Manchester United’s three best players against Norwich

Manchester United got back to winning ways with a 3-2 victory over struggling Norwich City.

Here is a look at United’s top performers on the day, with one very obvious standout…

Photo by Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo has been struggling for service and cutting a frustrated figure in recent matches but he was United’s saviour here.

He would expect to score his first goal but he still had to be in the right place at the right time, while the second strike was a towering header.

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Then, with the game drifting, Ronaldo produced a first goal direct from a free kick since July 2020 to clinch a crucial three points and send Old Trafford into raptures.

Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Anthony Elanga

Elanga’s pressing forced Ben Gibson into the mistake which led to Ronaldo’s opening goal, mirroring his work which got Lewis Dunk sent off against Brighton earlier this year.

That seemed to give him confidence after a period of time when he has just slipped away from his high standards, as all young players do at some stage.

Elanga was moved to right-back when United chased the game at 2-2, and had a crucial impact from there, winning the free kick which Ronaldo converted to win the day.

Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

David de Gea

Even when United win, de Gea tends to need to bail them out at least once and so it proved here with the game poised at 2-2.

United were rocking slightly when de Gea made a plunging save down to his right to keep the game level.

He was also more on the front foot sweeping behind his defence at times, which was noticeable and that is also what he needs to do more of.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.