Win is a win. The fact that Manchester United had their first shot on target in the 45th minute speaks volumes of how the first half went where United were under pressure for a lot of it. Norwich were far more threatening on the attack than United did and Patrice Evra had a torrid time on the left.
David Moyes needed to have strong words during the break to get United playing differently and what he said clearly worked. Bringing on Danny Welbeck for Ryan Giggs proved to be the perfect substitution as less than 15 minutes into the second half, Welbeck scored. It was an opportunistic pounce and finish from an in-form Welbeck.
From then on, United looked far more comfortable as the goal sapped Norwich of their attacking impetus but sitting quite deep, United had a nervy last ten minutes yet held on once again to make it six wins in a row.
Welbeck is dat guy. Four goals in his last four Premier League appearances from Welbeck is the culmination of some fantastic work by him to turn his fortunes around and today, his introduction completely changed the game for United.
I am eating my humble pie right now. A few weeks ago, I said I would rather have Hernandez in the squad than Welbeck when given the choice but it was certainly a short sighted thing to say.
There aren’t many players who can say they have played at their current club since they were nine years old and Welbeck has worked his way into the first team purely on merit. He has turned his form around and has now transformed himself in front of goal. Keep it up, Danny.
Results are remembered, not performances. Today’s performance against Norwich was not fantastic by any stretch of the imagination but it was a victory nonetheless. At the end of the day results are what matters, not how the victory is achieved.
‘We’re shit and we’re top of the league’ was a United favourite last season under Sir Alex Ferguson because we won by any means necessary. The last two victories against Hull and Norwich have showed that tradition has continued.
Winning games when you aren’t playing well is the trademark of champions, especially two tricky away performances in 48 hours.
United’s dependence on Wayne Rooney is startling. You don’t truly realise the importance of a player until he is missing. Just like United have struggled desperately in midfield in the absence of Michael Carrick, United struggled in attack in the absence of Rooney.
There was a real lack of creativity today in the first half and we only got our first shot on target in the 44th minute. Without Rooney, there was a real gap between midfield and attack that he usually bridges. Kagawa tried his best but couldn’t fill that hole.
Sometimes Moyes will make decisions that could come back to haunt him and had United not beaten Norwich, leaving Rooney out would have been one of those decisions. In the end, Rooney’s rest proved to be a clever move by Moyes. He will now be refreshed and ready for Tottenham Hotspur on New Years Day.
Seasonal surge continues. That is six wins in a row for United that leaves us in sixth place in the Premier League only seven points behind Manchester City at the top of the table after their 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Only a few weeks ago, our title race was written off as the gap was simply too big but it is still only December. Nothing is over yet.
Moyes and United have done extremely well in this festive period. With so many games, there was every chance that United’s title chance could have been over by the turn of the New Year if we didn’t make the most of this festive but we did.
We had our tricky games at the start of the season and struggled but now that Moyes is getting to know his team better, that is being reflected in the results.