Ferguson admits Norwich out-fought Man Utd
NORWICH - Agence France-Presse
Manchester United’s Chris Smalling (L) vies with Norwich ace Grant Holt during their Premier League match. AFP photoAlex Ferguson admitted that his Manchester United side had been out-fought in the 1-0 defeat at Norwich City on Nov. 17.
The result, coupled with a 5-0 win for Manchester City to Aston Villa earlier in the day, meant United slipped to second place in the Premier League table.
A goal from Anthony Pilkington, a former United youth player, on the hour mark sealed a remarkable win for Norwich.
“It’s disappointing,” Ferguson said afterwards. “You have to give credit to Norwich. They battled all over the pitch and defended fantastically well. Their goalkeeper had a really good night also. It was a marvelous cross and a magnificent header - there was nothing the goalkeeper could do about that. They deserved the win just because they worked so hard for it.
“We had a lot of possession without having any great chances. It just wasn’t our night.”
No comeback this time
United had fallen behind on a number of previous occasions this season but had always come back to secure at least a point, and more often than not a victory. Not on this occasion.
“We always feel we can do that and the history of the club is like that,” Ferguson added. “But they defended really well and the goalkeeper made two or three really good saves.”
Norwich had won none of its first seven Premier League games under Chris Hughton, who succeeded Paul Lambert as manager in the summer but is now unbeaten in its last six games in all competitions.
That run began with a home victory over Arsenal by exactly the same score but Hughton insisted beating Manchester United was the bigger achievement.
“It’s our best result of the season simply because it’s Manchester United,” he said. “They tested us more than anybody we have played this season but we were resilient enough. We are on a good run at the moment and we were able to use the confidence we had from that today.
“It’s certainly a wonderful achievement to get a result against the likes of these. It’s still three points but there is a great feeling tonight because it’s Manchester United.
“After the first few games of the season where we had a few good performances but didn’t get the rub of the green it is just so vital to pick up points.
“We have proved that we can do that but we know our levels. We need to play at that level, which will give us a chance.
“Over the 90 minutes we deserved what we got.”