Manchester United continued their winning ways against a tough Norwich City side as the Red Devils handled the match quite comfortably in their 4-0 win at Old Trafford. Shinji Kagawa performed well netting a hat-trick while Wayne Rooney added the fourth in stoppage time.
The win propels Manchester United 15 points clear of Manchester City who have a game in-hand against Aston Villa on Monday. Sir Alex Ferguson’s men handled the match with quite ease as the Champions League Round of 16 second leg against Real Madrid will be played this Tuesday at Old Trafford.
Although Kagawa began the season quite slow because of his knee injury, Sir Alex spoke highly of the Japanese international’s progress in the EPL (via The Observer):
He is a good finisher. His injury in October set him back a bit, but he’s getting his form back slowly and gradually. His second and third, in particular, were terrific.
Throughout the match, the 23-year-old looked quite comfortable on the ball and was finally rewarded on the stroke of halftime. As Kagawa takes over the midfield role in the coming years, the youngster’s vision will continue to increase alongside his physicality. Premier League sides have plenty of strength in their defensive structures, and as the first year Manchester United man continues to develop and increase his strength, he will be a formidable opponent in years to come.
Michael Carrick was instrumental in the midfield for United, primarily in the first half, as the Canaries were quite motivated to find the opening goal as they had at Carrow Road in the corresponding fixture. United’s defense was not to be beaten, however, as the Red Devils picked up their fourth consecutive clean sheet in the league.
United did have a few questions asked of their defense as Nemanja Vidic was pressured from set-pieces by a darting run from Robert Snodgrass, but the Serbian international was able to avert any danger.
Chris Hughton’s side were undone in the 76th minute as Kagawa netted his second of the match. Red Devil supporters were urging the squad on at Old Trafford as the Canaries pressed for the equalizer. But, after a calm finish by the midfielder, United took a 2-0 lead and there was no looking back.
Manchester United must now regroup for Tuesday’s encounter with the Spanish giants. Real Madrid handled Barcelona quite easily in El Clasico in midweek and once again at the weekend, and will be entering Old Trafford with loads of confidence. As both Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson prepare for what should be a spectacular second leg, expect both starting XI’s to be in full force.