Norwich City vs Manchester United Match Analysis

Written By : Bhavdeep Singh

Manchester United travelled to Carrow Road on Saturday to keep their top 4 hopes alive, after a draw at home against champions Leicester, a win was a necessary. Norwich on the other hand, were fighting to stay out of relegation, it’s safe to say that they wanted a win as well. While both teams had a lot riding on this match, they certainly didn’t seem to be playing like that, however, thanks to a mistake by Sebastien Bassong, a great display of skill by Wayne Rooney and a calm finish by Juan Mata, Manchester United came out as winners.

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Manchester United

To be honest, both teams played pathetically, it was a midfield battle for them, and United seemed to win most of it, but when the ball would come in their half, the Norwich attackers would look dangerous, in fact, the canaries would’ve taken an early lead had it not been for the Manchester United player of the year, David De Gea. Defensively, they looked clueless at times and pretty strong at others, Marcos Rojo cannot defend against aerial balls (I’m pretty sure I wrote that the last time as well), the mid was constantly fighting, but could’ve performed better, way better in getting the ball up front, the attack, when it did take place seemed pretty good but just crumbled by the time they reached the box.

  • David seemed content in the box and didn’t have much to do, however, he did his part when necessary
  • Antonio Valencia seemed to be the man of the match for the longest period of time and seemed like the only one trying, but the efforts were in vain thanks to either bad crosses or no creativity from the rest of the team
  • Chris Smalling played like, well…Chris Smalling, had a good game, not a lot to say about him, did his part.


  • Marcos Rojo is a player who I’ve had an eye on, a pretty bad display, does not seem to do well in the defense, especially when facing aerial balls (gave Wes Morgan free headers in the last match and Cameron Jerome in this one) which is simply sad, needs to either improved or be benched.
  • Matteo Darmian didn’t play much as he picked up a knock in the 16th minute and was replaced by Cameron Borthwick Jackson, the U21s player of the year for United, it sure didn’t seem like he deserved that one after some sloppy defending. No worries though, nothing major happened, and given his age and potential, he can do wonders, so I’d suggest giving him some time.
  • Michael Carrick was the only holding mid fielder in the lineup, he could have done better, we saw a classic “Carrick display” by the 34-year-old, had good moments but then had some bad ones as well, so can’t say much. According to many fans, his career seems to have come to an end, how valid do you think this statement is? You can tell the world by writing for us (subtle marketing at its finest)
  • Memphis Depay was the player everyone had their hopes on, but these hopes came crashing down after a very poor display by the Dutchman, barring a good free kick, he seemed to have no control over the ball, looked clueless and made a ton of mistakes. It could just be a bad game, but in my opinion, the fact that he’s been benched for so long has had its effect on him, what the future holds for him, only time shall tell.


  • Ander Herrera seemed fine, but could’ve done better, another player whose game seems to be affected by the amount of time he’s spent on the bench, wasn’t as bad as Memphis, but wasn’t a lot better as well.
  • Juan Mata was the one who scored the goal, he didn’t seem to have much of an impact in the first half, after being placed on the wing by the manager, but had a much better second half, and had no problem scoring a good goal to keep United in the race for the top 4.


  • Jesse Lingard seemed to make up for Marouanne Fellaini after his suspension, playing absolutely pathetic football and it’s not been a one-time affair with him. The fans are starting to lose it with him and he better do something about it before the hate starts (what he’s getting now is just a trailer)
  • Finally, Wayne Rooney had a game similar to that of Juan Mata, while he passed the ball around well, he didn’t get to see much action and was often called to the centre thanks to the midfield battle, however, when given the chance, he didn’t take it, was fully aware of Mata who was making the run and passed the ball to him. That’s an ace in the hole for the man, good spacial orientation as well as awareness allowed him to confuse the Norwich defence and keeper and help Mata tuck the ball behind the net, a good move.

Overall, a sad performance, they need to play better against West Ham and make the most of the chance that has been given to them, a draw or a loss could see them in the Europa League again.

As far as Manchester United’s top 4 chances are concerned, Arsenal drew against Manchester City, who, after losing to Southampton last week are in a weak spot, it depends on United to win both games (WHU  (A) and BOU (H)) to secure a place in the top 4. It is achievable.

Norwich City

Norwich were worse than United, they lost the midfield battle a lot, and while Jerome was very close to scoring an early first goal, he was pulled back when United looked dangerous and that was the end of their attack, Mbokani though, seemed to make a difference there, he looked dangerous moving forward, a good support is all he needed, in my opinion, to if not win it, then at least equalise. 13173394_1060722967334344_7784321032820325423_o

  • Jack Ruddy played well and could do nothing for the goal, an okay game
  • Sebastien Bassong struggled against Wayne Rooney and it was due to his error that they lost, was it a one time thing though?
  • Martin Olsson played quite fine till Valencia put his foot on the gas, he then began to struggle
  • Ivo Pinto had a good game among all the defenders, moved forward to support the attacks on the wing
  • Russel Martin had a major role in avoiding a Valencia pass into the box early on in the first half, a good game, and again, after the confusion caused by Rooney, couldn’t do much to avoid the goal.
  • Jonny Howson was not visible during the game, failed to have an impact.
  • Gary O’Niel was frustrated after being unable to make an impact and it was evident after the booking in the closing minutes of the game


  • Nathan Redmond was good as he was against Arsenal, looked dangerous and provided some good balls but no result came of it
  • Wes Hoolahan seemed to be dangerous in a lot of games but this one, pretty invisible, not a good game for Irish player.
  • Robby Brady also delivered good balls and made a few runs but then again, it didn’t seem to account for much
  • Cameron Jerome had a sad game, simply faded away after his header was denied by David De Gea.


Overall, another sad week for the canaries, their relegation battle has now come down to a lot of conditions and they seem to be losing it.

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Picture Credits : Manchester United Views Facebook, Norwich City FC Facebook

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