Chelsea coach Frank Lampard believes Premier League referees must start utilising touchline monitors if they are to implement VAR correctly.

The use of VAR has come under increasing scrutiny as the season has progressed, with the latest round of Premier League fixtures throwing up more questions.

Everton's Michael Keane was on Saturday penalised for what appeared to be an accidental collision with Brighton and Hove Albion's Aaron Connolly, as the referee's initial decision not to award a spot-kick was overturned.

There were similar VAR interventions in Manchester United's 3-1 win over Norwich City and Arsenal's draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday.

On-field officials are said to have been instructed to use pitchside screens sparingly, which is a stance Lampard thinks must change.

"Yes, I think it is part of VAR. I assumed when it came into the Premier League that would be the case," he told a news conference ahead of Chelsea's EFL Cup clash with Manchester United.

"I think we are at the point now where from my point of view I think they have to. It is difficult. I am not one to bang the drum.

"It is not easy and even with VAR there is a human element involved because they are the ones that are checking it and it is slightly opinionated.

"I think at the weekend we saw it flip slightly from the other way from what it had been already with some decisions being changed. Hopefully we find the right middle ground as soon as possible.

"I think seeing the monitor on the side of the pitch is the way forward."

VAR also came into play in Chelsea's 4-2 thrashing of Burnley on Sunday, after Michael Oliver's decision to award Callum Hudson-Odoi a penalty was overturned and the winger was instead booked for simulation.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche was highly critical of Hudson-Odoi's actions, but Lampard insisted it was not the youngster's intention to cheat.

"I said nothing to him. I didn't feel the need to. I asked him on the day of the game, after my press conference about what happened," Lampard said.

"He said he had a touch. Clearly when you see it back from behind he gets a touch on his back. I know it is light. I am not saying it is a definite penalty, but it is not a dive.

"I am not sure if Sean had watched it back from all the angles ahead of when he spoke, but it wasn't a dive as such. If that becomes a dive, then you will start analysing every bit of contact."

Frank Lampard is pleased with Chelsea's progress since a heavy opening defeat to Manchester United as the two teams prepare to meet again on Wednesday.

Lampard's first competitive game in charge of Chelsea ended in a painful 4-0 loss at Old Trafford on the opening weekend of the Premier League season in August.

The Blues endured a slow start to the campaign but have since found their feet, winning their last seven matches in all competitions ahead of the EFL Cup clash with United at Stamford Bridge.

"It feels a million miles," Lampard said at Tuesday's news conference when reflecting on the last time the clubs faced each other.

"I'm not disregarding it - they hurt us four times in a game we played particularly well in.

"We're improving, that's the main thing. It's what we've been striving for and it's pleasing to see good signs.

"I try not to listen to too much talk about the future. If we do that there would be problems. It's nice we're working in a good direction."

Chelsea's current winning run started with a 7-1 thrashing of Grimsby Town in the last round and Lampard is aiming for EFL Cup silverware with his young group of players.

"We'll target all the trophies," he said. "We want to win every game but we're up against a top opponent tomorrow. Every game you have to give everything to try and win.

"A day at Wembley should never be taken likely. But not just for the young boys. We'll give it our all."

While Chelsea have improved following a sluggish opening to Lampard's reign, United have struggled for consistency and are seven points behind their next opponents in the Premier League.

Lampard will rotate his squad following the 4-2 win at Burnley last time out, though he confirmed N'Golo Kante and Antonio Rudiger remain absent for the midweek fixture.

"I don't want to talk about United too much, but since the first game our points total has been nice," he said. "It's not worth focusing on United other than to say they are full of top players. People shouldn't be too critical of other clubs.

"In terms of changes, I've got to be aware that we haven't changed that much. This game may see opportunities for players who haven't been getting minutes.

"I wanted to play every game as a player but on this side, you see things slightly differently. Demands on players are more. I won't take this game lightly even if I make changes.

"If players do step out of the line-up with a view to the coming weeks it's about the big picture. I understand how players are, but those who start will give everything and those who don't will support them hugely. 

"It helps they are playing well. That's the nice feeling around at the minute. They are playing and I have to take that into account about rest."

Cristiano Ronaldo says he would have been "an imbecile" if he failed to learn from the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs during his early days at Manchester United.

