Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp had told the BBC's Football Focus this morning that Shinji Kagawa was not at his best for Manchester United but would give a fantastic performance next season when he had time to settle. As it turns out, he didn't need that long.
Manchester United sent out a surprisingly strong team, with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie both starting, and it showed as they immediately asserted their dominance on the game, completely controlling a first half in which Norwich could barely get out of their own area.
Despite United's monopolisation of the ball, however, the Red Devils were not creating their fair share of chances. Some good work from Anderson released Wayne Rooney in a good position, but Sebastian Bassong was well-placed to get the block in. Rooney and van Persie combined later on as they picked their way through the Norwich backline, but Mark Bunn was off his line swiftly to save at the Dutchman's feet. Shortly afterwards, Robin van Persie got into space as he cut inside on his left foot, but put his effort into orbit, as United showed signs of frustration.
With the half drawing to a close, United finally got their breakthrough as Robin van Persie headed down an Antonio Valencia cross in the area, with Shinji Kagawa free to smash the ball past Mark Bunn at the keeper's near post. A bitter blow for Norwich to concede just before half-time, although in truth the Canaries had offered next to nothing for the entire half.
The second half proved to be a very different affair at first, with Norwich showing far more endeavour and coming close to a goal on several occasions. Russell Martin was spared the indignity of one of the misses of the season after badly shinning an effort over the bar from four yards after fine work from Grant Holt, as the offside flag would've ruled out the goal. Nonetheless, United were rocking, looking a bag of nerves as they attempted to maintain their narrow lead.
Chris Hughton's response was to introduce Kei Kamara as an impact substitute, and yet almost before he had a touch of the ball, Norwich were 2-0 down. A long ball from Michael Carrick found Wayne Rooney charging into the Norwich area, and his cutback found Shinji Kagawa, who produced one of the coolest finishes of the season, sending Mark Bunn the wrong way and casually rolling the ball into the corner with a level of composure that would've made Dimitar Berbatov look like Zat Knight.
With the game coming to an end, there was still time for Kagawa to round off his finest performance in a red shirt by completing a fantastic hat-trick. Wayne Rooney provided the killer ball, with Kagawa breaking the offside trap and dinking another cool finish over Bunn to wrap up an excellent performance.
United weren't done there, however - there was still time for a fourth, a scoreline that looked very unlikely midway through the second half. It was simple and brilliant stuff from Rooney, picking the ball up outside the area and smashing an unstoppable effort that swirled into the net from 25 yards. There was a period of nerves for United, but they will feel that they are playing well ahead of their Real Madrid showdown. Shinji Kagawa may also give Alex Ferguson some food for thought over team selection - three fantastic finishes from the former Dortmund midfielder.