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11th Dec 2021

Dean Smith claims it was ‘too easy’ for Man Utd to control the game after penalty decision

Callum Boyle

Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty was the difference at Carrow Road as Manchester United beat Norwich City

Norwich City manager Dean Smith questioned the penalty decision which condemned his side to defeat against Manchester United on Saturday.

United continued their unbeaten start under Ralf Rangnick on Saturday after Cristiano Ronaldo’s second-half penalty helped them to a 1-0 win away to Norwich City.

Ronaldo converted from the spot in the 75th minute after Max Aarons was adjudged to have pulled the 36-year-old down in the box. However, replays showed the decision to be a contentious one, with some feeling Norwich were left hard done by.

Norwich had chances themselves to find a way back into the game, however David De Gea produced an inspired performance – including a spectacular save from Ozan Kabak’s header – to ensure the three points would belong to United.

During his post-match interview, Smith said he didn’t believe that it was a penalty and that it was ‘too easy’ for the opposition to influence the referee.

He said: “I’ve seen the penalty back and does he make contact with him in the box? Yes.

“Has he got his arm up? Yes, but I can show you five or six challenges different challenges in the game, whether they were inside the box or outside the box, that weren’t given and we’re after consistency.

“I just felt it was too easy for Manchester United to referee the game today, because Marcus Rashford gave himself a free-kick in the first-half.

“For me there was a build-up during the game. You can’t have players refereeing the game and it felt like it was.”

The win in Norfolk means that United now move to fifth and level on points with West Ham United, sitting outside of the top four on goal difference only.

As for Norwich, they remain bottom of the table and remain three points adrift of safety.

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