Norwich City's Premier League form has certainly picked up of late. This latest 1-0 success over Manchester United made it five games unbeaten in the league. The Canaries are making a habit of keeping clean sheets and scoring the odd goal. The last three league games at Carrow Road have now finished 1-0 in favor of the home side.
Norwich have also conceded only once in the last five games, and this was the third consecutive league game that they haven't conceded in. I think it is also fair to say that this was a bigger scalp than the Arsenal result.
I think it is only right to mention Pilkington first, following his stunning winning goal. That being said, it wasn't all about the goal for the winger. The player started the game very strongly and caused the Manchester United defense all kinds of problems. The goal was the icing on the cake of an awesome performance.
Most of us would agree that Pilkington has been a bit off form this season, but this performance could put all that to bed. Hopefully, he can score more goals and continue to create chances for others.
The Canaries are making a bit of a habit of keeping clean sheets. This was another truly exceptional performance from the whole defense. Javier Garrido did a great job on Valencia on one side, and Whittaker did the same on Young on the other side.
Then, there was the superb job that Bassong and Turner did to keep Robin van Persie and Hernandez very quiet. Aside from that, it was great to see that the Norwich defense was first to every ball, winning those crucial headers in the box.
One thing you should say is that this back-line is settled and the fringe players probably aren't going to get a look in.
This may not have been the busiest game that John Ruddy has had in his career. Manchester United were limited to only a few real chances. But when Norwich needed him, he was there to pull off two notable saves in the game. And he also got the basics right by, ensuring United never got a sniff in the penalty area.
I think it's fair to say that this performance was slightly different from the Stoke and Arsenal matches. This time Norwich did their best to create chances when the opportunities were there. In fact, I thought we created the better openings throughout the game and could have ending up winning by a more comfortable margin.
There was a very notable chance late in the game for Jonny Howson that really should have put Norwich City up 2-0, but he scuffed the golden chance. Nevertheless, in the end, the 1-0 scoreline proved to be enough to get over the line.
Wes Hoolahan and Grant Holt had worked tirelessly throughout the game and were certainly struggling towards the end of the game. Therefore, Norwich needed that bit of freshness to see the game out. Howson and Morison came into the action and did what they needed to. Although, Howson will be disappointed to have missed that aforementioned chance.
Elliott Bennett also made a late introduction for Snodgrass. Hughton has sometimes been reluctant to change things, but credit must be given for getting those decisions spot on. It should also be noted that there was no negativity with clinging onto the lead. I think Hughton just got everything right in this game.