It took until the 68th minute for the home side to break the Canaries resolve with Anderson heading home to the relief of Sir Alex Ferguson who saw his players struggle to overcome Lamberts team. Welbeck added a touch of gloss to the win which keeps the Red Devil’s top ahead of neighbours City on goal difference. With Wayne Rooney back from injury and restored to the United attack many envisaged an easy, high scoring win for the hosts but they were made to battle by a Norwich team who have grown in confidence over the past couple of weeks. Wins against Bolton and Sunderland have lifted the Canaries spirits and their determination to take something back to Carrow Road was admirable. If midfielder Anthony Pilkington had shown some prowess in front of goal they might well of came away victorious.
United were still suffering from the disastrous 3-3 draw against Basel in the Champions League on Tuesday and they looked to be suffering a terrible hangover as Lamberts counter attacking plan almost paid off. Wes Hoolahan was the first to really test Anders Lindegaard, making his first Premier League start, in the United goal stinging his palms with a long range effort. Norwich’s early pressure failed to pay dividends and as the half drew to a close they were made to defend with all their might as the home side poured forward in search of the opening goal. They never really tested John Ruddy in the visitors goal with Darren Fletcher’s flicked header from a corner the closest they came.
The second period saw Norwich step up their game as frustration started to build in the stands. Hoolahan was becoming an ever increasing influence in midfield and he almost got on the end of Steve Morison’s cross only for Phil Jones to divert the ball out of his path. He then turned provider with his through ball putting Pilkington, who took advantage of a slip from Antonio Valencia, clean through on goal only for the former Huddersfield man to crumble at the vital moment and shoot wide. That proved costly as Anderson nodded home from Ryan Giggs corner to finally break the deadlock as relief rippled through the stands . Norwich didn’t back down though and Pilkington was again presented with a glorious opportunity only to see his sweet strike deflected onto the post by Anderson. He was again made to rue another missed chance as Welbeck wrapped up the points exchanging passes with Park Ji Sung before sliding home his fifth goal of the season.