Norwich City 0-1 Manchester United
Man United moves 1 point behind Man City in top-4 fight
Manchester United moved closer to the top four by beating relegation-threatened Norwich 1-0 on Saturday in the English Premier League.
United scored the only goal at Carrow Road in the 72nd minute when Juan Mata drove in a near-post finish from Wayne Rooney’s assist.
”Today was about winning,” said Mata. ”We do everything for the fans. They have had a difficult season but deserve happiness.”
Chasing a Champions League spot, United remains in fifth place but is now just one point behind rival Manchester City, which hosts third-placed Arsenal on Sunday.
Juan Mata’s Take:
Juan Mata (United’s no. 8 jersey) believes it was all about winning for Manchester United after scoring the only goal in the 1-0 victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday.
The Spanish midfielder scored a fifth career goal against the Canaries – more than against any other opponents – to secure three vital points for the Reds, who put the pressure on Manchester City ahead of their game against Arsenal on Sunday.
“We needed to win but we have to win our last three games and wait to see what Manchester City and Arsenal do,” he said. “We did not start good, they started pressing and having chances but I think we controlled the game and had more chances to score more goals so we’re happy today . . .”
Van Gaal’s Verdict On Vital Victory
Louis van Gaal spoke to MUTV and BT Sport after Manchester United’s 1-0 triumph at Norwich City and had this to say.
Yes, it’s so important that we are still in business and we keep in business by keeping the pressure on our competitors. It’s so important. I’m very happy. It’s not easy as Norwich are fighting against relegation and we have to win because we lost two points against Leicester. Now we are still in the race.
The weather makes a huge difference. Last week, it was more or less cold, now it was 35 degrees. It’s hot on the players’ faces and they were very tired. But we have won, so that’s good.
It’s still very tough. Now we have to play away to West Ham United and we’ve seen already in the quarter-final of the FA Cup that it’s not so easy. So we have to repeat that win. West Ham are a very good team – it’s not for nothing they’re in the top six of the table. We were lucky in the Cup. I think we deserved to win but we were lucky West Ham had a goal disallowed in the last minute.
Decision to rest Blind and Rashford
That’s always the case – that you cannot recreate your decisions. I think they needed that rest and also you have seen other players are needing a rest. But I cannot give everybody a rest and that is the problem. You have to make these decisions before the game and not after it. After the game, you can decide what you want but it’s not counting anymore. I thought Daley and Marcus needed a rest because they have played a lot of matches, nearly every match. Rashford is a youngster and he’s played the last 10 games so it’s not easy for him and he needs that rest. I wanted to give him this game off. It was already difficult before we lost Matteo Darmian and, before the match, Anthony Martial.
He was very important, of course, as he was playing against big strikers – Cameron Jerome and, after that, Dieumerci Mbokani. But also the save in the first few minutes by David De Gea was important at that moment.
Supporting Arsenal on Sunday
I’m more or less tomorrow, indeed, a Gunners fan but it will be a tough game between these kind of teams. Especially after the defeat to Real Madrid, it is not so easy for Manchester City to revive themselves.
Up Man U!