Norwich City’s Man of the Match v Manchester United
Zak Whitbread was a potent symbol of Norwich's resistance before Ryan Giggs decided to alter the final entry.
Whitbread bemoaned the fact during the build up how injury earlier this season had robbed him of the chance to face the likes of former club Liverpool, United and Manchester City. The blonde number six played with a desire and an intensity to make up for those disappointments.
Whitbread has all the artillery you need for a dominant centre back - tall, powerfully-built, mobile but he also has a wonderful sense of anticipation and undoubted quality passing in his armoury on that left peg. All facets were on show at Carrow Road.
Rio Ferdinand was forced to hack behind midway through the opening period after Whitbread had caused momentary alarms inside the United area from David Fox's free kick. A perfectly-timed saving tackle upended Giggs fairly after the restart before an even better intervention denied Danny Welbeck a certain goal when he exchanged passes with Giggs and guided past the advancing Ruddy. Whitbread was the first to react and race back on the cover to guide the ball away from danger.
Whitbread's role in Grant Holt's equaliser was no less telling at the opposite end. Rising unchallenged to divert Adam Drury's punt into the path of Holt who did the rest. The American did not deserve to end up on the losing side.