One comeback too far

Sports

Norwich inflicted Manchester United's third loss in the English Premier League on Saturday, winning 1-0 to ensure that Alex Ferguson's side was overtaken atop the standings by Manchester City. Despite coming back to win eight of 12 games after conceding early goal, United couldn't do so on Sunday.

Former United youth team player Anthony Pilkington headed in Wes Hoolahan's cross on the hour at Carrow Road. "It's a great day for Norwich and it's a massive win for us,'' Pilkington said. "We've been performing well over the last few weeks and we showed today."

United fell one point behind champion City, which routed Aston Villa 5-0 earlier in the day, while Norwich moved five points clear of the drop zone.

Without striker Wayne Rooney because of tonsillitis, the Red Devils produced a largely lackluster display as Norwich produced another composed effort to secure a third win in five EPL games.

But it was a lively start by United as Robin van Persie created the first opening inside three minutes, turning to drive in a low shot from the edge of the Norwich penalty area which goalkeeper John Ruddy palmed away low to his right.

United continued to have all the possession, and enjoyed plenty of time on the ball as the home side sat deep.

Norwich, though, showed some life in attack when Hoolahan floated a ball over from the left, which winger Robert Snodgrass diverted just over the angle with a backward header.

A sweeping move switched play from the right out to Pilkington, who then released left back Javier Garrido, and his low center flashed across the face of Anders Lindegaard's goal.

Norwich grew in confidence and it needed a saving tackle from Chris Smalling to prevent captain Grant Holt from tapping in Snodgrass' low cross after the Scotland winger got past Rio Ferdinand into the right side of the United penalty area.

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