BPL: Manchester United 1 - 2 Swansea

I am sure the result may put some sinister laughter among the fans of other clubs like Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal etc.

But I think it's probably too early to call this a disaster season for United. No team likes to start with a defeat. As a United' fan, I was disappointed...with the way how the team played on the first game, especially the defense. It felt irritating to see how Swansea scored each time they attacked United. But just as how Van Gaal put it: it's just one game. 

A game to forget for United

While there is absolutely cause for concern after the defeat, I think it's too early to tell. Back to the game, there was a clear lack of organization in defense. Smalling looked out of place and struggled to fit into the system that Van Gaal is trying to bring to United. While Phil Jones was hardworking, he looked uncomfortable and was out of position on a few occasion. Were Evans in the game, things might be better. 

Wayne Rooney, was more active than usual, most likely boosted by the trust given to him to take the role as captain. The new United captain tore around the pitch, but could only produced some weak attempts against Swansea. 

Rooney tried hard but not good enough to lead United for a point...

Jesse Lingard, made his first Manchester United debut but did not last long after injured on his right foot in a challenge against Ashley Williams. 

There was a brilliant attempt by Jones in the 24 minutes but was saved by Swansea's goalkeeper, Lukasz Fabianski despite a blistering shot by Jones after a brilliant one two with Juan Mata. Moments later, Old Trafford was silenced when Swansea took the lead.

Blackett was drawn out of position by Nathan Dyer, who laid the ball off to Sigurdsson. The Iceland international squared to Ki, who fired the ball past a diving De Gea. Bony played an important part in the goal, blocking Jones as he rushed out to challenge the South Korean goalscorer.

With a goal down, Van Gaal made the change in the second half, in an attempt to revive United's attack by replacing Hernandez with Nani. Within eight minutes of the restart the hosts were level. Jones climbed well to flick on Mata's corner and Rooney acrobatically swept the ball past Fabianski.

After that, United played some good football actually but Swansea was strong and organized. There were even some attempt to foul the game to stop the Red Devils and it worked. Just looked at the statistics....Swansea commited 20 fouls with 4 yellow cards while United only 14 fouls with 2 yellow.

Rooney then came agonisingly close to putting United ahead with a brilliant free-kick. After being hacked down by Jordi Almat on the edge of the area, the United captain curled a looping shot up and over the wall, but unfortunately for Van Gaal, the ball struck the frame and bounced wide.


He cursed his luck, but worse news was to follow for the United captain. In the 72nd minute, Sigurdsson scored and United was made to chase the game. They tried to come alive in the stoppage time but it was obvious that luck was not on their side in this game.

Man of the moment

WHAT I THINK ABOUT THE GAME?

Well, I personally think there is so much room for improvement and an urgent need for a central defender who can partner with Evans. Smalling is definitely not up for it...neither is the new kid, Blackett. 

There was some good football by United but Swansea played well. Right tactic against United....without Van Persie, Hernandez failed to step up his game...it seems like he had lost his confidence and he was a shadow of himself. Such a sad way to put it but I think Hernandez need to recover his form if he were to play for United again.

Van Gaal tried some good alternatives in this game....I think there was more urgency in United's game whenever they lost possession. Mata and Rooney played better together now...more is required of Herrera. Young was quite good at left back. Nani...I think there was nothing special about him and that should be a problem. Januzaj was great but seem to be a bit greedy at the wrong time....defense was horrible and Van Gaal might have to relook at his formation. 

Swansea was great, strong, organized and defended well. And their counter attack was quick and sharp. If it were another team, United might win the game actually but the Swan's defense is one deserve of praise.

I think it's too early to say Van Gaal is lousy or good. But at least there is a direction and he knows what he's doing....the way he change his strategy, game play and players in accordance to the situation....he might not have got it right this time, but given time, I'm sure United will be back. I honestly think the players that won the 20th Premier League title for United could win the 21st one.

The tactician may feel the pressure now...can you deliver, Van Gaal?


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