Cristiano Ronaldo sealed his hat-trick with a stunning free-kick to rescue a 3-2 victory for Man United over Norwich, having earlier blown a two-goal lead at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo’s second hat-trick in five games put some shine on another underwhelming performance from United, whose pursuit of a top-four spot was nonetheless strengthened thanks to defeats for rivals Arsenal and Tottenham.
They looked to be strolling to victory when Ronaldo was teed up for an early tap-in after Ben Gibson was caught in possession and grabbed a second by nodding home Alex Telles’ corner.
Norwich had created chances without threatening to defy their goal-shy reputation until Kieran Dowell headed Teemu Pukki’s cross past David De Gea on the stroke of half-time, and the Finnish striker beat the offside trap to level seven minutes into the second period.
With the atmosphere around Old Trafford souring on an afternoon, where the pre-match preparations had been overshadowed by widespread protests outside the ground against the Glazer ownership, Ronaldo restored the hosts’ good feeling with a 25-yard thunderbolt free-kick winner which caught out Tim Krul and put the hosts right back in contention to finish fourth.
Norwich remain seven points from safety with six games to play, with their hopes of survival continuing to look increasingly bleak.