NORWICH CITY 1, MAN UNITED 2.
Ryan Giggs marked his 900th appearance for Manchester United with a dramatic injury time match-winning goal at Norwich City.
The historic occasion could not have been better scripted with 38-year-old Giggs scoring at the death to keep United hot on the heels of leaders City.
“I cannot see any other player making 900 appearances for one club. Ryan has had an amazing career, then he is an amazing man,” enthused Sir Alex Ferguson who admitted his side were not at their best.
He said: “I have to say we were lucky in the sense Norwich had more promise about them. I thought we were lethargic, too casual.
“Then after we lost the goal, we played brilliantly. That tells you something about our temperament.
“The players don’t get nervous and started to up their game so that augurs well for us.”
Ferguson added it was fitting that Giggs should have the last word on this landmark afternoon.
“Given the career Ryan has had, to score the winning goal with the last kick of the game, he deserved that,” he continued.
Giggs, who recently signed a new one-year contract, has captured 12 Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two Champions League during his illustrious career at Old Trafford which began in 1991/92 season.
United, who were without the injured Wayne Rooney, had Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez leading their front line with Paul Scholes, another golden oldie, anchoring the midfield.
It was Scholes who gave United the perfect start putting them ahead in the seventh minute heading home a Nani cross at the far post.
Welbeck ought to have doubled the advantage when he forced a great save from Canaries’ keeper John Ruddy who dived full length low to his left to keep out the effort.
Hernandez also tested Ruddy after Welbeck squared the ball into his path.
It was by no means one-way traffic, however, as United keeper David de Gea made decent first-half saves to deny Anthony Pilkington and Grant Holt.
The second half ebbed and flowed similarly to the opening period as Welbeck’s chip was cleared off the line by Zak Whitbread while Giggs struck the bar from six yards as United continued their pursuit of a second goal.
A rare misplaced pass from Scholes was intercepted by Aaron Wilbraham whose 30-yard drive was well turned over the bar by de Gea.
United were stunned when Norwich drew level in the 84th minute when Holt found the net with a terrific shot on the turn from just inside the box into the top corner of the net.
Giggs set up Welbeck who failed to connect with his cross when it looked as though he would head home.
But with time running out and City celebrating moving further clear of their rivals from the red half of Manchester, Giggs came to the rescue lurking at the far post to convert a cross from Ashley Young.