VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: (4-0) Manchester United Vs Norwich, Premier League 2013
Sunday 3 Mar 2013 3:04 a.m.
Robin Van Persie suffered a slight injury scare last week against QPR but is expected to start against Norwich (Reuters file)
NB: Video on this article has been removed in accordance to international license restrictions.
By Louis Anderson-Rich
Hello and welcome to Old Trafford where we have league leaders Manchester United taking on Norwich City in the English Premier League.
United already have one hand firmly on the Premier League title with a 12-point lead over Manchester City but they will be wary of over-confidence after they blew an 8-point lead at the same point last season to hand City the title.
Make sure you REFRESH your browser occasionally so you don’t miss any of the action. VIDEO WILL BE AVAILABLE TO BE VIEWED STRAIGHT AFTER THE FINAL WHISTLE.
LIVE COMMENTARY… Fulltime: Man United 4 – 0 Norwich
ALL VIDEO NOW UP.
90+4 Min: There goes the whistle and United get the win!
87 Min: Kagawa is a hat-trick hero after darting into the box to recieve a great pass from Rooney and chip the 'keeper! GOAL!
85 Min: QPR have taken the lead against Southampton with a Bothroyd goal and Swansea have broken the deadlock against Newcastle through a Luke Moore shot.
81 Min: Another clumsy challenge from a Norwich defender this time on Welbeck who goes down clutching his head.
76 Min: Grant Holt gets a flick on for Kamara who battles his way into the box but Evans manages to hold him off....and as quick as you like United are back down the other end with Rooney in the box! Rooney cuts back inside, lays the pass square to Kagawa who finishes with absolute aplomb! GOAL!
75 Min: Cleverley's first touch is poor but United recover and try to launch an attack. Again the attack breaks down with Cleverley.
73 Min: Johnson bring down Rooney who stays down for a bit and then gets up but moves gingerly...not good for that Real Madrid match...Snodgrass off for Bennett and Tom Cleverley comes on to replace Anderson.
72 Min: Sunderland has equalised against Fulham after being 2-0 down.Stephane Sessegnon getting the goal...meanwhile Kamara has come on for Hoolahan.
71 Min: Bassong has been caught out in defence and seemed to throw an elbow up at Rooney but the referee doesn't have any of it...United with the ball back though and Danny Welbeck is in posession, he darts down the left and into the box tries some tricks but can't pull them off.
70 Min: Wayne Rooney seeks out Patrice Evra who is up very far but he's given offside.
69 Min: Valencia pulled back as he tears away down the right side. Garrido picks up a yellow card for his actions.
68 Min: Kevin Mirallas has given Everton another goal, they're leading 3-0.
67 Min: United still with the ball and Kagawa plays it to Rooney who dummies and leaves the pass for Anderson who thought Rooney was going to get a touch on the ball and lets the ball roll out of play.
66 Min: Carrick opens up the midfield nicely. Fnids Welbeck down the left...Norwich get back and scramble well, they've slowed down play. Smallling with a cross which is cleared.
65 Min: Wayne Rooney on the ball, he's thundered into the box! He shoots! Slams it across the goal and Van Persie is furious at the far-post, he feels the pass should have gone to him...>Danny Welbeck comes on for Robin Van Persie.
64 Min: Bunn clearly continuing the game in pain after he stays down after making a seemingly innocuous save.
62 Min: Norwich have definitely come out the better team in the second half...Pilkington with a lovely ball to the backpost for Grant Holt who gets up ahead of Evra and heads across the six yard box! Snodgrass blazes it over from six yards out!! Ref has called a free-kick anyway to spare some of Snodgrass' blushes.
60 Min Steven Pienaar has picked up a second for Everton at Goodison Park, meanwhile Norwich are building the pressure with a couple of blocked shots.
59 Min Pilkington earns a corner for Norwich afetr a good run down the left...Norwich's presence in the air is seriously lacking in attack though and the ball is cleared....Ball finds it's way out to Wes Hoolahan with a long-range effort that sails wide.
56 Min Valencia with a swerving run down the right, tries to get a cross in but can only win a throw in.
54 Min Norwich with a free-kick that they will look to punt over the top. Bassong gets up but he's under pressure from Evra and the header is gathered easily by De Gea.
53 Min Ball over the top for Rooney in behind! Bunn off his line makes a great save down low! Big call for a penalty but replays show Bunn got all ball.
