Cristiano Ronaldo hit his 13th goal of the season to help Manchester United manage a slim win over last-placed Norwich City on Saturday. With the three points, the Red Devils are fifth on the Premier League points table behind West Ham.
Norwich defender Max Aarons brought down the Portuguese international inside the box. Ronaldo converted a penalty in the 75th minute to hand Ralf Rangnick a second straight victory since taking over as interim manager. United’s unbeaten run extended to six games following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking.
Norwich pressured United for much of the second half but goalkeeper David de Gea pulled off key saves to keep the game scoreless until Ronaldo earned the penalty when he was dragged down in the area.
Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul had been busier before the break, saving a shot from Ronaldo from 12 yards and then using his fingertips to keep out Harry Maguire’s header.
Norwich remained rooted to the bottom of the table but was just three points away from 17th.
“We didn’t play as well as we’d have liked, but sometimes you have to dig in away from home. It was a good atmosphere and tough conditions to play in. The most important thing was the three points. For sure we need to play better than that if we’re going to achieve what we want to achieve. Our intensity wasn’t the same as it was against Crystal Palace. We stuck together and kept another clean sheet, and if we do that we’ll have a great chance of winning football matches,” United captain Harry Maguire said after the game.
Meanwhile, Manchester City maintained its one-point lead after Raheem Sterling’s 100th league goal secured a 1-0 home win over Wolverhampton. Liverpool and Chelsea responded with slim victories of their own.
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard’s return to Anfield nearly dealt a damaging blow to Liverpool’s title hopes but Mohamed Salah’s penalty in the 67th minute secured a 1-0 win for the Reds after goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez frustrated the hosts for much of the game.
With inputs from the Associated Press