The Ryan Giggs era, however long it might be, begins with a huge 4-0 win over struggling Norwich which won’t help Manchester United move up in the table but at least look like a confident and better team than it did under David Moyes as Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata both scored twice in the victory.
From the first moment the energy and pace seemed to be a lot greater from a team that so many times looked slow and lifeless, especially at home. Maybe it was new instructions from a player-manager taking his first stab on the sidelines of managing the only team he has ever played for, but it just might be motivation from the managerial change, that some theories suggest both Giggs and the players helped achieve by some form of sabotage.
Roony scored the first goal thanks to a bit of luck as a through ball went through or near the legs of three Norwich defenders. Danny Welbeck reacted to it quickly but was taken down from behind by Steven Whittaker. No red card was drawn despite the absolute need for one, but a penalty kick was given, which Rooney converted by sending Paul Ruddy the other way.
The second goal was scored by Rooney as well, this time finishing off a nice assist from Shinji Kagawa. The Japanese player didn’t do much on the left side, constantly trying to push to the middle where it was too crowded, but at least was involved in one of the goals, as United looked hungry for more – another huge difference from the Moyes era.
In the 60th minute Welbeck came off for Juan Mata, who had no problem operating all over the pitch, in something of a free role. He came from behind twice to score goals, both coming from very close range. The first off a Phil Jones cross, the second coming from an Antonio Valencia one.
Manchester United remain in 7th place where they’ll probably end up, but finishing a season with a different feeling, a happy one, has its effects on the summer. Just asked Liverpool, having a great second half to last season, felt still in their title run. Norwich are the ones in big trouble, one point above the relegation zone but with two opponents that have played less, and will go by them if they win those matches needing completion.