52 Min Another cross for Norwich coming from Howson this time, Holt can't get up to reach it.
50 Min Bradley Johnson on the ball for Norwich...he squeezes a great ball through for Martin down the right who plays the first time cross! Hoolahan very nearly gets in there ahead of Vidic and he earns a corner...Vidic with a strong header away that falls to Snodgrass down the right, Chris Smalling with some excellent defensive work to pull the ball out.
49 Min Carrick picks out Kagawa with a good pass, Kagawa with his back to goal tries to find Van Persie but Howson comes steaming in to break up the attack.
48 Min Pilkington tries another long ball over the top but that one was far too heavy....United the ones looking sloppy at the beginning of this half as Kagawa puts the ball out with a wayward pass.
47 Min Norwich probe the United defence with a long ball over the top. Vidic is forced to put the ball out by the corner flag.
46 Min Norwich kick-off and we are back underway at Old Trafford!
Player's are back out on the field and we are just about to get this second half underway.
Everton are up 1-0 against Reading after Marouane Fellaini's strike and Southampton have equalised against QPR with a goal on the cusp of halftime from Gaston Ramirez.
HALFTIME: Man United 1-0 Norwich
45+4 Min: Van Persie with a wayward shot from outside the box and that will wrap up the half!
45+3 Min: Bad news for United fans though as it would appear Van Persie picked up an injury in the making of that goal. Robert Snodgrass with another flying tackle on Evra and this time it's bad and he picks up a yellow card for his efforts.
45+2 Min: Valencia with the ball down the right, puts it on his left and whips it in for Van Persie. Van Persie gets his foot on it ahead of Bassong and the ball falls for Kagawa who shoots first time! GOAL!
45+1 Min: Corner taken for United but again Norwich clear their lines. They've been strong in the air today...
45 Min: Casual first half here for United...Ball gets moved out to Valencia on the right and he plays it back for Smalling who finds Van Persie's head with the cross but the header is blocked.
42 Min: Couple more goals at the Stadium of light with Sascha Riether picking up Fulham's second and Craig Gardner getting a penalty for Sunderland to pull one back....Chelsea have also taken the lead against West Brom through Demba Ba.
41 Min: Valencia down the right with some space to gallop into. Puts in the cross for Van Persie at the near post who just can't reach it with his head.
38 Min: Kagawa spins away from Martin and gives it back to Anderson...now Evans and now Valencia on the right again...But Norwich break and it's Johnson to Holt to Pilkington on the left...United scramble back to stem the tide.
37 Min: Again the ball makes it's way over to the right side for Valencia who takes it to the byline and stands up the cross which is well behind any United attacker.
36 Min: It's all United here as Valencia wins a corner for Man U...headed away by Grant Holt.
35 Min: Robin Van Persie gets a pass from Rooney on the edge of the box, he cuts back in onto his left foot and unleashes the shot! Well he might wish he hadn't as the ball sails into row z.
34 Min: We are back and no change to the score so we haven't missed any goal action!...Vidic with some shaky passing at the back for United as Norwich look to chase down any loose balls.
We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties but we will hopefully be back as soon as possible.
30 Min: Grant Holt almost gets a loose ball in behind for Pilkington but then makes a classic striker's tackle on Valencia and concedes the foul.
29 Min: Johnson with another wayward pass, he tried to switch it but instead put it straight out....throw comes to Carrick who sends it over to the opposite wing...Valencia for Smalling with the cross that falls to Kagawa's feet who plays it back first time for Rooney! Norwich defenders press hard and manage to get the ball away.
28 Min: Johnson with the long ball forwards to...no one, not a soul around.
27 Min: Van Persie with the corner and Vidic is up! Header over the bar. Goal kick to Norwich.
26 Min: Carrick picks out Valencia on the counter attack....Van Persie in support and he wins a corner.
25 Min: Bassong with a backpass to Bunn who's touch almost sees the ball go out for a corner. Nervy stuff from Norwich. City still under the pump as Kagawa lays the ball back for Carrick to shoot! Shot is weak and low and Bunn gets down to save.
24 Min: Norwich with a brief foray forwards as Johnson tries to pick out the head of Holt but De Gea comes off his line to make the save.
