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Norwich 0-1 Manchester United: Mata keeps top four hopes alive

Norwich City v Manchester United - Premier League

NORWICH, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Juan Mata of Manchester United scores his team’s first goal past John Ruddy of Norwich City during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow Road on May 7, 2016 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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  • Mata scores games only goal
  • United one point off top four
  • Norwich lost four straight
  • Martial, Damian injured

Manchester United beat Norwich City 1-0 at Carrow Road on Saturday to boost their top four hopes and send the Canaries spiraling towards relegation.

Juan Mata scored the only goal of the game 18 minutes from time to give Louis van Gaal’s men a vital three points from a scrappy encounter.

With the win United sits one point behind fourth-placed Manchester City, with both teams having two games to play. Norwich remain in the relegation zone and are now two points from safety with two games to go.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Anthony Martial was injured in the warm up and in the first half the Red Devils also lost Matteo Darmian through injury with Cameron Borthwick-Jackson replacing him.

A cagey first half saw David de Gea without a shot to save, while Cameron Jerome cleared from Wayne Rooney at the other end. Chris Smalling then headed Mata’s corner from six yards overwhen he should have scored as United had the better chances.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

In the second half the game opened up with the away team pushing forward and United, somewhat inevitably, took the lead in the 72nd minute.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Sebastien Bassong misjudged a header and Rooney raced clear. United’s captain kept his cool and teed up Mata who slotted home coolly. 1-0 to the Red Devils.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Late on United could have increased their lead as Memphis flashed a free kick just wide of the post but they held on to grab a vital win in their fight to finish in the top four.

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