The Sunday Telegraph - Sport
Henderson heroics defy Norwich
Dean Henderson is being talked about as a young man who could one day have possession of the Manchester United and England No1 jerseys, and his stunning double save here was the latest evidence of why, as he helped his loan club, Sheffield United, keep their push for European qualification going strong.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Manchester United manager, might want to think twice about letting Henderson extend his stay beyond this season, despite the Norwegian’s recent defence of David de Gea amid criticism of the Spaniard.
Reflecting on Henderson’s worldclass efforts to keep the ball out in a late scramble, Daniel Farke, the Norwich manager, said: “I still don’t know how the ball did not go in and that was a feeling shared by many.”
Ben Godfrey, Mario Vrancic and Josip Drmic all tried their best to force the ball over the line but Henderson was repeatedly alert at close range, defying the odds – and his team-mate David McGoldrick also made a crucial intervention, as the Yorkshire club somehow protected their lead.
Billy Sharp, the captain, had earlier headed in what proved to be the winning goal. The man who delivered the assist was also noteworthy; John Lundstram stepped back into starting action in the Premier League here, after club record signing Sander Berge was eyecatchingly left out, and the Liverpudlian delivered a well-judged, swirling cross that teed up Sharp. Sharp and the rest of the United team certainly looked grateful to Henderson for protecting the lead, amid passionate celebrations following the scramble.
“We’ll all be very surprised if he’s not named in the forthcoming England group,” said Chris Wilder, the United manager, who – discussing the player’s future – added: “He’s a Manchester United player and his loan runs out at the end of this season.”
United’s three-at-the-back system troubled Norwich in the first half, as they looked dangerous from crosses and set-pieces. Norwich blew a big opportunity to snatch a lead, though, midway through the first period. John Egan headed a clearance to Teemu Pukki, who – looking startled – sliced the ball against the near post.
The home side then carried on looking the more likely to score and Lundstram delivered for Sharp to connect with an acrobatic, close-range header. It was Sharp’s third goal in four games in all competitions.
Farke tried to make his men look more of a threat in the second half by switching to two up front and a midfield diamond. Norwich were painfully denied though, when Henderson performed his heroics – and the goalkeeper later produced another important save to keep out Jamal Lewis’s volley.
Farke said: “I have just told the boys in the changing room they must actually feel this pain and use it.”