The Portugal international made his name at Old Trafford after joining the Premier League club from Sporting CP in 2003 at the age of 18.

He scored 118 goals in six seasons with United and has since starred for Real Madrid and current side Juventus, recently netting his 700th career goal for club and country.

When asked how he developed into such a prolific forward, Ronaldo told France Football: "By using my brain. If you've got a little intelligence, you look and take example from those who are doing things better than you. 

"That's what I did when I was in Manchester with Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Rio Ferdinand… if you don't learn from guys like that, you're an imbecile. 

"The goal isn't to imitate but to take aspects from those who are the best and adapt it to your own personality. That's what I did. I had some talent and I watched them.

"Sir Alex Ferguson also taught me a lot, and I realised I had the potential to score, not only dribble and pass. I started to think of being a complete player without any weakness.

"I could score with my right foot, my left foot and my head. I'm strong and I'm quick. If you have this and a real ethic and a good lifestyle, you can still do it at 34-and-a-half."

Ronaldo has won five Ballons d'Or and has been shortlisted for this year's award after an impressive debut campaign in Serie A with Juve.

Now into his 18th campaign at senior level, the Portuguese remains as driven as ever to remain at the top of his game.

Reflecting on Juve's 2-1 comeback win at home to Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League last week, Ronaldo said: "They refused to play and parked the bus in front of their goal.

"It was hard to score. I didn't do it and I was frustrated at the end. That's normal. The most important thing is that the team wins.

"But when I went back to the dressing room, I chilled out. After the match, I went to dinner with friends. I got home at four in the morning. I had a glass of iced water before bed. I slept until 10 then I had my breakfast.

"At 11, I went to work in the gym. If you don't have that discipline every day, you can't stay at the top for 15 years."

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised Frank Lampard ahead of Wednesday's EFL Cup last-16 tie for building an "exciting" squad at Chelsea.

Solskjaer and Lampard have placed their faith in youth during their first full campaigns at their respective clubs, fielding two of the youngest average line-ups in the Premier League.

Academy products Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Reece James, Fikayo Tomori, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Billy Gilmour have all been used by Chelsea, who have won seven matches on the spin in all competitions.

The Blues' form over the past month is a far cry from their inconsistent start to the campaign when winning only one of their opening five matches, including a heavy 4-0 loss at Old Trafford in their Premier League opener.

But ahead of United's trip to Stamford Bridge, Solskjaer admitted the scoreline in August's match flattered his side and is expecting a different type of contest in west London.

"Frank has done a good job. Their performance against us was good, the result was bad. We hold our hands up and say that the result was flattering," he told reporters.

"They pressed us but we scored two goals in a minute to decide the game. We didn't think we were four goals better. It is going to be an interesting game.

"They've got a very exciting team. Frank has players who have been on loan one or two seasons in the Championship. 

"The difference with my youngsters is they're stepping straight onto the scene. Axel [Tuanzebe] has been out on loan and is feeling the benefits. Chelsea are a mature young team."

Not helped by injuries to the likes of Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw, Solskjaer has turned to James Garner, Tahith Chong, Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams this term.

And on the back of successive away wins over Partizan in the Europa League and Norwich City in the Premier League, the Norwegian lauded his youngsters for stepping up in his time of need.

"The characters will be revealed in tough times," he said. "I couldn't give them any more responsibility and I couldn't be happier with them. 

"We know it's been tough and we know we've asked a lot of them because of injuries to Paul, Luke, Anthony and the others. 

"For us the youngsters have stepped up in a difficult period and in the end they'll be stronger for it."

The Gareth Bale transfer saga continues to roll on as he remains frozen out at Spanish giants Real Madrid with seemingly no way back.

The 30-year-old was linked with a move to China in the summer but the move did not materialise and Bale has since continued to find himself out of favour with Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.

All is not lost for Bale though with three Premier League clubs battling for the Welshman's signature in January, as he builds towards a possible Euro 2020 campaign with Wales next June.

 

TOP STORY – PREMIER LEAGUE TRIO KEEN TO SIGN BALE IN JANUARY

Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have all been linked with a January swoop for Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, according to AS.

