Swansea City 1 – 4 Man United
Saturday, August 17th 2013
Swansea (4231): Vorm, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Britton, Canas, Dyer, Shelvey, Routledge, Michu.
Subs: Bony, Hernandez, Sung Yeung Ki.
GOALS: Bony 82
United (4411): De Gea, Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Cleverley, Carrick, Welbeck, Giggs, Van Persie.
Subs: Rooney, Anderson
GOALS: Van Persie 34, 72, Welbeck 36, 90
There had been a lot of talk before a ball was kicked in anger for Manchester United, if the visit to Swansea didn’t stop completely it would certainly delay all the rumour and speculation and debate for a little over an hour and a half. On the pitch is where it will all truly be decided. Swansea started brightly and if the Canias challenge on Cleverley was anything to go by the Welsh team meant business. The home fans booed every single United touch in the early moments. They nearly had reason to roar when David Jones played a backpass to De Gea with the dangerous Michu lurking but moments later Jones almost made the right kind of impact with a volley from a Giggs free kick. Van Persie had a tame header before Ryan Giggs ran through the defence and probably will think he should have gone alone but he tried to play Danny Welbeck in and the defender Rangel was able to kill the moment.
The start hadn’t been amazing from the team in red but we were soon reminded that Robin Van Persie only needs one chance; he opened the scoring from a Ryan Giggs ball looping in the air, defender Chico Flores stretched a leg but it came down for the Dutchman and was volleyed into the net stinging with power but dripping with class. Within minutes the lead was doubled; Evra crossed, Van Persie got some headed contact and did enough to panic the defence around him, it luckily fell for Valencia to fizz it back across goal where Danny Welbeck prodded home.
Elsewhere it was good to see Paul Scholes remembered in deed. Tom Cleverley was booked following a got there as soon as I could challenge on Rangel.
Early in the second half David De Gea recieved treatment after Michu stretched trying to divert a Bony knock down goalwards; the keeper smothered the chance and caught the striker’s boot for his trouble. Wayne Rooney made his reappearance from the bench just after the hour as United looked to add a third but it was not Rooney but Van Persie that again made the difference. Rooney found him and as Rooney and Welbeck made runs to give options, Van Persie didn’t need any other outlet than his own boot. With a bit of a shuffle to bemuse the defenders he let fly from around the edge of the area and it flew past Vorn.
The game, whilst not being close for United, was hardly a stroll either so the three goal difference was probably a little harsh on Swansea but they got a goal back in the final ten minutes which was a messy affair from the champions point of view. Danny Welbeck got stuck on the edge of the United area trying to play his way out of trouble and three Swansea players closed him down. Hernandez found Bony who put it into the corner of the net, a good finish from the Swansea debutante. In truth it was what Swansea had deserved but the three goal margin was back in added time thanks to that boy Welbeck putting his footwork to good effect in the right area of the pitch with his gorgeously chipped shot, it had just enough height over the ‘keeper and it rolled beautifully into the net.
Three points for United and a good start for David Moyes. Robin Van Persie wasted no time in resuming his goal scoring but Danny Welbeck also deserves credit.
Photography by Alexander Jones.