[Capital One Cup] Manchester United 4-0 Norwich City
ManUtd: Javier Hernandez (20, 53) Phil Jones (87), Fabio da Silva (90)
United eased into the Capital One Cup quarter-finals with a smooth and accomplished 4-0 win over Norwich City as Javier Hernandez bagged two goals and Phil Jones and Fabio each scored to secure a place in Wednesday's draw.
Two-goal Chicharito wasn't the only player to shine as Adnan Januzaj and Wilfried Zaha both excelled, while at the back Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic returned to the defence to oversee a clean sheet.
United had much the better of the play throughout, with Januzaj and Zaha both prominent in attack. The former played the no.10 role with presence and panache and the latter threatened frequently on the right in his second appearance for the Reds - his first start since August.
Zaha set the tone after 13 minutes with a teasing cross for Hernandez, whose shot on the spin was deflected wide. Chicharito twice went close with first-half headers but his, and United's, opening goal came from the spot. Januzaj jinked one way and another in the box and Leroy Fer clumsily clipped his heels. Chicharito confidently sent Canaries keeper Mark Bunn the wrong way, and realistically victory never looked in doubt.
Chicharito added to his tally after the break as he headed home at the second attempt from Alex Büttner's inviting cross on 53 minutes, while Anders Lindegaard made a good save from Robert Snodgrass' header, one of the few occasions he was called into action.
Phil Jones added gloss to his own impressive midfield display by volleying in United's third on 87 minutes and in the fourth of 11 added minutes substitute Fabio bundled home the ball in a one-on-one with Bunn. Three wins in a row: David Moyes will be delighted with his biggest win as Reds boss, the gathering momentum and a cup quarter-final place secured.
The Match United despatched Chris Hughton’s Norwich with relative ease as Javier Hernandez bagged two goals, Phil Jones and Fabio got in on the action too and emerging talents Adnan Januzaj and Wilfried Zaha did their chances of further first-team involvement a power of good. David Moyes will be pleased not least with the result but the control and confidence of his players, although Norwich either rarely could threaten United’s goal or simply were not allowed to.
Goals Januzaj earned United a first-half penalty after Leroy Fer clipped his heels as he twisted and turned inside the box and Chicharito confidently sent Norwich keeper Mark Bunn the wrong way with his spot-kick. Chicharito’s second was all about his incessant persistence as he headed not once but twice at goal to beat Bunn. Phil Jones’ first Reds goal in almost two years (7 December 2011 against Basel) came via a well-taken volley from 15 yards out, and Fabio completed the scoring by forcing the ball over the line following a one-on-one with Mark Bunn.
Star men Januzaj played as a no.10 and excelled. At 18, such responsibility is telling of how highly he is rated by David Moyes. He looks cool, calm and confident wherever he is placed on the field, but this role could be his future calling. He earned a penalty but the little flourishes – a cheeky backheel between two defenders, a curling 25-yard shot just past the top corner, another shot narrowly past the post – highlight his talent. Wilfried Zaha too was bright, keen and troublesome, and Hernandez looks as hungry as ever for goals.
Sub-plot David Moyes could soon have plenty of selection dilemmas on his hands if the performance of several players in this game are anything to go by. Januzaj as a no.10 looks a viable option, Chicharito is in amongst the goals and Zaha looked lively on the wings. With Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic also stepping back in at centre-back, Moyes’ options throughout the team look strong.
Opposition Norwich offered very little attacking threat and it’s little wonder they’ve struggled for goals so far this season. Anders Lindegaard made only one save of note when he did well to deal with Robert Snodgrass’ header in the second half.
In the stands Wet. And cold. Especially if you were in the first few rows as the wind whipped the lashing rain around Old Trafford. Norwich’s Robert Snodgrass was warmly applauded as he was stretchered off following a clash of heads with Rafael (we wish him well, of course). During the lengthy break in the action for his treatment, the fans kept themselves entertained working through the United XI, singing: “[Player name] give us a wave…”. Cheers greeted those who responded, jeers for those who didn’t (or just didn’t hear). There was plenty to cheer about when play resumed too.