Tag Archives: Norwich

Norwich defeat to Man United in FA Cup suffered without magic of packed Carrow Road

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There was no sense of magic in the air — just the smell of hand sanitiser. Manchester United were made to work devilishly hard to book their place in the FA Cup semifinals, but as they secured a 2-1 extra-time win over Norwich City at Carrow Road, it was hard to escape the notion that this competition will prove to be the one that suffers most from an absence of fans.

Norwich deserved better, having overcome a nervous start to show resilience and courage. A game of fine margins went against them partly because they held home advantage in name only. The impact of supporters is obviously impossible to quantify, but the Canaries needed a 12th man here, and it would have acted as something of a leveller, especially when Norwich were down to 10 men on the field following Timm Klose’s dismissal.

The essence of the FA Cup’s mystique, diminished though it undeniably is even under normal circumstances, stems from the sense of occasion, the simple equation of a straight knockout format stirring imaginations not interrupted by league form. This was Norwich’s first FA Cup quarterfinal since 1992; the town would have been bustling all day, anticipation building to an early-evening kick-off in a stadium enthused by that heady cocktail of hope and defiance.

A browbeaten, relegation-threatened Premier League side simultaneously stood 90 minutes from Wembley, aiming to secure a result which could in turn breath new life into their survival fight. Instead, a stadium sterilised to safeguard those inside against the coronavirus pandemic was stripped of emotion in a manner we are now sadly accustomed to, and bereft of the partisan atmosphere that would have made this even tougher for United.

– Replay (U.S. only): Stream Norwich City vs. Man United

Canaries manager Daniel Farke’s game plan would have benefitted from fervent support. Norwich sat deep in a 4-1-4-1 shape, looking to stay compact and hit United on the break. Every tackle would have been cheered, every counterattack roared on. Momentum would build. Instead, it felt like Norwich were delaying the inevitable.

That’s not to say United were particularly vibrant in the first half, however. A team with eight changes from the fluid Premier League win over Sheffield United was disjointed. Even Bruno Fernandes could not avoid slipping into a pattern of misplaced passes and mistimed runs, though they were always the more likely to score, however. Teemu Pukki touched the ball in United’s half just once in the opening 30 minutes, a sign of how isolated the Finland striker was as Norwich seemingly lacked the legs — or the will — to get forward.

Maguire blocked Lukas Rupp’s shot as the first half drew to a close, but neither goalkeeper was worked until Odion Ighalo scored with the first shot on target either side had managed.

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Six minutes after the restart, Luke Shaw beat Emi Buendia too easily down the United left and crossed into the box. Juan Mata lifted the ball into the air but on to Ighalo, who found himself in space and steered a shot with the outside of his right foot past Tim Krul.

Fernandes’ arrival in January has been rightly heralded given both his superbly consistent individual displays and the injection of confidence he has seemingly given those around him, but Ighalo’s acquisition is proving more useful than many felt possible. This was his fifth goal since signing on loan from Shanghai Shenhua. All of them have come in cup competitions and while the 31-year-old would not strike fear into the hearts of the best defences, he has eased the burden on Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, and shown a genuine love for the club which Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes could rub off on others.

Rashford, and later Martial, were required here, however, after Norwich defied conditions and logic to equalise. Todd Cantwell’s 75th-minute strike did not possess the greatest power, but United goalkeeper Sergio Romero’s slovenly attempt to dive to his left was compounded by the ball swerving away from him at a crucial moment.

Suddenly, Norwich looked enthused. Buendia flashed a shot just wide of Romero’s right-hand post. Onel Hernandez drove with purpose into the box, only to be halted by a superb sliding tackle from United substitute Brandon Williams. The pendulum had swung so much that the visitors were second-best by the time the game swung decisively in their favour, despite calling in the cavalry in the shape of Rashford, Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood, Nemanja Matic and Brandon Williams.

