Manchester United struggles again in home loss to Norwich City
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United's first loss at home to Norwich in more than 26 years extended the club's winless run to six games and heaped more pressure on manager Louis van Gaal on Saturday.
Norwich won 2-1 with goals either side of halftime.
United didn't score until more than an hour into the game with its first shot on target, and couldn't prevent falling to Norwich at Old Trafford for the first time since Aug. 30, 1989, three years before the English Premier League began.
United dropped to fifth in the standings, nine points behind leader Leicester.
"We know we have to win against Norwich," Van Gaal said. "We have won all our games or at least drawn at home. We know that it (losing to Norwich) is not good enough for us. The players know that, I know that, the fans know that, and the board know that.
"After the second goal, the fans were supporting us. They give a good example that you have to stick together to come out of this period. We shall come back, but OK, we have to work very hard."
Striker Cameron Jerome evaded two challenges before beating David de Gea in the penalty area for the opening goal, before halftime.
Jerome turned provider after halftime, leading a breakaway before threading the ball to Alexander Tettey, who beat De Gea with a low shot inside his near post from the edge of the area.
Anthony Martial lashed in United's reply from close range but the host, for which captain Wayne Rooney returned from injury to make his 500th appearance for the club, could not find an equalizer.
United managed only one more shot on target after Martial's goal.
Van Gaal's side, for which the defeat is the first at home in the league this season, has not won in any competition since Nov. 21, and the slide in form has also seen United exit the Champions League.
The manager will face growing scrutiny around his position at the club, especially as Jose Mourinho departed Chelsea on Thursday and released a statement earlier on Saturday saying he does not plan to have a break from football.
As for Norwich, the team rises to 16th but Newcastle and Swansea, the next two sides behind, can overtake them by winning their matches this weekend.
But goalscorer Jerome was not surprised by his team's win, and challenged the squad to build on the victory.
"To us, we have had the belief all season and some great performances away at the bigger sides," Jerome said. "It is a magnificent result for us but we can't rest on this."
United's next match is on Dec. 26, at Stoke.