Anthony Pilkington celebrates his winning goal. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton hails ‘deserved’ Premier League win over Manchester United

Saturday, November 17, 2012
8.31 PM

Chris Hughton insisted Norwich City were full value for an historic 1-0 Premier League win over Manchester United at a vibrant Carrow Road.

Anthony Pilkington flashed home a sublime glancing header from Javier Garrido’s cross on the hour mark to clinch only a second win over the Red Devils in 21 years. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were unable to pierce a backline superbly marshalled by John Ruddy. The England keeper was in imperious form towards the closing stages in front of watching Three Lions’ boss Roy Hodgson, but Hughton was adamant City’s priceless win had not been a rearguard action. City midfielder Jonny Howson spurned a gilt-edged chance for a second in stoppage time when put through by fellow substitute Steve Morison.

“It doesn’t come any bigger than Manchester United,” said Hughton. “What pleased me most was that over the 90 minutes we deserved what we got. I thought we limited them to really minimal chances. Of course they were going to get a lot of balls into our box, like Manchester United do. We had to defend really well and we could have, with a little bit more composure, should have put the game to bed a bit earlier.

“Manchester United have shown time after time that being 1-0 down doesn’t mean a lot to them. They can change the way they play. They open the game up and go a little bit more offensive, which they did do here, and they have great options in the squad. Probably for those who didn’t watch the game and were expecting United to get an equaliser and then a winner late in the game, we defended really well from the front. You can’t solve all the problems, but we were certainly in the right place enough of the time.

“I thought it was an excellent goal. Anthony has that quality and I thought he was excellent today. He had to be - particularly with (Antonio) Valencia on that side. I don’t think the goalkeeper could have done much about it, but it was nice to see him scoring.”