Manchester United slump to opening loss to Swansea

Published Saturday, August 16, 2014 9:06 AM by Shane Barrow
Manchester United slump to opening loss to Swansea

Well that was disappointing for sure, but I guess you cannot rebuild Rome in a day.  Opening day always brings optimism but the 2014 season began just like last year ended with the once powerful Manchester United laying another egg.  Last year several sides went into Old Trafford and grabbed points where the had never had any successes pror. Today it was Swansea claiming their first ever win at the famed stadium.

Both Swansea goals came completely against the run of play, but it just doesn't matter how you get the goals.  Swansea got their two with both coming in shocking fashion.  In both instances it seemed the United crowd had been lulled into a nap.  Sitting on their hands.  It rubbed off on the United players as well as they were caught standing both times and could only watch as the Swansea shot hit the net.

Van Gaal made changes at the break in an attempt to make up the 1-0 deficit.  Hopefully this is the last we will see of Chicharito.  He just does not belong in the EPL at all.  Nani came on and Manchester United switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation.  It paid dividends as the team was on the front foot almost immediately.

Minutes later the match was tied as Phil Jones flicked on a near post header that Wayne Rooney rose to meet with an overhead kick from close range.  The Swansea defense had no chance and suddenly all the momentum was on the home side.  Surely they would go on and win this one just like they always did in the old days.

Nope. Not today.

Once again Manchester United went to sleep and made several mistakes leading up to the winning goal from Swansea.  The biggest mistake fell to Smalling who gave the ball right back to Swansea after a foul in the midfield.  If he had just left the ball all would have been fine and ManU would have been able to get numbers back.

Instead, Smalling kicked the ball straight back and Swansea took a quick restart sending them on their way.  Once Ashley Young lost his mark on the back post it was obvious a goal was coming as his man turned the ball back across goal.  Sigurdsson turned the ball home from there and Swansea were back in front.

The writing was on the wall from there.  ManU turned to just lumping high balls into the Swansea penalty area...a strategy that just did not pan out at all.  It made the defending very easy and The Swans saw out the important victory.  Even a monster amount of added time could not rescue Manchester United as Swansea escaped 2-1 winners.

The three points could send Swansea on their way to a top ten finish while for the second straight year Manchester United start bottom and face a climb.  With a soft early season schedule, they better get tis sorted before hitting the tougher sides in the EPL.