Manchester United have beaten Norwich at home in a hard fought game that could be crucial in the race for top four.
With rivals Tottenham and Arsenal both losing, United had a chance to capitalise on their misfortune but they almost threw it away.
As the fans slowly filtered in following the protests against the Glazers, the game got under way with Lingard making some good runs and passes forward in the opening two minutes.
At the other end Pukki had a chance within the opening three minutes. He made a good run and took it first time, but de Gea had come out and made himself really big, saving United from an early deficit.
Elanga controlled the ball well in the box and got a difficult shot away over his head but it lacked power and found Krul’s gloves.
However, in the 8th minute Norwich decided to play out from the back but Elanga put pressure on the defenders and stole it from the feet of Gibson in his own area. He passed it to Ronaldo who was waiting in the middle and he powered it into the open goal.
Norwich tried to get straight back into it, having a good spell of possession in their attacking half.
Lingard, who was enjoying a rare start under Rangnick, was involved in everything positive that United did.
It was end to end stuff as guarding the edge of United’s box, Pogba intercepted the ball and launched a counter attack, playing in Elanga who had made a great run.
United stayed hungry with Lingard getting a shot away only to be denied by a brilliant save from Krul. The subsequent corner was delivered into the box by Telles and it was Ronaldo once again who rose above the rest to head it into the back of the goal.
But The Canaries weren’t down and out as they looked to launch a comeback beginning with a free kick just outside the box however it was off target and didn’t trouble de Gea.
On the stroke of half time they got one back, Pukki with the pass across the penalty area where Dowell was waiting to nod it in past de Gea.
The second half got under way with Ronaldo in search of his 50th club hat-trick and Lingard still with a point to prove.
For all their positive work going forward, it was all undone in one swift move from Norwich. A perfectly timed pass allowed Pukki through on goal and he calmly slotted it past de Gea.
Rasica thought he’d got Norwich’s third moments later with a lovely strike but somehow de Gea got down to it to push it just wide of the post.
United were taking too long on the ball and couldn’t get their shots away.
When it looked like United were on the back foot, Elanga won a free kick in a dangerous area. Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to take it with one thing on his mind! He unleashed a rocket of a shot which Krul got two hands to but such was the power that he couldn’t keep it out. Ronaldo had done it, his 50th club hat trick!
United were rejuvenated, Mata making a huge difference since he came onto the pitch was creating chances for the forwards.
Norwich were knocking on the door towards the end but United held on to clinch the three points, with Ronaldo taking the match ball.
Team: de Gea, Dalot, Telles (Mata 74), Maguire, Lindelof, Pogba (Rashford 74), Lingard (Matic 64), Elanga, Fernandes, Sancho, Ronaldo