- United failed to improve on their performance in the last match against Crystal Palace, particularly in their attacking combinations. Yet, we still managed to come back to Manchester with the three points against a resilient Norwich side, who have improved markedly since Dean Smith took over the reins at Carrow Road. Rangnick fielded the same eleven that started the match against Palace, after the same players took a breather in mid-week. He must be disappointed with the performance from his team though, as United stuttered in large parts of the match and it had to be a penalty kick procured and converted by Ronaldo to edge them past the Canaries. It’s fair to say that this United team is in transition and it will be a challenge for the team to keep winning while the players embrace the tactics and mentality of the new manager. United had the best chances in the first half as Telles hit the bar from a freekick and Ronaldo failed to control properly when through on Krul, but failed to exert any control on the match as requested by Rangnick. The second half was largely a continuation of the first half with United a bit more determined. Following Ronaldo’s strike which turned out to be the winner, Norwich pressed forward and De Gea had to be alert to thwart Norwich in a couple of occasions and preserve back to back clean sheets in the league.
- Despite not being sharp enough in the final third, the United players still put in a shift in terms of pressing. The four on top however seemed disconnected and none of them managed to shine against Norwich. Most concerning for Rangnick has to be the form of Bruno, who despite not lacking effort, nothing seems to go right for him on the pitch this season. Bruno certainly has the ability to turn matches on their head as he has shown time and again last season and I’m sure that if he continues to work hard, his fortunes will improve. I believe that it is a mental block that has crept in this season which is keeping him back. When Ronaldo joined, I was looking forward to seeing him and Bruno link up efficiently, as was probably Bruno. Indeed, when Bruno has the ball in matches, his first instinct is to pass it to Ronaldo and hence ignoring other players who may be in better situations that our number seven. I understand that Ronaldo is a talisman and Bruno looks up to him for club and country but this adulation is keeping him and the team back, unfortunately. Unless Bruno overcomes this hurdle, he will continue to be just a shadow of the star we have seen last season.
- Fred was impressive again in that midfield against Norwich but my special mention today goes to De Gea. David made two fantastic saves in the last ten minutes of the match and apart from keeping another clean sheet, he made sure that his team would earn the three points. His form this season has been excellent, returning to world class level.
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Article contributed by Contributor Roderick. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.