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POST MATCH REACTION: Norwich City 1 - 0 Manchester United

A lackluster performance ends in defeat for Manchester United as Pilkington's header wins it for the Norfolk team.

Christopher Lee

After Manchester City's 5-0 win against Aston Villa earlier in the day, Manchester United had to win to stay top of the table. Unfortunatley, after a display lacking of inspiration, it was the home team Norwich that came out the victors.

Manchester United started brightly enough pressurising early yet Norwich were dangerous on the counter attack. Their crossing was also a thorn in our side, with Chris Smalling and Rio Ferdinand having to be strong in the air. Argubly their best chance of the half came from former City man Garrido, but his shot was pulled so much that, despite it going close to the far post, the ball whizzed instead for a throw in.

Ashley Young came closet to scoring for United, yet John Ruddy who was fantastic all night, both in shot stopping and the command he had over his box was his equal.

Into the second half and while United enjoyed the majority of possesion, it was still Norwich who had a little more edge to their attacking play. And so it proved when Garrido served up a delicious ball into the box. The impressive Chris Smalling gave his man half a yard and it was crucial as Pilkington headed home fantastically, giving stand in keeper Anders Lindegaard no chance.

All to often United have found themselves behind and managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. But not this time. Ruddy produced some magnificent saves to keep the host's ahead, but to say United deserved anything from the game would be an over statement. We didn't play all too badly in my opinion, but Norwich were a cut above and to a man, were quite magnificent. They showed great discipline in defense and poured forward with intent when they had to.

However I am none too worried. We were missing argubly our best player in Wayne Rooney. Valencia for one clearly misses him, and it will not be long before he is tearing past defenders and delivering fantastic delivery after fantstic delivery. We have the best number 9 in the premier league. And it is a 38 game season. While losing always hurts, this is no disaster! Bear that in mind.