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Dublin: 19 °C Tuesday 29 July, 2014

United ease to win, as City suffer shock loss

Alex Ferguson’s men had not one, but two reasons to celebrate today.

Image: Dave Thompson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Swansea 1-0 Man City

Man United 2-0 West Brom

MAN CITY SURRENDERED top place in the Premier League after a 1-0 defeat to Swansea at Liberty Stadium.

Brendan Rodgers’ Swansea had the better of the chances throughout the match and should have lead early on only for Joe Hart to save a Scott Sinclair penalty.

The hosts’ valiant display was rewarded late on when Luke Moore headed Wayne Routledge’s cross into the net for the winner.

City defender Micah Richards had a late effort disallowed for offside as Roberto Mancini’s side were usurped atop the league standings by rivals Manchester United, who were 2-0 winners over West Brom.

Swansea were given an early chance to take the lead when Routledge was brought down in the area by Hart and referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot. Sinclair took a stuttered run up before producing a tame penalty which was easily saved by Hart.

City were unable to create any meaningful chances in the first half as Swansea controlled the midfield, while Ashley Williams and Steven Caulker marked Mario Balotelli out of the game. The visitors’ best efforts came for set pieces and long-range shots, neither of which troubled Michel Vorm.
Mancini’s side came out strongly after the interval and threatened immediately through Sergio Aguero, who beat his marker before firing a vicious shot at goal which went just wide of the post.
Rodgers’ side came close to grabbing the lead when Danny Graham fired a ball across the face of goal, but no one was on hand to tap the ball home.

Swansea remained resilient and were rewarded for their play when Moore headed Routledge’s cross into the top corner past a stranded Hart in the 83rd minute.

Richards thought he had won City a point late when he headed the ball into goal, but lineswoman Sian Massey raised her flag for offside.

Mancini’s side pressed for an equaliser but were unable to find a way through the Swansea defence as they dropped vital points in the Premier League title race.

Micah Richards (centre) and Samir Nasri (right) argue with referee Lee Mason (left) after Richards’s goal was disallowed. (Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Meanwhile, Manchester United cruised to the top of the Premier League with a 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion thanks to a Wayne Rooney double.

A fairly one-sided affair at Old Trafford was dominated by the champions, who were wasteful for much of the game.

A moment of pure opportunism and a coolly taken penalty from Rooney secured all three points for Alex Ferguson’s side, while the visitors were thwarted by David de Gea on the few occasions they managed to break out of their own half.

Despite an early spell of dominance from the home side, it was Roy Hodgon’s men who created the first clear-cut opportunity.

After Liam Ridgewell had done well to reach the byline down the United left, the defender cut the ball back to the unmarked Keith Andrews who somehow managed to prod wide from six yards out.

United responded with both Danny Welbeck and Ashley Young coming close before Andrews stung the palms of the ever-improving De Gea from a free-kick.

The hosts enjoyed nearly 70 percent possession in the opening half-hour and it was not long before their dominance was transformed into a half-time lead.

After an assist from Javier Hernandez, Rooney produced a superb piece of opportunism to sneak ahead of Ben Foster and put hid side into the lead.

United started the second half on top as Hernandez produced a powerful effort that fired back off the woodwork.

There was to be no respite for the West Brom defence as the United onslaught continued, with Welbeck firing inexplicably wide with just Foster to beat.

Any chance of a fightback from Hodgson’s side dissipated when Jonas Olsson was sent off for a second yellow card, before Andrews felled Young in the penalty area.

Rooney stepped up and coolly slotted home his 20th league goal of the season, sending Foster the wrong way.

Hodgson introduced the energetic Shane Long with 20 minutes to go and the Irishman almost made an immediate impact, forcing De Gea into a smart save at his front post.

United saw out the comfortable victory to move top of the table

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