Norwich City boss Chris Hughton hails ‘world class’ Manchester United pair Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie

Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney both started against Norwich City before the Dutchman was withdraw

Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney both started against Norwich City before the Dutchman was withdrawn just past the hour mark. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City endured a painful taste of what might lie in wait for Real Madrid's 'Galacticos' at Old Trafford later this week.

Sir Alex Ferguson's starting line-up against the Canaries showed few discernible signs of preparing for a looming Champions League return with the Spanish giants in Manchester tomorrow.

Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney were both unleashed on Chris Hughton's side from the start before the Dutchman was withdrawn just past the hour mark for highly-rated England international striker Danny Welbeck.

Rooney moved centre stage for the final 15 minutes as he conjured two assists to help Shinji Kagawa seal his hat-trick before a fantastic finish past Mark Bunn.

'Sometimes that is when those type of players come into their own. They are class players,' said Hughton. 'We are up against probably two of the best strikers in the world right now in Rooney and van Persie. Even perhaps on a bad day they can produce bits of quality and they did.

'We just weren't sure (about their starting line up). Probably van Persie is the one we felt he might have left out because he came off injured in the QPR game so he was the one, but if anything I suppose when I look at the pluses I can take it is the mark of respect – in terms of the team they put out and we can take some credit away from that.

'Sir Alex generally tends to get it right with which ever team he puts out and there always seems to be that hunger and that desire to get a result.'

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Hughton saw nothing at Old Trafford to dissuade him from the view that Ferguson's men will go on to lift a 20th league title, but the City boss would only predict a spectacular occasion when pressed on the outcome against Jose Mourinho's superstars.

Ferguson's side drew 1-1 in the Bernabeu last month and Hughton believes the world of football could be in for a treat with a place in the last eight at stake. 'I think United offensively at their best are outstanding,' he said. 'They have superb offensive players on both sides, but United's options are the reasons why they have had such a good season and are going so well in these competitions. At this moment what you have got with them is a team playing well enough.

'Look at their recent run and they are winning games and winning them comfortably. You certainly do not see any other outcome in respect of them winning the league title.'