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Manchester United 1-2 Swansea City: Swans shock United on Van Gaal’s debut (video)

Aug 16, 2014, 9:41 AM EDT

Swansea City shocked Manchester United in the opening game of the 2014-15 Premier League season, as the Welsh side defeated the Red Devils 2-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The visitors took an early lead through Ki but United rallied in the second half and equalized through Wayne Rooney‘s acrobatic effort. However with 18 minutes left the winner arrived as new signing Gylfi Sigurdsson scored to hand the Swans their first-ever league victory at Old Trafford over United.

The defeat was Manchester United’s first home defeat on the opening day of the season since 1972, as Louis van Gaal got off to the worst possible start as Red Devils boss. The misery of last season and the David Moyes era won’t evaporate in a hurry, as United started the season off with yet another damaging defeat. Van Gaal’s task to return the Red Devils to their past glory looks even tougher than we thought.

[VIDEO: Ki hands Swansea the lead]

Both teams settled into the match at a windy Old Trafford and the visitors also went clean through in the 6th minute as Jonjo Shelvey’s delightful reverse pass found Wayne Routledge but the wingers’ first tough eluded him at the crucial moment.

United tried to attack down the flanks early on but had little joy and Gylfi Sigurdsson’s long-range effort forced David De Gea to make a save as Swansea looked dangerous on the break. With the likes of Robin van Persie, Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck missing, the Red Devils looked disjointed going forward.


Swansea’s goalscorers, Ki and Sigurdsson, celebrate their opening day win.

As the first half wore on Swansea kept things tight at the back and an injury to debutant Jesse Lingard forced him off as Adnan Januzaj replaced him. A deflected shot from Phil Jones forced Lukasz Fabianski into a smart save at his near post, but the Red Devils failed to spark into life offensively.

Swansea then took a shock lead in the 28th minute as Korean midfielder Ki was found on the edge of the box by Sigurdsson and he calmly slotted the ball home to put the Welsh side 1-0 up. Wilfried Bony nudged Phil Jones out of the way cleverly as the ball nestled into the bottom corner past De Gea at a stunned Stretford End. Ki spent last season on loan at Sunderland but on his return to the Swans he netted his first goal for the club as Swansea led at the break.

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After the break the Red Devils pushed hard for an equalizer as Nani replaced Javier Hernandez at the interval and United switched to a back four. Januzaj was scythed down by Neil Taylor and the Welshman was booked for his troubles as the Belgian winger influenced the game.

In the 52nd minute Rooney equalized in acrobatic fashion for the Red Devils as Mata’s corner was flicked on to the back post and the newly appointed United captain sent a bicycle kick from five-yards out into the back of the net. 1-1.

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That goal buoyed United into action as Swansea sat back and invited intense pressure from the home side. Januzaj was lively on the right and was causing plenty of problems. Rooney almost had his second goal of the game in the 66th minute as the English forward curled a delicious free kick up and over the wall which but the ball struck the outside of the post and went wide.

However new signing Sigurdsson stunned Old Trafford again with 18 minutes to go as the Icelandic international scored from 12 yards out following a flowing move down the left. Substitute Jefferson Montero clipped the ball into the back post and although Routledge skewed his shot off target it fell to Sigurdsson to score in his first game for the Swans since leaving Tottenham Hotspur. Van Gaal looked shocked as United trailed late in the game. Try as they might, United couldn’t equalize as the new era at Old Trafford was ushered in by a shock defeat to start the season.


Manchester United: De Gea; Jones, Smalling, Blackett; Lingard (Januzaj, 20′), Fletcher, Herrera (Fellaini, 67′), Young; Mata; Rooney, Hernandez (Nani, 45′)

Goal: Rooney (53′)

Swansea City: Fabianski, Rangel, Amat, Williams, Taylor (Tiendalli, 53′), Ki, Shelvey, Dyer (Montero 67′), Sigurdsson, Routledge, Bony (Gomis, 77′)

Goals: Ki (28′), Sigurdsson (72′)

  1. lordfletcher - Aug 16, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    Neither team really deserved this game.. Very boring IMO.

    Vidal – Di Maria – any CB…. Let’s go!!!!!

    I am patient but I don’t comprehend the wait on buying anyone at this point. Today was an eye opener, hopefully for Woodward

    Ugh… Glory Glory (in my depressed voice)

  2. ayoungblood79 - Aug 16, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Rags lose. Hahahahaha! What a great way to kickoff the the season. United still looks like a mid table team.

    City is the only team in Manchester! #Back2BackChamps.

    • lordfletcher - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      No matter your allegiance your last sentence is pure stupidity.

  3. mmarshel - Aug 16, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    welcome to the EPL Louie …

  4. Ian's Rushtache - Aug 16, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    “Van Gaal’s task to return the Red Devils to their past glory looks even tougher than we thought.”

    That’s because you lit, as well as many other journos, we’re enamored with the Van Gaal appointment. No matter who is in charge, a mediocre squad is still a mediocre squad.

    • Ian's Rushtache - Aug 16, 2014 at 10:19 AM

      Lot not lit, stoopid phone.

      • geejon - Aug 16, 2014 at 11:30 AM

        The Van Gaal appointment and them looking good in preseason due to the fact they were playing at full speed because they were fighting for their places in the team while their opponents were treating them like the exhibitions they were and simply getting their run in. Brendan Rodgers’ words to Van Gaal immediately after their friendly in Miami … “you’re going to find it very different when the games matter”.

        If the game today looked like every game under the Moyes regime it’s because it was the same players. The 3-5-2 that was talked about as if it was the wheel reinvented last only a half.

        The squad needs world class players if they are to be anything more than a mid-table squad. The likes of Blind and Rojo are not going to change anything. This will not get done in the next 2 weeks when the transfer window closes. It will take the January window and the following summer for all those players to arrive so games like today are not going to be a rarity this year. While they will play better and will have some players unavailable today get healthy, another 6th – 7th place finish is very likely.

  5. navyeoddavee9 - Aug 16, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    I don’t think United are title chasers, but they will probably improve as their health improves, they better hope so

  6. mazblast - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    Wait a minute. The Known Wisdom, that which may not be questioned, said that all of last year’s underachievement was the fault of David Moyes (and yet not that of Sir Alex, who picked him), and that the hiring of Van Gaal would resolve everything and Man U would resume its God-anointed place atop the football world. Someone has had the nerve, the gall, the unmitigated audacity to not follow The Script. Heresy! Sacrilege! Apostasy!

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