Giggs marks 900th United appearance with winner

Norwich 1 Manchester United 2

 

Ryan Giggs marked his 900th appearance for Manchester United with a stoppage-time winner as valiant Norwich were beaten 2-1 at Carrow Road.

Paul Scholes had given the visitors an early lead with a close-range header.

The Canaries rallied and forced David de Gea into a string of fine saves before the United number one was finally beaten with seven minutes left when Grant Holt fired home from 12 yards.

United, though, were not to be denied as they poured forwards in the closing stages and were eventually rewarded when Giggs stabbed home from close range before celebrating wildly in front of the travelling fans.

Sir Alex Ferguson had recalled his regulars following their midweek defeat by Ajax in the Europa League, looking to close back up on leaders Manchester City, although England striker Wayne Rooney missed out because of a virus.

The Canaries have consolidated themselves well on a first return to the top flight in the six seasons since last facing the Red Devils here, securing back-to-back promotions up from npower League One under Paul Lambert.

Only three teams have won at Carrow Road in the Premier League this season, and it was another positive start by the hosts as Simeon Jackson looked to get in between centre-backs Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans.

United, though, soon settled and retained possession well, and were in front on seven minutes.

Nani swung the ball over from the right, and it bounced through the six-yard box to the far post, where Scholes nodded it past John Ruddy.

Bradley Johnson was shown a yellow card by referee Andre Marriner for a crunching tackle on the Portuguese winger, which on another day could well have been red.

On 15 minutes, it was almost 2-0 when another flowing United counter opened up the Norwich defence before Danny Welbeck's scuffed shot was touched wide at full stretch by Ruddy.

Norwich finally created a meaningful chance on 28 minutes, Kyle Naughton chipped a throughball into the right side of the United penalty box. Anthony Pilkington took it in his stride with a sublime first touch before knocking his shot goalwards, with De Gea making a fine reaction save at the near post.

Javier Hernandez should have done better when played clear into the Norwich penalty area, but failed to trouble Ruddy with a tame effort straight at the keeper.

At the other end, De Gea was producing a top-drawer display as he plucked a glancing header from Holt out of the air after the Norwich captain turned Pilkington's right-wing cross goalwards.

At the start of the second half, Giggs weaved his way into the Norwich box and tumbled under a challenge from Zak Whitbread, but play was waved on.

On 57 minutes, Johnson's low, 25-yard effort floated just wide.

Pilkington's looping cross fell to Andrew Surman at the far post, but his well-executed volley was blocked.

Welbeck and Giggs exchanged passes to send the striker clear, and his chip floated past Ruddy, but Whitbread was alert to recover and hack clear even though the ball may have been going wide.

Norwich maintained their pressure, with Bennett's cross from the right pluck out of the air by De Gea as Holt lurked in the six-yard box.

Giggs was denied a goal to cap his milestone when his close-range volley cannoned off the top of the bar from Phil Jones' cross on 72 minutes.

Wes Hoolahan's cross then hit Evra on the elbow as Norwich screamed for a penalty, but referee Marriner thought otherwise.

Scholes gave the ball away to substitute Aaron Wilbraham 25 yards out, and the big striker strode forwards before unleashing a shot towards the top corner, which De Gea turned over at full stretch.

Norwich, though, were not to be denied as the resulting corner was cleared back to Adam Drury, who launched it into the area again. Whitbread knocked the ball down to Holt, who squirmed between two markers before firing in his 10th league goal of the season on 83 minutes.

Young's goalbound effort was blocked and Welbeck somehow missed a free-header from two yards.

However, Giggs ensured a fairytale finish when he stabbed home in stoppage time to keep United on the tails of leaders City.

PA

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
people
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little