Anthony Pilkington earns the points for Norwich with a superb headed effort extending his side’s unbeaten run to five. Robin Van Persie fails to score or assist for the first time as a starter for United, with the Canaries resilient defence proving too good for the most prolific attack in the Premier League:
The Canaries came into this evening’s game having conceded a single goal in their previous four Gameweeks but the visit of United was considered a real test of their resolve. A 1-0 win continued their upturn in resilience as Chris Hughton’s influence starts to have a real effect – they now have five clean sheets this term, three more than this evening’s beaten opponents.
His first goal of the campaign was enough to produce the points for the hosts. Norwich have not tasted defeat since a 4-1 battering at Chelsea in Gameweek 7 and while they may not score many – netting more than once on a single occasion so far – Hughton’s side concede even less; the opposite of last season’s form under former boss Paul Lambert.
David De Gea was given the day off after a trip to the dentist caused problems but Anders Lindegaard could do little about Pilkington’s excellent headed winner. United have now conceded first in eight of their 12 matches and for once, their attack was unable to bail them out.
Tonsillitis kept Wayne Rooney out of the reckoning and with Javier Hernandez selected to start, Robin Van Persie dropped a little deeper. Having racked up 29 goals in the previous 10, with at least two goals per game over that run, the visitors were snuffed out for the first time since Gameweek 1. Three favourable fixtures in the next four look set to offer Van Persie a chance to rectify tonight’s blip – this was the first time he has failed to produce a goal or assist when starting a league game for United.