Manchester United 4-0 Norwich City: Giggs' Reds thump woeful Canaries on debut

Laurence Griffiths

Ryan Giggs led Manchester United to a thrashing of a pretty diabolical Norwich side on his managerial debut.

Ryan Giggs may or may not get the Manchester United job permanently sooner or later, but at least we can be assured of one fact: he will be wearing a suit, since he is on television, rather than a tracksuit.

United were not embarrassed elsewhere either, as despite a questionable team selection, Giggs' men romped to an easy 4-0 win over a Norwich side that look utterly doomed for relegation. Little resistance was offered, and Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata both helped themselves to a brace.

Norwich nonetheless gave United a scare early on when they had the ball in the net from their first attack, Jonny Howson firing home from close range but the goal being disallowed for a foul on Phil Jones by Ricky van Wolfswinkel.

United were not looking too much different from the David Moyes reign, although Danny Welbeck tested John Ruddy with a fierce effort from a tight angle. Yet shortly afterwards, again through Welbeck, United got the break they were looking for when Steven Whittaker hauled him down in the area for a clear penalty just before half-time. Rooney stepped up and sent Ruddy the wrong way.

United were much-improved after the break, however, or at least Norwich were much worse. Rooney didn't take too long to double his and United's tally by curling home a fine effort past Ruddy from 25 yards after being given the freedom of the Norwich half.

Juan Mata had been a controversial absence from the starting lineup, but his introduction was to greatly aid United's attacking prowess. Rooney almost completed his hat-trick with another curling effort, but after Ruddy saved the ball remained in play and Phil Jones' cross was turned in from close range by Mata to make it 3-0.

Just afterwards, Mata also got a brace, when Antonio Valencia got onto a cross at the far post and fired it back across goal, with the former Chelsea playmaker nodding over the line from point-blank range.

Javier Hernandez came on afterwards and had a glorious chance to make it five in the last minute after breaking completely free, but he skewed his shot wide.

So, all in all, a good performance, but one against a side so hopeless that it's difficult to learn much. The absence of Adnan Januzaj will be a minor worry, even if United didn't need him today, while Mata gave a strong suggestion that he should be starting. With Ferguson supposedly backing him for the job permanently, the audition is well and truly underway...

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