between the sticks, flying down to his left to deny Anderson.

7.22pmFULL TIME: Norwich 0-1 Man United

7.24pmWhat a result for Norwich! And in all honesty it was a deserved one. They worked hard throughout and got their rewards. United on the other hand never really got going. What will also hurt is the fact that Man City now top the table.

7.26pmThat's just about all we have time for from Carrow Road. Thanks for joining us over the course of the afternoon and be sure to check out our match analysis, which will be coming your way shortly.

Tom Cleverley, Wayne Rooney
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