Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Norwich deserved to win: Ferguson

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LONDON: Manchester United were humbled 1-0 by Norwich City late on Saturday, but Alex Ferguson refused to blame his players for the loss, which sees them drop to second in the table, one point behind Manchester City.

“They deserved the win because they worked so hard for it,” Ferguson said.

“They defended really well and their goalkeeper made two or three really good saves at vital moments.”

United, who suffered their third Premier League defeat of the season in the late kickoff at Carrow Road, succumbed to a 60th-minute header from their former youth team player Anthony Pilkington.

United missed Wayne Rooney, who was sidelined with tonsillitis, though Alex Ferguson was still able to pair Robin van Persie with Javier Hernandez, who had claimed a hat-trick seven days ago as United came back from 2-0 down to beat Aston Villa 3-2.

Ferguson’s men were suddenly facing another deficit when Pilkington got in front of defender Chris Smalling to glance a deft header from Javier Garrido’s cross past keeper Anders Lindegaard.

Ferguson had said this week he could not remember Pilkington from his time at Old Trafford, though the midfielder joked after the game: “I was only about five, so that’s probably why.”

United were so poor they only put John Ruddy under serious pressure in the dying moments, the Norwich goalkeeper doing well to turn away a misplaced header from defender Sebastien Bassong and then saving bravely at the feet of Paul Scholes after he had blocked Anderson’s 20-metre drive.

“The players are used to making comebacks and we’re always a threat in the last minutes of matches,” added the veteran manager.

“We had a lot of half-chances but it just wasn’t our night.” (Agencies)

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