The three Premier League giants are seeking solutions to solve inconsistent starts to their respective seasons and believe the Welshman could provide a timely boost leading into 2020.

Bale is seen as the perfect fit for a return to Premier League football, having maintained his good reputation from time spent with Southampton and Spurs, but it remains to be seen whether Madrid's asking price or the player's wage demands will be met. 

Marca believe Bale could revisit a potential move to China, however, with the player's agent believed to be in talks with Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua.

 

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- Inter Milan are hopeful of signing Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen on a free transfer this summer, according to The Guardian.

- Sky Italia say Inter are also considering a move for out-of-favour Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic, which would see the Serbian reunite with Antonio Conte.

- Staying in Serie A and Corriere dello Sport claim Roma have rejected the opportunity to sign former Sunderland flop Jack Rodwell on a free transfer.

- Corriere dello Sport also believe Napoli have pulled the plug on a potential move for Salzburg star Erling Braut Haaland as they expect the 19-year-old to join Manchester United in January.

- Manchester City will replace Leroy Sane with Real Sociedad playmaker Mikel Oyarzabal should the Germany winger get his move to Bayern Munich, according to Sky Sports.

- Turkish news outlet Takvim claim Besiktas are keen to cancel their two-year loan agreement with Liverpool for goalkeeper Loris Karius.

Marcus Rashford thinks Manchester United's forwards need to be better at creating clear-cut chances despite an impressive win at Norwich City on Sunday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side won an away Premier League game for the first time since February and scored more than once in a match for only the second time this season as they claimed a 3-1 victory at Carrow Road.

Scott McTominay fired in the opener - United's 2,000th goal of the Premier League era - after 21 minutes and Rashford, who had seen a penalty saved by Tim Krul, doubled the lead following a fine pass from Daniel James.

Krul also denied Anthony Martial from the spot just before half-time but the France international responded by finishing a good move involving Rashford to put the game beyond Norwich, who got a consolation goal through Onel Hernandez.

Rashford, who has reached 50 goals for United in all competitions, now wants to see the club's forwards creating more clear chances for one another.

"I think the one thing we can improve on is making more clear-cut opportunities for each other," he said to MUTV. "For me, that's the next step.

"We’re creating and making each other half-chances, but, as forwards, the easier the goals you can get, the better. We want to be able to just square it past the goalkeeper and tap it in.

"We've been working hard and I think, if we keep that up, it'll become easier for us."

Sunday saw another positive performance from James, who has been United's most consistent attacking player in his first season in the Premier League since a reported £15m move from Swansea City.

"He's had a brilliant impact - he's scored important goals and he's assisting as well," Rashford said.

"The main thing is that he's working hard for the team and the other stuff just comes with the game. He's the prime example of that. 

"We're all hungry to keep pushing, to keep scoring more goals and keep assisting each other. I think, if us three can keep doing that on a regular basis, then we'll definitely get some more points."

Rashford admitted it was "a nice feeling" to reach a half-century for United after scoring in back-to-back league games for the first time since January.

"I think this goal wasn't so bad," said the 21-year-old. "The keeper's not really rushing out at you so you can relax and pick your spot. 

"It's a brilliant ball from Dan, even to recognise the space and, when we play like that, it's devastating. Like I said, we can keep doing that and keep making chances for each other."

Rumours linking Paul Pogba to Real Madrid are refusing to go away.

Pogba – nursing an ankle injury which is set to keep him sidelined until December – wanted to leave Manchester United in the previous transfer window but a move did not materialise.

With the January window approaching, Madrid are eyeing the French star again.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID PLOTTING POGBA PURCHASE

Real Madrid are preparing to make a January bid for Manchester United star Paul Pogba, according to OK Diario.

Pogba was wanted by Madrid and former club Juventus in the previous window as he eyed an Old Trafford exit, yet United were unwilling to part with their prized asset.

But with Pogba reportedly set to make it clear he will not renew his United contract beyond 2021, Madrid are lining up a €150million (£129.5m) offer.

 

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- Another Frenchman is also reportedly high on Madrid's radar. AS reports the Spanish powerhouse are hoping to take advantage of a tense relationship between Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe and head coach Thomas Tuchel. Madrid are determined to lure Mbappe to the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season.