Fernandes’ inventive flick gave Ighalo the chance to turn Klose. The Norwich centre-back rugby-tackled Ighalo to the ground, yet somehow possessed the audacity to protest his red card from referee Jon Moss. United spent the rest of normal time camped in Norwich’s half but the home side held on.

Imagine how the home fans would have responded.

The crowd chant played over the public address system as both the second half and extra time began was a pale imitation. Norwich were under the cosh, a man down but fighting, scrapping as extra time resembled a game of attack versus defence.

Solskjaer threw on Martial for Eric Bailly in an attempt to overwhelm Norwich, but they made it through the first additional period intact. That PA crowd chant appeared again, seemingly louder but nothing like the crescendo the real thing would have reached by now. Krul flung himself to his left to keep out a Maguire header. Wave after wave of United pressure pushed Norwich back, but a penalty shootout was in sight.

That was, until the 118th minute. Pogba played the ball into Ighalo in the box. He helped it onto Martial and as Ben Godfrey struggled to clear, Maguire pounced to sweep the ball home with his left foot.

United’s relief was palpable. Norwich were crestfallen, having given so much only to come up just short. Krul’s antics at penalties are infamous, but he was denied the chance to open his box of tricks.

“It felt strange to play this type of game behind closed doors, especially this game because it was the biggest success for this club in the FA Cup for [almost] 30 years,” said Farke after the match. “It would have had a fantastic atmosphere and would have made our supporters proud, but I think that is what we have also done with this performance and desire. We want to feel the interaction and create new memories for them, but it is a new normal at the moment. At least we can play football.”

On a banner stretched across a section of empty seats on the far side of the ground read: “You cannot see us and you can’t hear us, but we’ll always be with you.” How Norwich missed them today.

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Norwich City vs. Manchester United – Football Match Report – June 27, 2020 – ESPN

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Harry Maguire bundled home from close range late in extra time as Manchester United beat 10-man Norwich 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup at Carrow Road on Saturday.

– Ratings: Ighalo, Maguire lead United past Norwich
– Replay: Watch Man United down Norwich (U.S. only)
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– FA Cup: Stream matches live on ESPN+ (U.S. only)

The win extends United’s unbeaten run in all competitions to 14 matches and secures a 30th appearance in the last four of the FA Cup for the club.

“It wasn’t a spectacle, we didn’t threaten enough or create enough chances,” said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. “But I am delighted we are into the last four and it was a good workout, we got some minutes for a lot of players. We are through and that is what counts in the Cup.”

Solskjaer made eight changes from the team which beat Sheffield United 3-0 in the Premier League on Wednesday, with a number of squad players given a start.

Odion Ighalo fired the visitors into the lead early in the second half, but Todd Cantwell, who’d looked sharp through the match, equalised in the 75th minute for Norwich.

Solskjaer threw on Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic as United looked to avoid extra-time and the momentum shifted back to his side when Norwich defender Timm Klose was sent off for pulling down Ighalo on the edge of the box in the 89th minute.

The game looked to be heading for a penalty shoot-out after Norwich defended superbly against constant pressure from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side before Maguire’s goal two minutes from the end.

Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul was up to the test in extra time, producing several fine saves to keep United from scoring, but with penalties looking inevitable Maguire popped up at the top of the six-yard box to send his team into the semifinals

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Norwich City 1-2 Manchester United: Harry Maguire scores extra-time winner

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FA Cup: Norwich City 1-2 Manchester United highlights

Harry Maguire scored deep into extra-time as Manchester United overcame valiant 10-man Norwich to reach the FA Cup semi-finals.

The England defender, who moments earlier had a header brilliantly saved by Tim Krul, reacted sharply to turn in the loose ball at the far post.

The game turned on the dismissal of substitute Timm Klose in the 89th minute. Norwich were in the ascendancy after equalising and looked favourites to snatch a late winner before the German was shown a straight red for pulling back Odion Ighalo.

The video assistant referee checked Jon Moss’ decision and confirmed it within seconds.

Maguire scores winner as Man Utd beat Norwich

Neither side particularly impressed in attack, although both goals in normal time were of high quality.

