Pressure Mounts On United
It never rains but it pours.
Rain lashed Old Trafford couldn't provide a hiding place for Louis van Gaal and his side as the Canaries flew in and stole all the three points to pile the pressure on the Dutchman's broad shoulders.
It should have been a welcome return to the comfort of Old Trafford for United. Unbeaten at the Theatre of Dreams in the Premier League this season they hosted newly promoted Norwich City who started the day in the bottom three so they couldn't possibly have posed a serious threat to United's aspirations.
Wait a minute! That's exactly what everyone said last week prior to the away match to another promoted side Bournemouth and we all know too well what happened there. It is the first time in 69 years that United have lost back to back matches against promoted sides.
This time round, things looked a lot rosier for the home team prior to the match with the return to the side of Smalling, Jones, Young and Rooney, who made a landmark 500th appearance for the Red Devils.
The starting XI was composed of: De Gea, Young, Smalling, Jones, Blind, Carrick, Mata, Fellaini, Memphis, Rooney and Martial.
The expectations from all quarters were high in a fixture that United had won at Old Trafford by the same scoreline, 4-0 on the last three occasions the teams had met.
United started the match in an attacking frame of mind and with Young filling in at right wing-back it provided an option the team haven't had in the last few matches with his forays down the right wing offering width to the play.
The home side thought they had taken the lead as early as the ninth minute after some nice interchanging play on the left-hand side of the visitors penalty area that ended in Rooney sticking the ball in the net only to be ruled offside. However, the intent was there from the home team for all to see.
Carrick was the holding midfield player which was a fairly easy job as Norwich lacked conviction going forward which allowed Fellaini and Mata to be involved in every attack.
As Norwich had clearly come to defend and wait for the counter it was an opportunity for United to push numbers forward to look for that confidence boosting opener.
If anything, United became a little over ambitious in attack with some players rushing the forward pass rather than taking the time to deliver a quality final ball.
Manchester United Views is a Manchester United blog written by Miles Dunton, with lost of blog posts all about Manchester United. Check out his full blog at http://milesduntonmufc.blogspot.co.uk/.
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