- Linked with Madrid and LaLiga champions Barcelona, in-demand Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz is also wanted by Premier League holders Manchester City. Gazzetta dello Sport claims City are set to make an approach for the Spain international.

- According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are interested in Inter forward Lautaro Martinez. The Argentina international has been linked with Barca after his agent previously revealed the club's interest in Martinez. Now, Ernesto Valverde's side are eyeing the in-form marksman – who has also reportedly attracted the attention of Manchester United – as Inter pursue Barca pair Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal.

United are prepared to meet Borussia Dortmund's demands for England sensation Jadon Sancho, reports the Mirror. Sancho has also been linked to Liverpool and Madrid.

Stefano Sensi's exploits at Inter have not gone unnoticed. On loan from Sassuolo with the option to buy, Sport says there is already contact between Barca, Inter and the player's agent.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed Paul Pogba is set to be sidelined until December due to an ankle injury.

The United star sustained the problem against Southampton on August 31 and seemingly aggravated it after making two appearances upon his return.

Pogba has not featured since the 1-1 draw with Arsenal on September 30 and Solskjaer does not anticipate him returning for another month.

"I don't think we'll see him maybe before December," Solskjaer told reporters. "He'll be out for a while.

"He needs time to fully, fully recover, so I don't think he'll be back.

"Maybe Sheffield United [on November 24] after the international break but probably December before you can see him.

"It's the ankle rather than foot. I'm not the doctor but there is an injury there that needs healing."

Pogba – who has been linked to LaLiga giants Real Madrid and Serie A champions Juventus – has made five Premier League appearances this season without scoring for United.

The 26-year-old has managed just six outings in total across all competitions as United sit seventh in the Premier League and feature in the Europa League and EFL Cup.

Leicester City equalled a Premier League record that had been unchallenged since March 1995 when they destroyed Southampton 9-0 on Friday.

Their thumping win at St Mary's was the joint-biggest margin of victory in the Premier League, level with Manchester United's 9-0 thrashing of Ipswich Town.

Leaders Liverpool came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 at Liverpool and maintain their six-point advantage over Manchester City at the summit.

Manchester United missed two penalties in their 3-1 win at Norwich City, while Christian Pulisic shone as Chelsea beat Burnley 4-2.

Our Premier League Data Diary sheds some light on the detail behind the major stories from this weekend's big games.

 

FOXES MAKE HISTORY AGAINST SORRY SAINTS

Brendan Rodgers' Leicester took full advantage of Ryan Bertrand's early dismissal for Southampton, steamrollering the Saints on their way to a slice of Premier League history. 

The margin of victory is the largest by a top-flight side away from home in the 131-year history of league football in England. It was also Southampton's biggest defeat of all time.

Leicester became the second team to have two players score a hat-trick in the same Premier League game (Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy) after Arsenal duo Jermaine Pennant and Robert Pires in May 2003 – also against Southampton.

The breathtaking result means the Foxes have 20 points after 10 games – one more than at the same stage of their 2015-16 title-winning campaign.

SPURS LATEST TO FALL FOUL OF RELENTLESS REDS

Liverpool have now gone 20 Premier League games unbeaten against 'big six' opposition at Anfield following their slender win over Tottenham.

They got off to a terrible start, however, with Harry Kane scoring inside the first minute for Mauricio Pochettino's side. It was the striker's 150th goal involvement (131 goals, 19 assists) in the top flight in what was his 191st appearance in the competition.

Jurgen Klopp's side clawed their way back into the game courtesy of Jordan Henderson's first Premier League home goal since December 2015 before Serge Aurier's foul on Sadio Mane allowed Mohamed Salah to seal the win from the penalty spot.

Aurier has now conceded four penalties in 48 games in all competitions since his Spurs debut in September 2017 – no Premier League player has given away more.

It could have been worse for Tottenham, but Paulo Gazzaniga was in inspired form. The Argentinian made 12 saves, which was the most by a goalkeeper in the Premier League since David de Gea against Arsenal in December 2017 (14).

PULISIC POWERS CHELSEA CLOSER TO CLUB RECORD

Christian Pulisic arrived at Turf Moor with a point to prove and did exactly that with a stellar treble in Chelsea's convincing 4-2 victory over Burnley.

