Premier League
Man Utd4Norwich0

Manchester United 4-0 Norwich City

Wayne Rooney

Manchester United manager Ryan Giggs enjoyed a winning start to his Old Trafford reign as goals from Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata saw off Norwich.

Giggs, in temporary charge after the sacking of David Moyes, watched Rooney score a penalty and curling effort either side of half-time.

Substitute Mata added a third and headed in from six yards to keep United in the hunt for a Europa League spot.

Manchester United interim manager Ryan Giggs

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Mata masterclass tremendous - Giggs

Defeat leaves Norwich one point above the Premier League relegation zone.

The Canaries arrived in Manchester at the end of a week in which United underwent a second managerial change in 10 months, with Giggs - the club's most decorated player - asked to take charge by United's vice chairman Ed Woodward.

The 40-year-old promised a return to the traditional Manchester United style of play ahead of kick off, with "passion, speed, tempo, bravery and imagination," to the fore.

A rapturous welcome greeted him as he emerged from the tunnel and with 962 appearances for the club, Giggs wrote United is "the rock his life had been built upon" in his programme notes.

A 'good luck' card from United mascot 'Fred the Red' was also on offer for the Welshman and after a tepid opening half an hour, his side cruised to just an eighth home win of the campaign.

United have now claimed 47 of their 60 points against sides in the bottom half this season and despite Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy smartly saving from Danny Welbeck and Antonio Valencia, Neil Adams' side could not kill the feel-good factor at Old Trafford.

Norwich's fifth successive defeat, an unwanted stat they last achieved when relegated in 2005, looked a formality when Rooney took centre stage twice in seven minutes.

The England striker - United's talisman without the injured Robin van Persie - sent Ruddy the wrong way from the spot after Steven Whittaker had clumsily tangled with Welbeck.

Then, when the teams re-emerged from the interval, his 17th league goal of the season arrived as he fired in off the post from 25 yards despite slipping when shooting right footed.

Welbeck - one of six changes made by Giggs from the 2-0 defeat at Everton - drilled a smart half volley forcing Ruddy to again save, but Mata replaced him from the bench to end the contest.

Juan Mata scores for Manchester United
January signing Juan Mata has now scored five goals in his last four appearances for United.

The record signing - made by Moyes - volleyed in Phil Jones's cross six yards out, seconds after Rooney had been denied a hat-trick by another Ruddy save.

Playing in a central role, the Spaniard again found himself in the box to touch home Valencia's cross-shot for his fifth United goal after good work down the left by Patrice Evra.

Norwich City manager Neil Adams

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Soft penalty changed the game - Adams

Norwich, for all their early bravery at the back, had capitulated, but went close to a consolation when substitute Johan Elmander fired wide and Martin Olsson's deflected effort crashed against the crossbar.

The Canaries face Arsenal and Chelsea in their run-in and will be in the bottom three on Sunday afternoon if there is a winner in the midday kick-off between Sunderland and Cardiff.

United, who should have added a fifth when Javier Hernandez missed a one-on-one opportunity in injury time, sit six points behind sixth-placed Tottenham.

Norwich manager Neil Adams:

"I think we did really well in the first half and frustrated them but then five minutes before the break they get a penalty. There is minimal contact and that changes the game.

"In the second half we were not good enough. We allowed Wayne Rooney too much time and space to get in a shot and we did the same last week against Liverpool when Raheem Sterling scored.

"We had a go after that but it is difficult when you are 2-0 down away from home. I felt we should have done better. We have got two games left and probably have to take points from them.

"Overall, it wasn't good enough but we are still above the [relegation] line. What we can't do is beat ourselves up."

Line-ups

Man Utd

  • 1de Gea
  • 4Jones
  • 3EvraBooked at 65mins
  • 16Carrick
  • 5Ferdinand
  • 15Vidic
  • 25A Valencia
  • 23CleverleySubstituted forHernándezat 71'minutes
  • 19WelbeckSubstituted forMataat 60'minutes
  • 10Rooney
  • 26KagawaSubstituted forYoungat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Mata
  • 12Smalling
  • 13Lindegaard
  • 14Hernández
  • 17Nani
  • 18Young
  • 24Fletcher

Norwich

  • 1Ruddy
  • 3Whittaker
  • 23Olsson
  • 4Johnson
  • 2Martin
  • 6Turner
  • 7Snodgrass
  • 10FerSubstituted forTetteyat 80'minutes
  • 9van WolfswinkelSubstituted forElmanderat 57'minutes
  • 8HowsonBooked at 29mins
  • 22RedmondSubstituted forHooperat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Hooper
  • 13Bunn
  • 15Gutiérrez
  • 16Elmander
  • 24Bennett
  • 27Tettey
  • 31Murphy
Referee:
Lee Probert
Attendance:
75,208

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamNorwich
Possession
Home61%
Away39%
Shots
Home25
Away9
Shots on Target
Home11
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home13
Away9

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Liverpool3525555280
2Chelsea3523664175
3Man City3423565674
4Arsenal3521772170
5Everton3620972169
6Tottenham3620610366
7Man Utd35186112060
8Southampton36141012752
9Newcastle3514417-1546
10Stoke36111114-1144
11Crystal Palace3513418-1343
12Swansea3610917-139
13Hull3510718-937
14West Ham3610719-1137
15West Brom3571513-1236
16Aston Villa359818-1735
17Norwich368820-3232
18Fulham369423-4231
19Cardiff357919-3430
20Sunderland347819-2429
View full Premier League table

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