Giggs’ finish makes his special day one to remember

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Ryan Giggs scored a dramatic 92nd minute winner on the day he celebrated his 900th appearance for Manchester United, to beat Norwich 2-1 in a pulsating encounter at Carrow Road.

The Welsh legend’s goal ensured a fairytale finish to his special day and kept United within two points of league leaders City.

Substitute Ashley Young delivered an in-swinging cross from the left, which Giggs met at the far post, poking the ball in between Ruddy and the upright with his left foot, before racing to celebrate the goal with the United fans packed in the away end.

Norwich will feel sorry for themselves has they had looked to have earned a fully deserved draw courtesy of Grant Holt’s fantastic finish six minutes from time, but this was another impressive performance by Paul Lambert’s men.

Without Rooney still suffering from a throat virus, United maintained their usual 4-4-2 formation, with Hernandez and Welbeck up-front, Nani, Carrick and Scholes joining Giggs in midfield.

Jones and Evra partnered Evans and Ferdinand at the back, with DeGea in goal.

Norwich have arguably been one of the stories of the season and looked to provide a stern test of United’s title credentials, but it was the visitors that had the better in the early stages of the game.

After just seven minutes, Nani’s cross from the right caused havoc in the Canaries’ defence as Paul Scholes was allowed to run unmarked at the far post for the simplest of headers.

The veteran midfielder was rolling back the years with another excellent performance following his return from retirement, partnered in midfield by the brilliant Michael Carrick.

United could have had a second minutes later, when some brilliant interplay between Welbeck, Nani and Hernandez saw the Mexican square the ball for Welbeck, whose effort was brilliantly saved by Ruddy.

United were guilty to take their foot off the pedal, allowing the home side into the game but they were rescued by an excellent David DeGea.

Rock solid when tested by high balls, the Spaniard denied Norwich twice within minutes with half an hour gone in the first half.

Pilkington had looked set to score after being played through by a brilliant ball over the top from Kyle Naughton, only for DeGea to save with his right leg outstretched.

Then, moments later, Pilkington’s cross was met by Holt’s header but DeGea kept Norwich at bay yet again.

Hernandez wasted a good opportunity to double the lead as his shot lacked power to trouble Ruddy after yet more good work from Welbeck.

United took control of the tempo in the second half and looked to close the game down, but Giggs could only flick the ball against the bar from close range.

Ferguson then replaced Hernandez with Young, moving Giggs closer to Welbeck, but Norwich looked threatening, despite excellent performances by Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans at the heart of the United back four.

The game remained dangerously poised for Ferguson’s men and when Holt controlled a loose ball before turning and smashing a ferocious left footed strike into the top corner, Norwich looked to have denied United.

United poured forward but, as Welbeck missed two glorious chances, there seem to be no fairytale end to Giggs’ special day.

The Welshman was having none of it, however, as he got on the end of Ashley Young’s cross to fire home the winner.

Today’s result might well prove a pivotal day in the title race and should United retain the title, a large slice of it would be down to Ryan Giggs’ late winner on a day where he marked his 900th appearance for the club.

Some things are just meant to be.

 

Daniele (@MUFC_dan87)

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24 Comments

  1. it was a superb cross, the kind of cross that only him and valencia seem able to provide. Whipped and precise.

  2. What a fantastic moment from Ryan Giggs at the end. I have not seen him celebrate like that for a good while either. Truly rolled back the years. Big credit to Scholesy as well for coming up with the goods yet again. Replacing those 2 full time will be the true test but for now lets enjoy the lads doing what they do best.

    Must mention De Gea too as he seems to be improving with every game he plays on this run while Anders is out injured. You can see that in time the lad could be great for us.

    Only thing that grates on me a little at the minute, does Fergie really have to constantly praise the opposition in what feels like every pre and post match interview? It doesnt matter if its Norwich, Stoke, Bolton, Spurs, etc, etc, etc he just always seems to sit there talking about what good sides they are and how well they are doing. I just wish that he would have a bit more of the “Not arrogant, Just better” mentality that the fans and even most of the players have. But anyway its a minor point and i will enjoy the 3 points and the fact that we are right behind Shitty once again tonight. Bring on Tottenham next week!