The first was scored by Ighalo, who continued his good run in cup competitions with a flicked effort with the outside of his boot in the 51st minute.

The second goal was even better. Todd Cantwell, Norwich’s best player in attack at Carrow Road, let fly from 25 yards with a low swerving shot that beat the reach of Sergio Romero.

Norwich will now focus on their increasingly difficult task of beating the drop from the Premier League. As for United, this was a patchy display but they remain in contention in two cup competitions and for a top-four spot in the league.

Fortune shines on below-par United

Solskjaer ‘delighted’ to be through to FA Cup semis

A third semi-final in the past five seasons, but perhaps this match further highlighted United’s need to strengthen the squad.

Solksjaer, bar one change, faithfully stuck to the XI that got United to this stage however the attacking display they produced for much of the match was, at best, tepid. Without Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford from the start, they lacked the pace and guile needed to get behind a Norwich defence that was well protected by the defensive midfield work of Alex Tettey.

The statistics read ‘no shots on target’ in the opening 45 minutes – six minutes after the break that became one shot on target and one goal. If Solskjaer did give a 2020 update of the ‘hairdryer treatment’ then it certainly worked.

Left-back Luke Shaw, one of those players below par in the opening period, drove behind the Canaries backline and fired in a cross that was played by Juan Mata into the path of Ighalo, who produced a clever finish. That was the Nigerian loan signing’s fifth goal in just five cup competition matches for United.

But instead of building on that advantage, United retreated into their shell again allowing Norwich to get back into the game.

Thankfully for the visitors, the cup gods were smiling down on them when Klose was sent off and, having a stronger bench to call on, it seemed inevitable United would break Norwich resistance.

Krul did his best to keep them at bay, saving from Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford – three of United’s six substitutes – before remarkably clawing Maguire’s header off the line.

But with two minutes of extra-time remaining, United finally wore their opponents down when Maguire pounced to hooked home.

Cantwell’s shines in Norwich exit

‘What a strike’ Cantwell scores long-range equaliser

Norwich, like United, made changes to their XI with Farke bringing back first-team trio Emiliano Buendia, Teemu Pukki and Cantwell into the fold – the latter two who helped Norwich make that brilliant start to the season.

Finn Pukki, who has now not found the net in the past nine matches, struggled again, but his 22-year-old team-mate improved as the game wore on. Cantwell’s goal in the 75th minute was a delight – cutting through the ball as his shot found the bottom corner.

It was just reward for Norwich who controlled play after Ighalo’s goal. However, when Klose was sent off the Canaries knew extra time would be spent trying to see the match through to penalties.

They almost succeeded.

Man of the match – Tim Krul (Norwich)

It was a cruel day for Tim Krul who had made a number of brilliant saves to keep Norwich in the tie before Harry Maguire broke Norwich hearts

Norwich City manager Daniel Farke: “Football can be cruel sometimes and it can be the cruellest sport in the world.

“Of course it’s a disappointing outcome for us. I think the lads deserved more. They left their heart out on the pitch.

“Manchester United are totally on the up and more or less on the way to finishing in the Champions League positions, they had all players available.

“To deliver this performance is good for the confidence, without any doubt. In terms of confidence and mood, it was definitely a big boost.”

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to BBC Sport: “It is cup football for you, the game was not the greatest spectacle but I felt we kept the ball OK but did not threaten much or create chances.

“Delighted to be in the last four and we got a good workout for many of the players. It’s nice for Harry Maguire to get the winner.

“It is great to have the option to rotate. Anthony Martial came on and did brilliant but Odion Ighalo gives me a chance to rotate and he is a proven goalscorer and played his part in both goals. He is a great person to have around the dressing room too.”

What next?

Norwich travel to Arsenal in the league on Wednesday (kick-off 18:00 BST), while Manchester United head to Brighton the day before (20:15).

