Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both missed penalties, but Manchester United still came away from Norwich City with all three points.
Scott McTominay opened the scoring with well-hit snapshot in the 21st minute and moments after Tim Krul denied him from the spot, Rashford made amends by grabbing the second.
Martial failed from 12 yards out in the first half as well, but gave United a 3-0 lead in the 73rd minute after some excellent link-up play with Rashford.
Second-half substitute Onel Hernandez was a livewire and capitalised on McTominay error at the death to claim a consolation goal in the 3-1 defeat.
United arrived at Carrow Road haunted by the fact that they hadn’t scored more than a single goal in a game this season since their opening Premier League clash against Chelsea.
The Red Devils put four past Frank Lampard’s Blues on that occasion and should perhaps have matched that tally in the first half itself against Norwich. Two missed penalties, though, limited the away side to a 2-0 advantage at half-time, but encouragement for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will stem from the sheer number of chances created.
United mustered a total of 19 efforts at goal, with 10 of them finding the target. Their midfield has so often let them down, but on this occasion, the trio of Fred, McTominay and Andreas Pereira worked superbly as some of the passing was a joy to watch.
MARTIAL MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
A big reason behind United’s ability to break the two-goal barrier was the return of France strike Martial.
The forward, back from injury, led the line superbly and allowed Rashford to flourish coming in from the left side.
With Daniel James enjoying another impressive outing, the front three caused Norwich all sorts of problems. The understanding between each member of that attacking triumvirate was exemplary with Martial and Rashford in particular appearing to be on the same wavelength.
While both were guilty of missing from the spot, their best features came to the fore for the third goal. Rashford picked up the ball on the left and drove at the defence before exchanging passes with Martial who had his back to goal.
Having carried on into the box, the England international then instinctively found his team-mate with a back-heel who proceeded to nonchalantly dink his finish over Krul.
It’s that sort of link-up play from the striker that United have missed in Martial’s absence, while Rashford was at his potent best operating without the responsibility of being the focal point in attack.
Manchester United have won 77% of their league games under Ole Gunnar Solskjær when Anthony Martial has started, compared to 29% when he hasn’t.— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) October 27, 2019
Vital. 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/fTb421uQLR
CANARIES HAVE WINGS CLIPPED
Norwich began the season impressively, even securing an eye-catching victory over champions Manchester City.
Daniel Farke has boldly set up his side to play fearlessly and while that has been a great source of entertainment, their goals against column sure has taken a beating.
Their style of play frequently leaves them exposed and while they may have gotten away with it in the Championship, the Premier League is not as forgiving.
In fairness to Farke, if he did instruct this group of players to sit deep and be compact, they’d probably end up losing anyway. This way, if they go down, they will be swinging … they’ll still be going down, though.
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