Manchester United suffered further embarrassment in the Premier League on Saturday, succumbing to a 2-1 victory at home to relegation strugglers Norwich City. It was another poor performance from Louis van Gaal's side, whose winless run has been stretched to six games in all competitions -- United's longest barren spell in 17 years.
United started with promise, though in retrospect that may have been as much the result of Norwich's deep defending as the hosts' attacking quality. Alex Neil's side were happy to sit back and cede possession to Van Gaal's, who saw plenty of the ball but failed to convert it into chances. The Canaries managed to see off the early barrage courtesy of United's total inability to find the final pass.
The good news was that Norwich looked about as impotent in attack as United, and they struggled to string together more than a couple of passes on the break. The bad news was that they didn't need to. With halftime fast approaching, the visitors incredibly broke the deadlock, with Cameron Jerome nicking the ball on the counter and slotting beyond David de Gea after United's defence obligingly parted before him.
Things only worsened in the second half, with Norwich doubling their advantage within 10 minutes of the restart. Phil Jones' inexplicably adventurous defending left a gaping hole for Norwich's Alex Tettey to charge straight through, with the Norwegian midfielder taking advantage by stroking a low shot inside de Gea's near post for 2-0. The visiting crowd followed up by gleefully chanting "José Mourinho, he’s getting your job." If only.
United finally seemed to wake up after going two behind, and managed to pull one back with just over 20 minutes left. An Ashley Young cross was allowed to bounce at the feet of Anthony Martial, who smashed the ball into the roof of the net from inside the area.
The goal unsurprisingly inhibited an increasingly confident Norwich, who promptly reverted to an extremely defensive five-man back line. United were in total control of the game, though failed to find their way through the sea of yellow shirts. Their final chance fell to Chris Smalling in stoppage time, though the makeshift centre-forward glanced a header wide from inside the penalty area, and the game ended 2-1.