  3. United have won 2-1 four times this season, in which 3 of them have been 1-1 at 80 minutes.

    We’ve also won three games 5-0, and have two 3-3 draws.

    And what’s maybe the most impressive, is that United have scored AT LEAST 3 goals in a game a total of fourteen times!!

  4. We’ve only scored 4 goals less than Manchester City this season despite having had the most difficult fixtures. Faced Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcaslte twice, along with hitting 3 past Spurs when we met them at Old Trafford. Still their goal difference is +11 better than ours. If we don’t win the title this season it’s because of the defence, not attack or midfield. If only we’d have had Nemanja fit for the season it would have been much better.

    Evans has impressed me this season, but he’s got a knack of being in the wrong place at the right time every game. Indirectly, his actions have cost us goals against Liverpool, Chelsea, City in large amounts. Evra doesn’t look as suspect with Vidic in there, and with the Serbian on the pitch we had a great defence of set-plays. He always manages to get his head on the ball first, he is a warrior that can clear even in the most unlikely circumstances! He’s a commander as well, I doubt we would have conceded 13 goals from corners/free-kicks had he been on the pitch. Will be delighted when we get him back!

      • @Moscow is my heaven: I don’t get it really. People are complaining about our midfield but I look around and don’t see many better! Yeah you’ve got Barca but they are one of a kind, and I often wonder if people understand what a midfield is supposed to do. I know football is a team game, but to me it’s parted like this:

        The defence is there to make sure you don’t lose a game(I.e concede)
        The midfield is there to dominate, keep possession and get it to the attack, along with protecting the backline.
        The attack is there to win you games, create chances and score.

        We dominate most teams, even big ones. It’s a rare sight to see United get totally outplayed by another team this season, Newcaslte away and Ajax are the only ones that springs to mind. With Scholes, Carrick and Cleverley we are good at retaining possession and keeping other teams at bay. As a fan I’d love someone like Modric, who can give a little bit of extra flair into the side, but as far as what a midfield can offer in terms of balance and creativity I’ve got no problems with ours, especially now that Scholes is back. We’ve managed to score a lot of goals this season, and although we’ve missed an awful lot of chances this season(mainly Welbz) I don’t have problems with it. What’s worrying for me is how we concede goals. Set-plays, counter attacks, it’s very much the defence that fails us this season. It looks incredibly fragile without Nemanja. Currently, I’m delighted with the midfield we’ve got. If Scholes decides to take another year I won’t be begging for a midfielder this summer, but when he goes we’ll definately need one.

        • @RedDevilEddy: we don’t dominate most teams… our midfield gets run over by nobodies this season. I think Midfield is the reason our defense sucks…

        • @RedDevilEddy: I am with Moscow on this one mate, Carrick has been superb this season and very underrated. Cleverley has been very strart stop, due to his injury issues. Fletch we all know about and your boy Anderson has had, well another one of those seasons.
          If United had managed to get Sneijder or Modric, then we would had had that extra bit of quality. Bringing Scholes back was very sensible, but we do lack genuine World Class talent in the centre of the park, we simply do not have one World Class midfield player and that is not good enough for United.

    • @RedDevilEddy: The reason we’re 11 goals behind City is that we lost to them at OT. 6-1 = +5 in their favor, -5 in our = 10 goal difference.

      If we beat them at Wa$teLand, we are 1pt ahead (given current standings)!!!

  5. I think if we can get Cleverley and Anderson 100% fit for at least the last 10 games of the season as well as keeping the rest of the midfield fit then we will have a real chance. Would give us the option to rotate if legs start to get tired and keep Scholes and Giggs fresh for the big games. I remember at the start of the season when we were using the Anderson, Cleverley pairing in the middle and it looked like it could turn into a really exciting partnership. The 2 of them fresh could become a real asset together in the title run in. Things get a lot harder for City in the coming weeks. They have trips to Arsenal, Stoke and Newcastle to come if im not mistaken.

    • @GiggsWillTearYouApart: Anderson is a donkey. Carrick is twice the player he will ever be. A more imperative thing will be to get Valencia back and Young out of the team again. Rooney and Chico up front with Nani and Valo out on the wings and Scholes and Carrick in CM is a great oul team.

