Norwich City 0-1 Manchester United: Player ratings & Man of the Match as Ronaldo nets winner

Ralf Rangnick kept up his unbeaten start as Red Devils manager, although there was much to improve on when it came to the performance.

<p>Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring the winner against Norwich. Credit: Getty.</p>

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring the winner against Norwich. Credit: Getty.

Manchester United closed the gap to the top-four spots with a 1-0 win over Norwich City on Saturday evening.

It was a substandard performance from the Red Devils, and only the heroics of David De Gea and some undesirable Norwich finishing, ensured they came away from Norfolk with the three points.

In the first period, Alex Telles, Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire all went close with chances, while the Canaries struggled to create many opportunities in front of goal.

But in the second half, a rash moment from Max Aarons saw the young full-back drag down Ronaldo in the box and give away a penalty.

Ronaldo’s penalty proved to be the difference between the teams. Credit: Getty.

The subsequent spot-kick was duly smashed into the back of the net from the Portuguese No.7 to  give him a seventh Premier League goal in 13 games this term.

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Norwich did improve in front of goal as the game progressed, but couldn’t find the all-important strike to earn what would have been a well-deserved point.

Manchester United ratings

David De Gea- 8

The United keeper pulled off great saves to twice deny Ozan Kabak in the second half, while he also pushed over a header from Josh Sargent. De Gea was unquestionably United’s best player at Carrow Road, although Dimitris Giannoulis was our Man of the Match.

Diogo Dalot- 5

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Looked much more comfortable going forward than he did defensively, with Norwich finding too much space down their left. Dalot also had a shot on target in the first period which was well saved by Tim Krul.

Victor Lindelof- 6 (off 75)

The defender went down holding his chest in the latter stages and everyone at ManchesterWorld hopes this was nothing serious. The Swede put in an average performance and allowed Teemu Puki too much space in the attacking areas.

Harry Maguire- 5

Another awkward performance from the United captain, who misplaced too many passes. The No.5 also didn’t look convincing at the back and often there was a significant gap between him and Lindelof.

Maguire had a difficult game at Carrow Road. Credit: Getty.

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Alex Telles- 5

Hit the bar from a free-kick after 14 minutes, but didn’t enjoy the game in Norfolk. While pushing high, the defender struggled to create meaningful chances for team-mates.

Scott McTominay- 6

Looked good driving with the ball and his all-action style did stem some of the hosts’ attacks, however there was too big a gap between him and the the United defence. McTominay also delivered some positive passes, one in particular which slipped in Ronaldo in the first half.

Fred- 5

United’s best presser on Saturday, the Brazilian put in a real shift at Carrow Road. However, like several team-mates, Fred’s passing was often awry and Norwich’s midfield found it too easy to bypass the Red Devils No.17.

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Jadon Sancho- 6 (off 67)

Tried to create openings with his inventive running and passing, and more often than not passed the ball forward, although not always with success.

Ralf Rangnick has won both of his first two Premier League games in charge of Manchester United. Credit: Getty.

Bruno Fernandes- 4 (off 88)

Probably one of Fernandes’s poorest performances since joining the club, the Portugal international looked jaded and repeatedly misplaced passes. He also failed to manufacture any dangerous shooting opportunities and looked frustrated as he was replaced in the latter stages.

Marcus Rashford- 5

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Looked threatening when dribbling in the left channel and was fouled on a few occasions. But the England international failed to seriously test the Norwich defence on a regular basis and, nor could he find a way to repeatedly link up with his team-mates.

Cristiano Ronaldo- 5

Only winning and converting a penalty prevented it being a worse score for Ronaldo, whose frustration was evident at full-time as he headed straight down the tunnel. The Portuguese star did test Krul in the first half but in general had a disappointing and disjointed game.

Mason Greenwood- 5 (on 67)

Was quiet when he came on and wasn’t involved in any real chances.

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Eric Bailly- 6 (on 75)

Put in one big block to stop a shot en route to goal, but his positioning was suspect on a number of occasions.

Donny van Beek (on 88)

Norwich City ratings

Krul 7; Aarons 7, Hanley 6 (Sorensen 21; 7), Kabak 8, Giannoulis 8; Rupp 7 (Lees-Melou 75; 6), Gilmour 8, McLean 7; Placheta 7 (Cantwell 70; 5), Pukki 7, Sargent 7.