The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Giggs begins Man United job with easy win over Norwich; Swansea, West Brom closer to safety

  • Print

MANCHESTER, England - After a sleepless night before his managerial debut, Ryan Giggs saw his Manchester United team reawaken Old Trafford with a comfortable victory over Norwich on Saturday to end a tumultuous week that started with David Moyes' dismissal.

United asserted itself over Norwich after a tedious start, with Wayne Rooney scoring twice — the first from the penalty spot — and Juan Mata also netting a brace after coming off the bench to complete a 4-0 win in the English Premier League.

"I should retire now, a 100 per cent record," Giggs quipped.

The 40-year-old midfielder, who dropped himself from the match-day squad, is likely to have just three more games as player-manager, with United looking to appoint a more experienced successor to Moyes.

"The reception was great. I've walked out of the tunnel so many times in big games. That's the best feeling I've had, I felt so proud," Giggs said. "Did I sleep last night? No."

It was a day all about restoring pride after Moyes inherited a team that won the league by 11 points under Alex Ferguson last May and took it down to seventh in the standings.

But while United is frustrated to be out of the four Champions League places, Norwich's position is far more precarious — fighting against relegation. A seventh straight loss left the team just a point and a place above the relegation zone.

Swansea virtually secured Premier League survival and West Bromwich Albion moved closer to safety on Saturday.

Jonjo Shelvey scored an eye-catching volley in a 4-1 victory for 12th-place Swansea over Aston Villa, which is just four points and two places from the drop zone. Saido Berahino gave West Brom a 1-0 victory over West Ham that took the team five points clear of danger.

But Fulham threw away a two-goal lead at home to Hull to draw 2-2 and remain in the drop zone.

At the top of the standings, Everton's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League were hit by a 2-0 loss at Southampton which kept the visitors in fifth place. Tottenham closed the gap on Everton to three points after Danny Rose clinched a 1-0 win at Stoke, meaning that Manchester United could even miss out on Europa League qualification.

Although the revenue streams could be hit, a season out of Europe could help the rebuilding process which it seems Giggs won't be overseeing as manager, however much he impresses during his four-game stint as interim manager.

"We've had a tough week and there's been a lot of negativity towards us as a team," Rooney said. "We were hurt by that and we wanted to put that right. It's important for us to end the season well."

The breakthrough against Norwich came after Steven Whittaker brought down Danny Welbeck, and Welbeck scored from the penalty spot in the 41st.

The striker was on target again inside three minutes of the second half, drifting in from the left unchallenged before unleashing a shot into the bottom corner of the net.

United was cruising, and the magnitude of the victory was even more convincing after Mata made an immediate impact after coming off the bench on the hour.

The Spain midfielder scored inside three minutes, after meeting a cross from Phil Jones. Mata nodded another over the line in the 73rd after being set up by Antonio Valencia.

"I'm interim manager but I'm also one of their team-mates, so it was tough to leave them out, but you've seen the response of Juan," Giggs said. "That's a true professional, to not moan and not sulk and come on and perform like he did."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.