Norwich boss Dean Smith was happy with his side’s display but felt they made it far too easy for Manchester United to take the points.
The Canaries remain rooted to the foot of thr Premier League table after going down 3-2 at Old Trafford. They are now seven points from safety after Cristiano Ronaldo netted the 50th club hat-trick of his amazing career. The Red Devils went 2-0 up but Kieran Dowell pulled one back just before half-time.
And when Teemu Pukki levelled affairs seven minutes after the break, it seemed as though a shock might be on the cards. But the Portugal skipper hammered home a trademark free-kick to ensure the points stayed at the Theatre of Dreams.
Smith was critical of the way his charges allowed United to take the two-goal lead. But he felt they were good enough to have emerged with something to show for their efforts.
“I was disappointed in the first half to go in having conceded two,” he told BBC Sport. “The manner of the goals we conceded was really poor. We’re really disappointed with that.
“I’m disappointed we haven’t got anything from the match. We had the chance after three minutes when Teemu Pukki went through.
“We started the second half really well by getting it back to 2-2 and David de Gea pulling off the save to keep it 2-2.”
Smith rallies the troops
Norwich look doomed to yet another Premier League relegation. They ended up bottom of the table in the 2019-2020 campaign when losing their last 10 matches.
The hope was that things would improve on the current top-flight journey. However, Daniel Farke being replaced by Smith did little for the cause.
There is still an outside chance that they could beat the drop. And, after acknowledging the brilliance of United’s hat-trick hero, Smith made it clear his men will not be throwing in the towel.
“Ronaldo will get the plaudits with his hat-trick and rightly so but we helped him. We know we can do a lot better against him,” he added. “The players are fighting and we’ll continue fighting. I thought we showed our spirit. That is all we can do.”
Next up for the East Anglians is the visit of Newcastle United before a trip to the West Midlands to face Aston Villa.
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