Another U21s match attracted a decent crowd to Carrow Road to witness the up-and-coming talent in the Norwich – and Manchester United – ranks. The visitors were very comfortable in possession and dominated the ball, defined by quick movement and neat flicks, however didn’t threatened as much as their possession would dictate. In comparison, Norwich were stronger and more physical, seeking to dominate at set pieces and make the most of counter attacks. Norwich definitely started the brighter and Kelly’s surging run through midfield bypassed United players, then played through Loza who really should have done better than poking the ball just past the post and wide. Manchester United did have a penalty appeal as Lingard thought he’d be fouled, the referee was not convinced however and said no.
United’s Pereira did extremely well to reach a long ball, then won a corner from McFadden. The corner was cleared off the line following a neat flick at the near post, the Norwich keeper Remi Matthews makes a good save to deny United again.
This time it was Norwich’s turn to launch a long ball forward, which was headed on by Cameron Norman, nicely controlled by McGrandles and his good cross finds McGeehan who turns but can only blast over the bar. A jinxing Loza run wins Norwich a free kick on the edge of the penalty area which Ray Grant stands over and takes left footed, a beautifully weighted cross which is headed into the net at the far post by Adel Gafaiti.
At half time, the crowd was in great spirits and joined in cheering a Norwich Academy kids’ 7-a-side match which was taking place on the pitch, as well as the usual crossbar challenge in front of the Barclay,
Five minutes into the second half and McGrandles, unmarked, six yards out headed wide from a good cross from Hall-Johnson, with the Scottish midfielder seemingly astonished that he hadn’t managed to double City’s lead. Just two minutes later and that miss would prove costly; a tremendous right-footed shot from the edge of the area from Manchester United’s Josh Harrop swerved away from Matthews and deflected off the post and in.
A quality McGrandles through-ball to Loza enabled the City striker a run on goal, with his left footed effort quick and powerful, yet not on target. McGeehan later had a chance to deliver the ball into the Manchester United area, but instead put the ball well over the heads of everyone and behind for a goal kick.
As the clock ticked over to the ninetieth minute, the visitors went through one-on-one with Mathews but the attacker could not keep his composure and instead sent the ball into the empty Barclay end.
There was, however, time for Norwich to break away with Efete and Loza against four Manchester United defenders, winning a corner, but nothing came of it and the referee brought the game to a close.