23 Min: Rooney with the ball on the edge of the box, runs flat across it pulls back a leg to shoot! Dummies and passes to Carrick who picks out Kagawa down the left inside the box! He can't measure the cross though.
22 Min: Anderson puts a great ball through for Smalling down the right wing who crosses. Noriwch clear, ball still bumbles around the box and it's Kagawa plays it back out to Smalling who launches another cross which is cleared.
20 Min: Couple of goals around the country and it's Fulham who have scored first at Sunderland through a Dimitar Berbatov penalty whilst QPR have stunned Southampton at St Mary's after Loic Remy got inside the box to score the opening goal.
19 Min: Carrick wins the battle in midfield and now it's Evra who is again tackled by Snodgrass.
18 Min: Bunn is up but will have Bassong to take his goal-kicks at the moment...
17 Min: Bunn is still down...no word from the physio for a sub 'keeper though.
15 Min: Evra and Anderson link up well in the middle and Van Persie gets in on the action with Rooney with a lovely one-two! Van Persie is in! Bunn off his line quickly again and he takes a Van Persie boot to the gut and stays down.
14 Min: Van Persie with a great ball into the box! Vidic gets up and knocks it down for! No one! Someone needed to get on the end of that as it went begging when Norwich failed to clear their lines.
13 Min: Very poor clearance from Bunn off the backpass and it falls for Van Persie who is fouled by Bassong. United with a free-kick in a decent position.
12 Min: Snodgrass with another sliding challenge on Evra and Manchester United have the ball deep in Norwich's half...ball launched up to Van Persie on the edge of the box...touch is poor.
11 Min: Norwich making the ball work for them at the moment...Russell Martin goes down the line for Holt who is flagged offside.
10 Min: Michael Carrick picks out Kagawa who gives it to Rooney quickly but Rooney's pass is off the mark.
8 Min: Patrice Evra with a slaloming run through the middle of the pitch, plays it up to Rooney who holds off Turner and gives it wide to Kagawa who's sloppy touch sees the ball put out of play.
7 Min: Van Persie with the ball with plenty of time, goes for the angled pass to Rooney who could be in! Bunn races of his line to snaffle the ball.
6 Min: Antonio Valencia picks up an early offside call...Valencia gets the ball back after the free-kick and pumps the right flank for Rooney but Bassong is up to the challenge and clears away.
5 Min: Anderson to Evra deep in Norwich's half, he has some time but Snodgrass comes flying across to make the slide tackle
4 Min: Robert Snodgrass has stayed down after a tackle with Shinji Kagawa...He'll be alright though just receiving treatment on the sidelines.
3 Min: Bradley Johnson gets an early ball down the left, he has room to breathe and he launches the cross for two Norwich players in the middle! Too high for both of them. Wasted opportunity.
2 Min: The strength of this United team may have taken Norwich City manager Chris Hughton by surprise...Wes Hoolahan gets a loose pass from Michael Carrick and goes for the cross-field ball over the top to Holt but he can't latch onto the end of it.
1 Min: Manchester United kick-off and we are underway at Old Trafford!...United looking to keep possession from the off...Kagawa plays a ball out to Smalling who goes inside to Rooney linking up with Kagawa who almost gets an early through ball through for Van Persie who can't keep it under control.
The teams make their way out onto the turf and we are moments from kick-off!
The word on the street is Ryan Giggs will NOT play his 1000th game today. Fergie must be saving him for that big Champions League clash on Tuesday.
So United could go 15 points clear with only ten games remaining, a massive target for City to chase down. However United's last loss was in the reverse fixture and they may find themselves guilty of looking ahead to their Champions League fixture against Real Madrid midweek.
Manchester United starting line-up: De Gea, Smalling, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Anderson, Kagawa, Rooney, Van Persie.
Norwich City starting line-up: Bunn, R.Martin, Johnson, Bassong, Turner, Snodgrass, Howson, Holt, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Garrido.
Not long until kick-of and the starting lineups being named.
Kick off is not far away but in the meantime you can watch highlights of Manchester United’s win over QPR last weekend.
Manchester United (from): De Gea, Smalling, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Anderson, Kagawa, Rooney, Van Persie.
Norwich City (from): Bunn, R.Martin, Johnson, Bassong, Turner, Snodgrass, Howson, Holt, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Garrido.
