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Man United 2-0 Swansea
17.17 – Hello, and welcome to our liveblog of United v Swansea.
Here are the teams:
MAN UNITED: De Gea, Rafael Da Silva, Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Carrick, Valencia, Kagawa, Januzaj, Welbeck. Subs: Giggs, Lindegaard, Hernandez, Cleverley, Buttner, Zaha, Lingard.
SWANSEA: Tremmel, Rangel, Amat, Williams, Ben Davies, Britton, Canas, Pozuelo, Shelvey, Routledge, Bony. Subs: Taylor, Chico, Cornell, Vazquez, Richards, Donnelly, Lucas.
17.25 – So on the off chance you’ve forgotten, here’s what happened the last time these sides met (less than one week ago):
YouTube credit: Gareth Bale ► Skillstv
17.27 – So a quick poll for you. Will United make the top four this season?
17.30 – We’re underway…
17.34 – You may have noticed that Belfast-born Rory Donnelly is on the bench for Swansea today.
What a game this would be to make your senior debut!
17.37 – Jonjo Shelvey shoots from just outside the box, but De Gea saves his attempt comfortably.
It’s been a fairly uneventful opening thus far.
As I type though, Januzaj floats in a dangerous free kick, but Vidic snatches at the ball, and his effort goes well over.
17.40 – It’s recently been suggested that there is no longer a fear factor induced in opposition teams travelling to Old Trafford and Swansea have provided evidence for this claim so far.
The Welsh side have shown little hesitation in getting numbers forward, and are passing the ball around with palpable confidence at the moment.
17.42 – So close! United win a free kick on the edge of the box, and Januzaj curls the subsequent attempt onto the bar.
Better from United, with the teenager showing why he is so highly rated.
17.46 – Routledge gets behind the United defence, but his cross is pulled back to no one in particular.
It’s been fairly even so far, with no clear pattern to the game developing just yet.
17.49 – Swansea are forced into an early substitution, as Canas fails to recover from a late Michael Carrick tackle.
Chico Flores comes on in his stead.
17.53 – Swansea’s slight superiority is emphasised by the fact that United have only had 37% of the possession so far.
David Moyes’ side have still looked dangerous sporadically though.
(David Moyes observes the action — Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport)
18.00 – It’s been played a less frantic pace than many of United’s recent games, with both sides playing in a methodical and slightly sluggish fashion.
Moreover, there are already audible signs of frustration at the home side’s less than incisive attacking.
18.04 – Good interplay between Kagawa and Evra, with the latter releasing he former down the left.
However, the Japanese international’s subsequent cross is too close to the goalkeeper.
18.06 – More good build-up play from United, but Fletcher’s eventual shot is well over the bar.
10 minutes until half-time.
18.08 – Best chance yet for United. It all starts with a wonderful pass by Januzaj, before Rafael finds Welbeck.
Nevertheless, the England international’s finish is just wide, much to the frustration of the majority of spectators.
United are well on top now.
18.11 – A lovely series of passes from Swansea ends with Shelvey dragging a shot just wide.
Michael Laudrup’s men are an exciting team to watch when they get going.
18.13 – United may have improved in some aspects in recent minutes, but not in terms of possession.
Swansea, amazingly for a team at Old Trafford, have had 66% of the possession.
18.18 – Bad late tackle by Bony on Fletcher earns him a yellow card as the first half draws to a close.
Worryingly for United, Swansea are growing increasingly dominant in possession.
18.18 – HALF-TIME: MAN UNITED 0-0 SWANSEA
18.26 – At half-time, it’s United 0-0 Swansea, and that scoreline is a fair reflection of a game that has produced few clear-cut chances.
A measure of how poor United have been can be gathered from the fact that they have had only 35% of the possession in that first half.
The hosts have been playing too deep and with an air of caution. In addition, as has often been the case this season, the United midfield lack creativity, with only Januzaj offering any real threat.
Swansea, by contrast, have been tidy and confident in possession, while looking largely untroubled at the back.
The Welsh side, however, who are missing the talented Michu, appear to lack a cutting edge up front.
18.35 – The second half has begun…
18.35 – GOAL FOR UNITED!
18.38 – Man United 1-0 Swansea: A cross from Januzaj (who else?) causes pandemonium in the Swansea box, and it eventually falls to Valencia, who calmly slots the ball into the net after Kagawa’s initial header is parried away (46 mins).
It’s been a poor performance from United, but fans will hope this gives them confidence to push on.
18.42 – Kagawa flashes a shot just over after a quick break by United.
Finally, some life seems to have been injected into this United side.
18.45 – Swansea are certainly on the backfoot now.
Januzaj is prominent again, Kagawa looks dangerous and the hosts look especially threatening on the flanks.
18.48 – GOAL FOR UNITED!
18.50 – Man United 2-0 Swansea: Evra’s shot-cum-cross is deflected into the net by Welbeck’s astute finish (58 mins).
Suddenly, the situation does not seem so desperate for United, as they look a different team in the second half.
18.55 – United continue to press Swansea, with Januzaj continually influential.
As I type, Chris Smalling has missed an open goal from a perfect Kagawa cross.
18.58 – Whereas in the first half, their passing was assured, there is now more than a hint of desperation in Swansea’s play.
They must be deeply regretting failing to capitalise on their first-half dominance now.
19.00 – Amat gets free in the United box and is unmarked as he heads it straight at De Gea, who saves his attempt easily.
It’s an important reminder that the game isn’t quite over yet.
19.03 – There is far more noticeable confidence whenever United attack now.
Januzaj, in particular, is a class apart right now, showing a consistently deft touch and a constant hunger to involve himself in the play.
19.06 – Kagawa almost makes it three on the break, as Rafael plays the Japanese international through on goal.
However, his shot is cleared off the line by Britton, as Swansea breathe a sigh of relief for now.
(United fans appear to be still backing David Moyes anyway — Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport)
19.15 – Vasquez gets in behind Buttner, but he subsequently miscontrols the ball, allowing the United defenders time to get back and clear the danger.
Just over five minutes remain, and United look like they know they have it won.
Welbeck has just been replaced by Hernandez, going off to a deserved ovation.
19.20 – We’re into stoppage time now.
In truth though, this game has been over for quite some time.
19.22 – FULL-TIME: MAN UNITED 2-0 SWANSEA
19.31 – So a comfortable victory for United ultimately, in a game that seemed less than straightforward at half-time.
United were transformed in the second half, as they pressed higher up the pitch, while Januzaj was at his influential best.
Swansea simply couldn’t cope with United down the left, and could not replicate the impressive composure they showed on the ball in the first half.
Consequently, it’s an invaluable three points for United and Moyes, though some may question why they can’t play with such conviction as they showed in the second half more regularly.
19.32 – That’s all from me. Thanks for reading and commenting, and enjoy the rest of your weekend.