        • @Opti: I hope so, he is a cracking player and one of the most underrated players in the league. We are blessed to have him, Nani and Ashley Young all exciting wide men, true United style.

  6. I might be wrong but yesterday’s win had “champions” written all over it. Tough ground to go, facing a side that threw the kitchen side at us, conceding the equaliser with 6 mins left and yet…yet we nicked one at the end. It’s fair to say that we’ve built momentum over the last 6-7 games. If we keep going, City will bottle it. Also, i agree with the comments above about yesterday’s game, but im surprised that nobody has mentioned Rio and Evans. They both had a blinder, say what you like about Rio but when fit he’s still one of the top 5 central defenders in the world and Evans has been class this season.

    • @Daniele: Rio in my opinion is when fully fit the best centre half in the World. Evans may look like Bambi, but this season he has been superb, I do appreciate thay there is at least one error a game in him!

      • @Stephen: Evans has often been a liability because he’s been thrown into the team to play the odd game here and there. He was always in to replace either Rio or Vida meaning that he’d always have a different partner at the back. This season, with a consistent run of games under his belt he’s been magnificent. I’d go as far as say that he might be one of the players of the season for us so far

  7. Carrick and Cleverley for the regular games with Giggs or Scholes slotting in for the big games will give us our best shot at the title.

    Anderson I just want to see leave the club. He builds up a bit of form then his form goes south and a lengthy injury follows by which time other players have stepped into his shoes and done a good job and then next season the same pattern happens all over again. We need to clear some space to bring in new signings as well as promoting players from the youth ranks and Anderson for me would be the first to go.

    Fletcher is a great servant to the club but Ferguson does not know how to use him anymore. He was promoted above his station on the back of a very good 2008/9 season. For me the only way to use Fletcher is as a nuisance player in a five man midfield for the big games. In a 4-4-2 his technical ineptitude gets exposed and Ferguson always seems to give him license to get forward which inevitably results in him giving away possession.

    If Fletcher gets back from his stomach illness best use for him would be as a squad player filling in to add numbers when we play five in midfield or as a holding midfielder when Carrick is injured alongside someone very competent in possession. But never played with Carrick in a 4-4-2. That combination never ever works.

    If Fletcher makes a full recovery then we could probably get by with just one extra signing in the Sneijder/Modric mould. Basically someone comfortable in possession with a good eye for a pass able to cope with a pressing game and not lose composure and ideally capable of chipping in some goals.

    Even if Fletcher does not make a full recovery I would be prepared to gamble on just one signing if Pogba stays.

    But if Fletcher does not make a full recovery and Pogba leaves I want us to buy a fairly cheap defensive midfielder as well as a top class playmaker. If someone like Khedira; Lucas Biglia; Diarra or someone similar is available then that would be ideal. That would then leave us more cash for a more technical offensive minded midfielder.

  8. Come on mate I personally think we ought to give Anderson a whole lot more credit. There is nothing you can do about injuries, our league is just too physically demanding and that is why we pay the expense of flair players who dont do well in our league too often. During the season start while Cleverly took in the accolades, fat-ass Andy 😉 took over the defensive duties and did them admirably. When Cleverly took off injured who was the one who took over and saw Andy’s form dip faster than stock exchange in 2007? Why Fletcher of course who by my definition holds the achievement and title the bane of football for the both sides on the field.

    Lets take in what we know for fact about Fletcher.
    Fletcher x Carrick =/= Evidence:- Crap Invicibles
    Fletcher x Anderson =/= Evidence:- This season and few games they have been tried together(doesnt work of course)
    Fletcher x Scholes =/= fabled pairing that according to Carrick bashers the reason why we won the 07-08 Seasons(i swear I read this on ManUtd forum)
    Fletcher x Giggs =/= seen it in Fletchers prime against Chelsea long long ago when Grant was the russkie helmsman. (Only known working Fletcher pairing)
    Fletcher x Cleverly = Don’t want ever to know this

    I still think Anderson has a role to play and I don’t understand any player being slated because he was injured. Why replace him? he can still play a long term squad role if need be and what we need is our squad numbers.

    PS;- I would also add that Cleverly also needs to learn to play deeper. He is too much of an AM and we just dont play with those in our system.

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