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Reactions to United’s victory over Norwich

1. Last night was a typical of example of the unpredictability we now face as United fans with our team that saw nine changes from the weekend easily brushing aside Norwich. We dominated the game from start to finish and played some really good football, particularly in the second half. Ferguson has said that this season will be considered a success for Moyes if he wins just one trophy so it was important we got a result last night. We also need as many games as possible to keep our fringe players happy and fit, and the League Cup is a great option for that.

2. Javier Hernandez took advantage of a rare start and scored his third goal in the last five games. I was nervous when he put the ball on the spot as Chicharito doesn’t fill me with confidence as a penalty taker, but he took it well, sending the keeper the wrong way. His second goal was fairly typical for him, being in the right place at the right time and able to outjump his opponent to get on to the end of a cross. His first header was saved, though this just set him up with an easy opportunity to head over the line, which he took full advantage of. It was also his header back across goal from a Rafael cross that set up Phil Jones for the third goal. Chicharito is a quality striker who just has a knack of scoring goals but it is understandable that Moyes prefers Van Persie and Rooney ahead of him. Still, if he’s given a starting role in the cup competitions and regular Premier League action from the bench, hopefully that will be enough to convince him it’s worth staying at United, rather than leaving for a club that would allow him to start week in week out.

3. Whilst it was Chicharito whose goals set us on our way, the performance of Adnan Januzaj was probably the most impressive, as the 18-year-old goes from strength to strength this season. He won the penalty after 20 minutes after being tripped in the box. It was a soft penalty but one which, though irritating for Norwich fans, deserved to be awarded. Januzaj was going nowhere on the byline but he was foolishly brought down. He’s a great player to watch though, always hungry for the ball, keen to take on defenders and willing to have a shot on goal once he’s created room for himself. Whilst not getting on the scoresheet, he came very close on a number of occasions after shooting from distance, and thrived in his preferred position behind the striker. For the league, he will have to be content with starting on the wing for now, but it was good to see Moyes give him a go up front.

4. I cannot understand why Fabio isn’t given a go in our team. He came to the club as the twin with more promise but after starting the Champions League final ahead of his brother in 2011, has just seemed to fall away. He’s had a load of injuries, but it seemed strange that the club were prepared to loan him out to QPR, where he struggled to have a huge impact. He played 90 minutes at right back against Crystal Palace and had a good game but last night’s ten minute cameo was only his second appearance of the season. He did well with a great ball forward from to beat his man and slide the ball past the keeper. Playing out of position on the left wing he probably did more than Ashley Young has all season. Fabio celebrated in front of the Stretford End for some time, raising his arms and bowing down to the fans. He took to Instagram after the game and posted a picture of his celebration with the caption “Thank you for the fans! This club changed my life and the life of my family.” How can you not love these boys??

5. Following on from that, I’ve found it particularly strange that Moyes and Ferguson both have felt Alexander Buttner is more deserving of a place in the team than Fabio. Whilst often looking good going forward, he looks poor defensively. Last night he put in a great shift though and it was his inch perfect ball in to Chicharito that saw us go 2-0 up. It was arguably his best performance for United since his impressive debut against Wigan last season, but without trying to sound too harsh, that is likely because Norwich posed little to no threat, allowing Buttner to keep getting forward.

6. Jones looked chuffed to get on the scoresheet and so he should after his great finish put us 3-0 up. He was being used as a central midfielder alongside Tom Cleverley and whilst he did a decent job, against a weak side, he still looks a lot more naturally suited to defence. His passing can be a bit suspect and I’m not sure whether he’s really the answer to our midfield problem.

7. Wilf Zaha got his first game of the season and whilst he looked dangerous going forward, he struggled to have much of an impact on the game. He’s got incredibly quick feet and is always keen to try out tricks, which is good to see, but he quite often lost the ball just as he was approaching the box. Still, I’d have him in the team ahead of Young. The more experienced winger had a decent enough game last night but at his stage in his career, you’d be right to expect far more from him. He got a few crosses in but most of them were far too deep for anyone to get on the end of.

8. Eleven minutes of injury time were played after a clash of heads left a Norwich player down in our box. After a few minutes of waiting, the players started kicking balls about so they wouldn’t stiffen up. This prompted the Stretford End to go through the players asking for some recognition. “Chico, give us a wave!” it started. The Mexican waved, as did Januzaj when it was his turn, Rio, Young etc. Even Rooney from the bench. The linesman didn’t comply though, resulting in playful boos and “you scouse bastard”. When the player was finally stretchered off, most of Old Trafford rose to their feet to applaud him off. Then it was announced who the player was. Robert Snodgrass, who’d signed for Norwich from Leeds, and who’d prompted us to sing “we all hate Leeds scum” when he went to take a corner. It would be unfair to say that everyone sat down when they realised it was him, but some were less sympathetic, put it that way! “Stand up for the champions” was started, from those maybe a little embarrassed to have been giving a standing ovation to what they’d define as Leeds scum. Snodgrass was taken to hospital and was released today after being treated for concussion.

9. All in all, a very satisfying night for United, with Norwich approaching the game with the fear we had become accustomed to from visiting teams, which we’ve rarely been afforded this season. Still, it was pleasing to see the players take advantage of the chances they created, after struggling with that too often this season. The draw for the next round is tonight.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Jesper Olsen says:

    Peformer…there are lots of players with great balance, speed, vision etc. but I’ve only ever seen a handful of players who seem to have time on the ball all the time.. Slow the game down to their pace or puck it up…. Cautious optimisim is becuase some have fear he won’t make it…. Forget it he’s a star

  2. John says:

    I don’t think Virus from Madrid or Barca will wait and let it go when we miss top 4 this season…Janujaz signed contract for playing time…Dark days ahead!!..