Exactly 22 years ago on Saturday (UK time), a lithe 17-year-old wearing a baggy shirt and hitched-up shorts ran on as a substitute at Old Trafford to make his Manchester United debut.
Having excelled at youth team level, the kid was already being spoken about in glowing terms. English football was expecting big things.
He has been worth all the hype.
Now thinning on top and specks of gray hair forming above his ears, Ryan Giggs will pass another milestone in his extraordinary career if he appears for United in Saturday's Premier League match against Norwich, back at Old Trafford.
It will be his 1,000th senior competitive match - and the superlatives for the 39-year-old Welshman have long run out.
"Everyone should take an example of Ryan Giggs because what he has done is really, really wonderful, amazing," FIFA President Sepp Blatter says.
Managers, players and teammates have been effusive in their praise all week. Swansea manager Michael Laudrup labelled him "pure class." United colleague Rafael da Silva went as far as saying Giggs "is such a good player it is getting boring."
Perhaps Giggs can be best summed up by his manager and mentor Alex Ferguson, who has carefully nurtured his protege into arguably the greatest player in the Premier League's 21-year history.
"He is a marvellous player and an exceptional human being," Ferguson says, moments after United rewarded Giggs for his continued outstanding displays with a new one-year deal.
"He seems to reach a new milestone every week. It's unique in the modern game, but I think it's more than that - I don't think it will ever be achieved again by anyone."
Ferguson once said Giggs, as a 13-year-old, seemed to float across the ground "like a cocker spaniel chasing a piece of silver paper in the wind," and it is still true to this day - even at the relatively venerable age of 39.
He no longer has the energy to produce lung-busting performances every week. Instead, his games are carefully selected by Ferguson and the end product remains the same.
Take Queens Park Rangers last week, for example. Giggs started in central midfield, lasted the whole game and popped up with a match-clinching second goal in the 80th minute in a 2-0 win. His displays in the ultra-physical Premier League and Champions League are age-defying and simply incredible.
Manchester City must really be kicking itself.
United’s big rival signed up Giggs to its centre of excellence but he somehow slipped from the club's grasp after being watched in matches by scouts from United, which offered him schoolboy terms in 1987. He was 14 at the time.
"I told him this morning I expect a bill from his mother for all the sandwiches and teas she used to make for us when we went to his house every week when we were trying to get him to sign schoolboy forms," Ferguson says. "It seems a long time ago."
Giggs has gone on to become the most decorated player in British football history, winning 12 Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, three League Cups, two Champions Leagues, one UEFA Super Cup, an Intercontinental Cup and a FIFA Club World Cup.
He has played 931 matches for United - scoring 168 goals, including five this season - 64 times for Wales and made four appearances for Britain at last year's London Olympics, his first major international football tournament.
And still he retains the hunger that can leave some players by the end of their teens.
"I am feeling good, enjoying my football more than ever and, most importantly, I feel I am making a contribution to the team," Giggs said, after signing the deal that will keep him playing into his 40s. It means he is likely to pass 1,000 matches just for United.
Starting out as a fast and tricky winger, Giggs has had to refine his game to stay competitive. He now plays more often than not as a playmaker in midfield or as a more conservative wideman, relying on technique and a reading of the game more than his raw pace. Former England international John Barnes did the same at Liverpool, but not to such devastating effect.
Giggs still has that aura when he is on the pitch, often transforming games when he comes on as a substitute.
"His talent is God-given," former United assistant coach Brian Kidd says. "He will have wonderful skill even when he's got his bus pass, because that sort of ability never deserts you."
Welsh FA President Trefor Lloyd-Hughes said he wouldn't be surprised if
Giggs went into coaching with Wales or United.
"Some years ago, we thought about Ryan coming to help and I'm sure he would come and help if asked because I think Wales is very close to his heart," says Lloyd-Hughes, speaking on the sidelines of the International Football Association Board annual meeting in Edinburgh.
For now, though, Giggs has enough going on in his playing career.
Such is his enduring value and importance to United that Ferguson may yet choose to rest him this weekend and keep him fresh for the second leg on Tuesday of the Champions League last-16 match against Real Madrid, which is delicately poised at 1-1.
Don't expect to see any more strikes like the one that settled the 1999 FA Cup semifinal, when he slalomed through Arsenal's defence from the halfway line to score one of English football's great goals.
But Giggs is sure to create more special memories in his unique career.