Two Norwich City players with a combined age of 56 – and with 57 senior international caps between them – linked up to help end Manchester United’s unbeaten start to the 2015-16 Barclays U21 Premier League season on Monday.
In front of 5,194 spectators at Carrow Road, Scotland midfielder Graham Dorrans found Northern Ireland hero Kyle Lafferty, who broke the deadlock with a fine lob over United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.
Lafferty’s first-time effort came on 57 minutes. Jamar Loza later added a second to give Norwich a 2-0 win, ending a run of six consecutive defeats.
Norwich move off the bottom of the 12-team table, replacing Liverpool in 11th place. The Norfolk outfit are now level on points – seven – with United, but the Red Devils have only played four matches, while the Canaries have played nine.
This was not Norwich’s usual Under-21 team. In addition to the 28-year-old duo of Lafferty and Dorrans, who have represented their countries 45 and 12 times respectively, the hosts also included 31-year-old former Rangers star Steven Whittaker in their starting XI.
United’s youngsters held their own during a scrappy first half, which threatened to boil over when teenager Josh Harrop put in a rash tackle, for which he was lucky to only receive a yellow card.
Norwich raised the quality of the contest in the second period.
After Lafferty had displayed the kind of finishing that has seen him rise to second on the list of Northern Ireland’s most prolific scorers ever, Loza killed United’s hopes with another very impressive shot.
Loza was the benefactor of mistake in midfield by United’s James Weir, who otherwise performed very well.
Norwich: Rudd; Whittaker, Efete, Crowe, Hall-Johnson (c); McGrandles, Dorrans; Eaton-Collins, King, Loza; Lafferty.
United: Johnstone; Varela, Tuanzebe, Borthwick-Jackson, Riley; Redmond, Goss; Weir, Powell, Harrop; Fletcher.
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