- The build up to the 4-0 victory over Norwich at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon was full of mixed focus with less of a spotlight on the game itself and much more on other areas of the club with Ryan Giggs signing a one year contract extension, the fact he was due to play his 1000th competitive career match and the small matter of facing Real Madrid thiscoming Tuesday.
None the less it was business as usual for United who saw off a spirited canaries side to go 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Ryan Giggs did not (I repeat, did not) make his 1000th appearance which shocked many who predicted he would actually captain the side on the day.
Sir Alex once again used the quality of the squad to its full potential with Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Anderson all starting giving vital rest to Rio Ferdinand and Rafael ahead of the Madrid clash.
Norwich set up to contain and counter attack and for 45 minutes it worked a treat – limiting United to one half chance before Shinji Kagawa broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time which a nicely taken (or mis-struck through the eys of Alan Shearer) volley.
The second half was more of a formality with United scoring three more times.
Michael Carrick dictated the tempo of the game; knowing Norwich had to come out and play he was left with more time and space to create openings.
Michael Carrick really is a candidate for Player of the Year.
Japanese playmaker Kagawa went on to complete his hat-trick with two more very well taken goals; and Wayne Rooney rounded off proceedings with a wonderful 25 yard strike.
It was great to see Shinji Kagawa get on the ball, create space, link up play and find the net. He has had his doubters this season having been very unlucky with injury – but if Saturday was a glimpse of what he can do, he will be in for a long successful career at Old Trafford.
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