The 21-year-old became the second American – behind Clint Dempsey – to score three times in a Premier League match and the youngest to do so for the Blues.

Willian later buried his third goal in six appearances in all competitions, as many as he netted in his previous 30 outings combined.

Chelsea now need one more away victory to equal their record winning streak on the road of seven in all competitions, set between February and April 1989.

UNITED BACK TO WINNING WAYS DESPITE PENALTY WOES

Manchester United ended a run of eight league games without a win on the road as they saw off Norwich City at Carrow Road.

Scott McTominay's opener saw United become the first team in Premier League history to reach 2,000 goals in the competition.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side could have won by a far greater margin but Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were denied by Tim Krul from the penalty spot.  

The former Newcastle United man became the eighth different goalkeeper in Premier League history to save two spot-kicks in a game, and the first to do so since Maarten Stekelenburg for Everton in October 2016.

Rashford bounced back from his miss, however, to score his 50th goal in all competitions for the club with a cool finish under Krul.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United should not have been awarded their first penalty against Norwich City after another Premier League match dominated by contentious VAR decisions.

United were given two spot-kicks at Carrow Road on Sunday, but Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both failed to beat Tim Krul.

Rashford and Martial did get on the scoresheet, however, as Solskjaer's side, who went ahead thanks to Scott McTominay, cruised to a 3-1 win - their first away league victory in nine attempts.

Both penalties were awarded by VAR, which also played a huge part in Arsenal's draw with Crystal Palace, while the system caused controversy on Saturday when it was used to award Brighton and Hove Albion a spot-kick against Everton.

United's first penalty came when Daniel James and Ben Godfrey collided in the area and, while Solskjaer believes the Red Devils' second penalty for a handball by Todd Cantwell was justified, he questioned the initial intervention.

"I don't want to talk too much about VAR. I disagree with the first one," Solskjaer told BBC Sport.

"The second one is [a penalty] but both should be retaken, the goalkeeper is a yard off his line. We are talking about it again.

"VAR is there to help but when it takes ages like the first penalty, it is not a clear and obvious error. When it took that long, it is a signal that it should not have been [given]."

United's form has picked up since coming back from the international break, with Solskjaer's team having followed up the 1-1 draw against league leaders Liverpool last Sunday with successive victories.

"I have been hurt by the results," Solskjaer continued. "This has been a good week for us. It started with a decent performance against Liverpool and now two wins away from home. It gives the players confidence and momentum."

Martial - who only returned from a thigh injury against Liverpool - has scored in United's past two matches, netting the winner against Partizan Belgrade and getting over his penalty miss at Carrow Road with a quality finish.

"We have missed Anthony, he is a very important player for us, the way we play, and Rashford was excellent down the sides and in the middle," Solskjaer said.

"A great response to missing the penalty, chasing back and scoring.

"The third was a very good goal and a class finish. It is great for Anthony to score a goal like that. We could and should have had a few more goals."

Scott McTominay had the honour of scoring Manchester United's 2000th Premier League goal as the Red Devils defeated Norwich City on Sunday and became the first team in the competition's history to hit the milestone.

A look back through the Old Trafford archives offers a striking masterclass from some of the greatest marksmen to have graced English football, with the likes of Mark Hughes, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke and Ruud van Nistelrooy having plundered goals for the club.

Every United fan has their own favourite goal from the Premier League era, with unforgettable hits lighting up each of the 13 title triumphs achieved under Sir Alex Ferguson.

We've picked out eight of the very best, all of which came during the Ferguson era - a time when goals were easier to come by than they have been of late for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.


David Beckham v Wimbledon, August 17, 1996

It was the opening day of the 1996-97 season and Ferguson gave the number 10 shirt to the 21-year-old midfielder David Beckham.

United were already 2-0 up and heading for a straightforward victory at Selhurst Park when Beckham received the ball from Brian McClair and, from just inside his own half, launched it audaciously into the air, over the head of Dons goalkeeper Neil Sullivan and into the net.

It was one of the most memorable goals in Premier League history and one Beckham himself names as the pick of his career.

Eric Cantona v Sunderland, December 20, 1996

Four months after Beckham's famous lob, United were 4-0 up against Sunderland at Old Trafford when Eric Cantona - in what was to be his final season at the club - collected the ball just inside the Black Cats' half.

