Cristiano Ronaldo’s controversial penalty gave Ralf Rangnick their second consecutive Premier League win, while Manchester United scored an unconvincing 1-0 win in Norwich City.
United worked extensively on a soggy Carrow Road, but were given the chance to break through an unexpectedly long stalemate when Max Aarons was judged for taking down Ronaldo.
The Portugal forward stepped forward to convert the penalty with 15 minutes remaining, his emphatic finish showing the difference despite an energetic effort from the last-named club.
United are fifth, level on points with fourth-placed West Ham, but with a lower goal difference, while Norwich remain three points from salvation.
Alex Telles saw a free-kick deflected to the crossbar, but United struggled to take down the division’s weakest defense in the first half and was frustrated by Tim Krul in the Norwich goal.
Ronaldo was thwarted by a diving save from the Dutchman, while Harry Maguire saw a reversed header in the closing stages of the first 45 minutes.
Norwich provided more of an offensive threat in the second half and only a fly by David de Gea prevented Teemu Pukki from firing the lead in the upper left corner.
But they were stunned when Darren England pointed to the spot despite Ronaldo appearing to go down easily under Aarons’ contact.
There was no doubt about Ronaldo’s shot from 12 yards, which he launched in the lower left corner: two splendid saves by De Gea to deny Ozan Kabak and the kind of defense that United often lacked during the mandate. by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer making sure it was enough for all three points.