Saturday, 2 January 2016

Man Utd vs Swansea Results & Analysis

- Van Gaal hails United's "fantastic" goals
- Young pleased with his role in victory
- Injury update on Young and Jones
2 January 2016 | Old Trafford | Attendance: 75,415 |
Scorers: Martial 47', Rooney 77'; Sigurdsson 70'
Wayne Rooney scored a second-half winner as
Manchester United got 2016 off to the perfect start
by defeating Swansea at Old Trafford.
The Reds' winless run had looked in danger of
being extended to nine games after Gylfi
Sigurdsson cancelled out Anthony Martial’s opener.
But with just over 10 minutes remaining, Rooney
flicked home Martial’s cross to net his 238th goal
for United, moving him above Denis Law into
second place in the club’s all-time highest scorers
Though there was only one change to the side that
drew with Chelsea on Monday – Phil Jones
replacing Matteo Darmian – the Reds began the
new year in a different system, with Jones joining
Chris Smalling and Daley Blind in a three-man
defence flanked by wing-backs Young and Martial.
United had lost three consecutive games to
Swansea by a 2-1 scoreline but quickly set about
trying to end that streak and, within a minute,
Ander Herrera had a shot blocked inside the box
after an incisive one-two with Juan Mata.
It was another bright and breezy start from Louis
van Gaal’s men but the next real chance did not
arrive until the 21st minute, when Young’s cross
found Rooney on the far side of the box but the
captain could only fire into the side-netting. At the
other end, it was half-an-hour before David De Gea
was tested as he comfortably clutched Wayne
Routledge’s drive.
A sharp piece of thinking almost resulted in Mata
putting United ahead as Herrera played a quick
free-kick on the edge of the box forward to the
Spaniard, whose initial shot was blocked by Neil
Taylor before his second weaker effort was saved
by Swans goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
Fabianski was called upon twice more before the
break, firstly clinging onto a Mata shot after Young
had beaten Leon Britton to reach the byline and
pick out the United no.8, before saving a Rooney
header from another Young cross.
Possession: United 55% Swansea 45%
Shots at goal: United 9 Swansea 3
Shots on target: United 3 Swansea 1
Corners: United 1 Swansea 0
Van Gaal brought on Darmian in place of Jones at
the start of the second half and, almost instantly,
Rooney had a left-footed shot blocked by Ashley
Williams. But it wasn’t long before the Reds took
the lead as Young crossed from the right to find
Martial and the Frenchman headed emphatically
past Fabianski.
Swansea looked for a swift reply and, after Gylfi
Sigurdsson broke down the right channel, Darmian
did well to recover and block his shot, with De Gea
collecting the loose ball.
As the game began to open up, Young was a real
threat down the right and twice came close to
creating further chances with dangerous deliveries
that were headed away by the visitors.
But Swansea had now come out of their shells and
Andre Ayew came within a whisker of equalising
when he headed against the post, with De Gea
beaten. Angel Rangel picked up the loose ball and
went down under Darmian’s challenge but was
booked for diving.
That chance encouraged the visitors and, with 20
minutes left, they equalised through Sigurdsson,
who sent a looping header from substitute Modou
Barrow’s cross beyond De Gea’s despairing dive.
Old Trafford was stunned but United were not
deterred and immediately pushed for a winner,
which duly arrived in the 77th minute when Martial
beat Federico Fernandez on the left and crossed
for Rooney to flick home, cueing joyous
celebrations in the Stretford End. The goal
made Rooney the second-highest Premier League
scorer of all time, ahead of ex-Reds striker Andy
Cole but behind Newcastle legend Alan Shearer.
Back came Swansea and Barrow had a shot well
saved by De Gea as the game entered the final 10
minutes. In stoppage-time, Michael Carrick replaced
Herrera to make his 400th appearance but United
then survived two huge scares at the death. Firstly,
De Gea made a superb flying save from Williams’s
shot, before Swansea sent Fabianski forward for a
corner and the goalkeeper headed inches wide.
The Reds survived and claimed the points – let’s
hope there will be plenty more this year.

Possession: United 55% Swansea 45%
Shots at goal: United 19 Swansea 9
Shots on target: United 6 Swansea 4
Corners: United 4 Swansea 2

United: De Gea, Jones (Darmian 46'), Smalling,
Blind, Young (McNair 79’), Schneiderlin,
Schweinsteiger, Herrera (Carrick 90+1’), Martial,
Mata, Rooney.
Subs not used: Romero, Pereira, Fellaini, Memphis.
Booked: Smalling, Blind
Swansea: Fabianski, Rangel, Fernandez, Williams,
Taylor, Britton (Barrow 62'), Ki Sung-Yueng, Cork,
Sigurdsson, Routledge (Montero 82’), Ayew (Gomis
Subs not used: Nordfeldt, Naughton, Amat, Grimes.
Booked: Rangel

Van Gaal: "We’ve started the new year very well. I
think we played very risky, very attacking, with
three defenders, but we wanted to win and scored
two fantastic goals today. That’s the difference."
Young: "Everyone’s smiling and everyone’s happy.
We created plenty of chances and I think we could
have scored more but we got the win and we'll
kick on from here."

In a wide left role, Anthony Martial's pace and
directness caused problems all night. An eighth
goal of the season and an assist for the winner –
no wonder the boss was pleased with his


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