The enigmatic Frenchman drove forward in possession, exchanged passes with Brian McClair, and then produced an exquisite chip over the stranded Lionel Perez that clipped the inside of the post on the way in.

He then turned, flipped his collar, and spawned a celebration that would be imitated by United fans everywhere for years to come.

Paul Scholes v Bradford City, March 25, 2000

Paul Scholes has spoken about the understanding he shared with Beckham during their days at United, and that intuition paid off in spades at Valley Parade in 1999-2000.

Beckham sent a corner straight to the edge of the Bradford City penalty area where Scholes was waiting with his hammer of a right foot, which arrowed a volley into the Bradford net with scorching ferocity.

Ruud van Nistelrooy v Fulham, March 22, 2003

Given his reputation as a penalty-area predator, it is understandable that Fulham's defenders might not have taken the threat of Van Nistelrooy running towards them from just inside his own half too seriously.

The Netherlands international had the last laugh, though, waltzing past a host of flat-footed Cottagers before tucking the ball past Maik Taylor with his customary composure.

Paul Scholes v Aston Villa, December 23, 2006

This entire list could feasibly be made up of the gifted midfielder's goals, given his penchant for strikes sent from the heavens.

One of his best was undoubtedly against Aston Villa in December 2006 when he met a cleared corner with a volley that crashed in off the underside of Gabor Kiraly's crossbar.

Cristiano Ronaldo v Portsmouth, January 30, 2008

He can often be wayward from dead balls but when Cristiano Ronaldo gets it right, it is usually a thing of beauty.

His free-kick against Portsmouth in 2008 was a case in point, the Portuguese superstar crashing a free-kick past David James with the kind of speed and accuracy that most players can only dream of.

Wayne Rooney v Manchester City, February 12, 2011

United's all-time leading scorer with 253 goals, Wayne Rooney did not score many as important - or indeed as special - as his overhead kick against Manchester City in February 2011. Combine the two and it is clear to see why this acrobatic volley is regarded as one of the most iconic in Premier League history.

Rooney reacted to a slight deflection off Pablo Zabaleta on Nani's cross by checking his run and sending his shot flying past Joe Hart.

The moment of magic arrived 12 minutes from time at Old Trafford after David Silva's deflected equaliser cancelled out Nani's opener, giving United a 2-1 win and putting their title assault back on track.

Robin van Persie v Aston Villa, April 22, 2013

Brought to Manchester United by Alex Ferguson in August 2012 with the sole aim of wrestling the title back from Manchester City, Robin van Persie did exactly that with 26 Premier League goals in his maiden campaign at Old Trafford.

The Dutchman's flying volley against Aston Villa in April 2013 was the pick of the bunch, with the strike helping to seal his side's 20th league title with four matches to spare in a 3-0 victory.

United were a goal to the good when Van Persie, watching strike partner Rooney's searching ball all the way, smashed an unstoppable left-footed volley past Brad Guzan.

Van Persie scored all three goals at Villa Park that day, but only one of those strikes - one worthy of sealing any title - truly stands the test of time.

Manchester United missed two penalties but still eased to a 3-1 win at Norwich City to end their miserable away run in the Premier League and move up to seventh.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men had not won any of their eight away league outings since February but were comfortable winners at Carrow Road on Sunday.

Scott McTominay scored United's 2,000th Premier League goal with 21 minutes played before Tim Krul produced the first of two penalty saves to thwart Marcus Rashford, who redeemed himself with a good finish 30 minutes in.

Anthony Martial was next to be denied from the spot by Krul but the France forward went on to seal the points for United, with Norwich substitute Onel Hernandez's late strike solely a consolation.

Krul produced a superb save to keep out Martial's header from point-blank range, but United were ahead less than a minute later through McTominay's drilled finish into the bottom-right corner.

The visitors were awarded a contentious penalty with 25 minutes played, with VAR adjudging that Ben Godfrey barged Daniel James inside the box.

Norwich will have felt justice was done when Krul got down to his right to keep out Rashford's weak spot-kick, only for the England international to control James' searching pass and slot home for his 50th club goal in all competitions.