  3. samuel - united WE stand says:

    WeAreUnited – Let’s put it this way, it is more likely than unlikely that he will develop into a top class player. No one can foresee the future but the potential is there and only circumstances and a bad mentality can disrupt adnan in terms of fulfilling it but if you look at his personality and upbringing, he is very disciplined so that bodes well, you hope it all falls into place and he goes on to be a class act.

  4. Jesper Olsen says:

    @john even darker than your skid marked yfronts?

  5. John says:

    @xyz – agreed because this is your private blog to suck up and lick what you believe!!..CUNT.

  6. John says:

    Messi-esque + Giggs like + Best like = Janujaz…that will earn Glazers another 60 millions after few seasons!!..Take it as red!!

  7. AK says:

    Sorry but it was not a soft penalty. He made a challenged, didn’t get the ball, and swiped at his feet

  8. slim says:

    Johns just pissed cos there might actually be something positive to talk about.
    Probably gagging for Young to start. Christmas wish is, we go look for Djemba Djemba and re-sign him ASAP

  9. Gingerprince18 says:


    How is Chesea doing mate? Where is your other moniker?

  10. John says:

    @Ginger…oh, they just defeated Arsenal at Emirates…Jose is a winner..Look what a worl class manager can do!!..Pumped enthusiasm onto dejected players…Ours with young players was brilliant stuff too..Was checking stats and Moyes has not defeated Mourinho team NOT ONCE..anyway, I am not a rent boy..just wish Gollum as our manager was a bad dream and move on!!

  11. Gingerprince18 says:


    You just can’t hide your love for Chelsea. You are in love with them. Good, now fuck off to their blog.

  12. John says:

    @Ginger…hahaha, relax mate!!

  13. John says:

    SAF Vs Mourinho : In total 16 meetings, Mourinho has record of 7 wins, 7 draws and just 2 defeats…..Got better of him, thus the ‘chosen one’ is not a surprise…won’t have followed SAF like his little puppy dog like Gollum does!!..oh!! He certainly won’t have phoned SAF for what to say in press conference!!…Love him or Hate him, Jose was the man for us!!

  14. AlphaRS says:

    Adverts at the bottom of the screen. Adverts at the side of the screen. Now adverts in the actual text. FFS.

  15. DreadedRed says:

    Hey AlphaRS (thirsty? have a Coke) how you doing mate? (Not well? try MediPharm) Been a while (Keep in contact with Twitter) Nice to see Chicharito getting a start (New! Chick-Pea-Bran for that get-up-and-go!), the lad deserves more game time (Safari Land, for your game viewing pleasure).

  16. AlphaRS says:


  17. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Bring on Stoke!

    Capital One Cup quarter-final draw: Stoke v Manchester United.

    5th Round ties played week commencing Dec16

  18. Manny1234 says:

    We look a far better team without Rooney which was shown by that performance. For me I’d rather see Rooney on the bench. The play flows better without him and if moyes had the bottle he’d leave him on the bench for the weekend. I’d rather see us play jones in the middle as it gives us someone hungry to win the ball back. Cleverly was disappointing yet again and don’t understand why united persist with him.

    I still feel our best team is

    De gea
    Rafael Evans Vidic evra
    Jones carrick
    Valencia kagawa januzaj
    Van Persie

    Mark my words. If that team started a game we would win convincingly.

  19. Godiah Rocky Imbukuleh says:

    I don’t think so. Without Rooney in the Champions League and Premiership we would be out of sorts. He was the most visible player against Man City, Chelsea, Stocke and Liverkusen.If you get delusional over a performance against a pathetic team, then prepare to get a reality check soon.

  20. Godiah Rocky Imbukuleh says:

    We can only truly judge a player’s ability after a season.

  21. Nesh says:

    @ “How many Janujaz you guys think Barca have though they of course chase such ‘potential’”

    This is like the worst comment I have seen here….really! some people are just Unbelievable!

  22. John says:

    @Nesh…I just meant it with reference to Bojan Kirkic and Giovani Dos Santor when they looked world beater at Barcelona… Not meant to criticize or underestimate Janujaz potential..I wanted to say, of course, he may become world player of the year but lets give him atleast a season against best teams out there first of all..people were talking as if he was already as good as messi and i just couldn’t take that nonsense.

  23. Nesh says:

    @John thanks for the clarification mate… though people are talking about the lad like that coz he really is something special.sometimes you don’t require to see alot from a young player to tell that they will go on to be world beaters really unless something goes horribly wrong. These are things u saw from a young Scholesy, Becks and say Giggsy that set them apart from say Nicky butt as much as much as he too was a talent(no disrespect to Nicky Butt).
    Still I think Januzaj will need to work hard to get there to be complete world class and with the attitude we seeing from the lad this is gonna be true one day same case for Zaha.

  24. Nesh says:

    Moyes could ship Young, Anderson, Nani & Rafael out

    Complete bollocks on Rafael ….

  25. briggsy says:

    @AlphaRS – KNow what you mean. It’s becoming a right chore to come on this site now

  26. King Eric says:

    John. A fucking blind man can see Januzaj is a very special talent. Samuel summed him up. You not dead yet you cunt? Don’t look at this site for a week and even after three straight wins you’re still fucking having your snide digs.


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