United cup shutout ended – the stats

  • Manchester United have reached their 30th FA Cup semi-final, more than any other team in the competition.
  • Manchester United have won 11 of their last 13 away games at Norwich in all competitions (L2), winning each of their last four.
  • Norwich are winless in their last eight home FA Cup matches (D3 L5) since a 4-1 win against Burnley back in January 2012.
  • Manchester United boss Solskjaer is the first manager to make six substitutions in a competitive match in English football.
  • Cantwell’s seventh goal of the season ended United’s run of 448 minutes without conceding in the FA Cup, last conceding in last season’s quarter-final against Wolves.
  • United striker Ighalo has scored in each of his last three appearances against Norwich City in all competitions, netting home and away for Watford in the 2015-16 Premier League season.
  • Ighalo has scored in all four of his starts for Man Utd (5 goals), scoring with his first shot in this match, with what was the game’s first shot on target.
  • Norwich City defender Klose received his first red card since being sent off for Wolfsburg against Hannover in the Bundesliga in August 2013.

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Todd Cantwell: How Norwich star took confidence from getting kicked and going Dutch

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Cantwell has been almost ever-present for Norwich this season
Norwich City v Manchester United – FA Cup quarter-final
Kick-off: 17:30 BST, Saturday 27 June Venue: Carrow Road
Coverage: Live on BBC One from 17:10 BST and highlights on BBC One from 23:00 BST on Sunday, 28 June. Live text coverage on the BBC Sport website and commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live from 17:30 BST.

When Todd Cantwell stepped up to take a penalty in the FA Cup last-16 tie at Tottenham, he wasn’t going to miss.

With the pressure of a packed crowd at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium watching on, Cantwell nonchalantly approached the penalty spot by doing kick-ups, plonked the ball down and smashed it into the top corner.

It helped Norwich on their way to the quarter-finals of the competition, setting up a meeting with 12-time winners Manchester United at Carrow Road, which is live on BBC One on Saturday (kick-off 17:30 BST).

Cantwell, 22, has stood out with impressive performances for the Canaries this season but his confident demeanour took some time to develop.

In fact, he grew up quite a shy lad, so how did his coaches help to turn his approach around?

“What we did in training was to get players to kick him on purpose all the time,” Norwich hall of famer and academy coach Darren Huckerby tells BBC Sport.

“I think over the two or three-year period in the academy, he grew and changed his whole mentality. He was a flair player, he had to realise that if he was going to play in this position then people were going to kick him.

“He stood up to the fight and his progression over the past five or six years has been superb. When he was younger he tended not to take a kick too well but he has come on leaps and bounds and is a man now.”

A rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”

That education in the Norwich youth team stood him in good stead for a loan move away and when Dutch side Fortuna Sittard were promoted back to the Eredivisie in 2017-18, few Norwich fans could have foreseen Cantwell leading the celebrations that took place afterwards.

The midfielder had been given his first-team debut for the Canaries that season but he spent the second half of the campaign on loan in the Netherlands.

Despite being in unfamiliar surroundings, alone in a foreign country without any family or friends around him, Cantwell made an unforgettable impact both on and off the pitch.

In his 10 appearances, he scored twice and it was his assist that led to the winning goal that confirmed Fortuna’s return to the top flight for the first time in 16 years

Cantwell celebrated Fortuna Sittard’s promotion on crutches after suffering an injury

In the joyous scenes that followed in the city’s square, Cantwell – hobbling on crutches after being injured in the last game – grabbed the microphone off a team-mate on stage and led a rendition of the club’s anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” in front of thousands of fans.

“That move was massive for Todd,” former Norwich midfielder and academy coach Adrian Forbes tells BBC Sport. “He didn’t just go to another club where he did not know the players, but took the chance to go abroad and play. You don’t get any more out of your comfort zone than that.

“What was key for him in his development was the injury that he suffered. He came back after his loan period and to go through rehabilitation, missing training and games, is all part of his journey.”

Cantwell was a regular in the Championship title triumph last season and has become a fixture in Daniel Farke’s side this campaign, missing just one Premier League game for a side described as