United could have extended their lead before the interval but Krul kept out Martial's penalty, again awarded by VAR after Fred's shot hit Todd Cantwell on the arm.

Martial was not to be denied in the 73rd minute after exchanging passes with Rashford and dinking over the onrushing Krul.

Norwich pulled one back with two minutes remaining when Hernandez took the ball from McTominay, raced through and fired past David de Gea, with Mason Greenwood unable to restore the three-goal cushion in stoppage time.

Manchester United became the first team to score 2,000 goals in the Premier League when Scott McTominay struck against Norwich City on Sunday.

The 22-year-old midfielder, a product of United's storied academy, fired a low strike beyond Tim Krul to put the Red Devils 1-0 up at Carrow Road after 21 minutes.

Arsenal sit second on the all-time list with 1,860 goals, while Liverpool (1,795) and Chelsea (1,793) are third and fourth respectively.

Mark Hughes scored United's first Premier League goal in a 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United on August 15 1992.

Cristiano Ronaldo took the Red Devils up to 1,000 when he converted a consolation header in a 4-1 loss at Middlesbrough in October 2015.

Lionel Messi picked his header against Manchester United in the 2009 Champions League final as the standout goal among more than 600 he has scored in his Barcelona career.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner described how the looping effort over Edwin van der Saar at Rome's Stadio Olimpico helped the Blaugrana "close the circle" as they clinched a LaLiga, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble for the first time.

Samuel Eto'o's opener put Pep Guardiola's all-conquering side on their way that night, in a match Messi described as "spectacular" in a conversation with TyC Sports.

"My favourite goals are more than just attractive; they are important," said the talismanic 32-year-old.

"It was in the Champions League final and helped us to close the circle with Guardiola and win the triplete, which we had never done.

"That goal rounded up a spectacular game."

Calf and hamstring injuries have restricted Messi's appearances in LaLiga this season.

He has started just three of Barcelona's nine league games but has now hit form, scoring in consecutive victories over Sevilla and Eibar.

Messi also found the net in a 2-1 win over Slavia Prague in the Champions League to make it three goals in three games, and he spoke of his knowledge of when to become involved in Barcelona's play.

"It's not that I live in front of goal," said Messi. "I like to come from behind, be in touch with the ball and be creative, but also arrive and score goals.

"I have learned to regulate myself inside the game and find the moment. There are moments when I do not have to enter the game or do not have to participate and I wait for the arrival moment where I think it is more suitable.

"I have grown and I learned to read the games better, knowing what time and where to be effective and decisive, and little by little I gained that over time."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer firmly believes Anthony Martial can be the striker Manchester United have been told to sign.

United have scored no more than a single goal in 12 of their 13 matches this season since allowing Romelu Lukaku to leave for Inter.

Former captain Roy Keane advised United to "go and get" Tottenham star Harry Kane but, in the fit-again Martial, manager Solskjaer feels he already has the solution.

The French forward scored the winner against Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League and should lead the line in the Premier League trip to Norwich City on Sunday.

"I've heard what some people have said about us being short of a genuine number nine, but Anthony has absolutely ­everything in his locker to take that role," Solskjaer said, as quoted by the Daily Mirror.

"He can be a target man, he's quick, he's technical, and one of the reasons he wanted to stay here was because I told him I saw him as a central striker.

"I don't think people ­outside the club realise how good this lad is, but the players in the dressing room know.

"When we are talking about how we are going to score goals, they say, 'We will just give the ball to Anthony.'

"He has the confidence of his team-mates and his manager ­because we see him every day in training."

Martial's decisive spot-kick in Serbia capped a welcome to the return to the starting XI following a problematic thigh strain.

The 23-year-old will now be relied upon to help resurrect United's season, giving him the chance to answer the critics who have previously questioned his attitude.

Solskjaer said: "People have the wrong idea about Anthony. He is a lad who enjoys life and always has a smile on his face. I know some people will be surprised by that because he is ­always being criticised for having poor body language.

"But he is happy again. He always wanted to be Manchester United's number nine and he's got his number back. We've missed him for the last eight weeks.

"We hoped to have him back earlier and he was so desperate to play that he really pushed his recovery and ended up having a small recurrence."

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