Deary me. That was a turn up for the books - United were exceptional in pre-season, but looked every inch David Moyes' team today. So one-dimensional going forward, chaotic at the back. Can Van Gaal turn this around? Let me know what you think on Twitter @Reda_Maher_LDN
THAT'S IT! Manchester United lose 2-1 at home to Swansea in Van Gaal's first match proper. What a disaster!
HANDBALL SURELY! But no, Dean waves it away! Replay shows Rangel had his back turned to it but his elbow was out.
SHOULD HAVE BEEN 2-2! Rooney accidentally blocks Januzaj's finish as United throw the kitchen sink at Swansea!
Sigurdsson has treatment as we see four minutes added time signalled. He collided with Nani. I imagine there'll be a few more minutes as a result of this stoppage.
United with a promising move but Rooney's first touch is terrible, so heavy; they still have the ball but then Young plays a dreadful cross to touch.
As Januzaj swings over a cross from the left, which Fabianski claims, let's look at Sigurdsson's goal - which could be the winner...
Fellaini is caught offside at a free-kick. Deary me.
Here is Wayne Rooney scoring United's equaliser.
Fellaini with a towering header on to Rooney, but good defending from Amat to shepherd the ball back to Fabianski.
Januzaj plays the ball wide without looking and passes to nothingness. It is clear that Van Gaal has a lot of work to do still.
Manchester United Yellow card

Man Utd


Young is the latest to be booked. United have run out of ideas. Sound familiar?
Manchester United Yellow card

Man Utd


Fellaini elbows Ki in the face and he is a lucky man to get away with that. Ki is booked, incredibly - probably for the original shirt pull.
Swansea City Yellow card

Man Utd


GREAT TACKLE JONES! Gomis was clean through there but the United defender raced back with a vital slide challenge! Smalling and Fletcher caught out...
... But Young wastes this one, sending it to the first man. United's superb pre-season seems a distant memory now.
Williams was uneasy in the first half but has been excellent in these latter stages, heading clear with power. United have another free-kick on the left....
United's free-kick on the right is superbly curled in by Young, Fellaini is lurking but Shelvey gets a touch to send it wide!
Montero hurls himself to the deck as if Fellaini stabbed him in the small of the back - the Belgian did no such thing. Dean waves him up but a booking was in order there.
Great tackle by Jones on Montero, who was in again! He really does have some pace this Ecuadorean!
Swansea City Substitution
SWANSEA SUB: Gomis replaces Bony. He'll be a strong physical presence.
The general consensus is that United can't defend.

Awful defending from United. Smalling switched off before the free-kick. Young caught under the cross. Not good.

Young was caught out of position there, Routledge actually fell over but his scuffed cross landed nicely for Gylfi. Deary me. Nice pass Montero to Routledge originally.
Swansea City Goal

Left Footed - Bottom Center

GOAL SWANSEA! DISASTER FOR UNITED! Sigurdsson with a bouncing, scrappy drive past De Gea after United fail to clear their lines! 2-1!
Nani is brought down by Bony, as Swansea find themselves under increasing pressure.
Interesting to see Montero in action - he is very, very quick. Quicker than Young, who is fairly green as a fullback.
UNITED SUB: Fellaini replaces Ander. SWANSEA SUB: Montero for Dyer.
Swansea City Substitution
Manchester United Substitution
OFF THE POST! Fantastic free-kick from Rooney, curling it past the diving Fabianski and off the outside of the frame of the goal! So close!
Rooney is fouled on the edge of the D and United have a free-kick in a dangerous position - Mata, Rooney and Young would fancy this as the spray comes out again...
Tell you what - Ashley Young isn't bad as a left-back! His inconsistency going forward is less of a problem now, and he always works hard... Could be a nice career change for the former England winger.
Both teams are prepping subs: Montero for Swansea, and United - who have made two changes already - are in deep discussions. Looks like Ander - who has been quiet - could make way for Kagawa or Fellaini!
Januzaj spoons one over after a promising United move. He's done well since coming on but should have done better there.
Great defending by Jones as he stops Routledge with a fine tackle before winning a free-kick - good thing he was fouled too, as his next act was a reckless lunge.
Here is Manchester United captain and goalscorer Wayne Rooney.
I've been commenting on Van Gaal's physical and verbal resemblance to a pantomime baddie, but we've neglected young Garry Monk, who is a ringer for vicar Paul in Broadchurch. See?
View image on Twitter

Just me or not? Gary Monk and Arthur Darvill (vicar Paul Coates in @BroadchurchTV) #Swansea

Rooney almost turns Williams into a one-on-one with Fabianski, but the defender recovers to get a toe on it and the keeper gathers.
Swansea City Yellow card

Man Utd


Mata runs over this free-kick but Young's ball is too close to Fabianski, although had someone got a touch it may well have been a perfect delivery.
Swansea City Substitution
Shelvey is booked for a foul on Mata. I thought he had been carded in the first half - but what do I know.
Manchester United Goal

Right Footed - Bottom Left

GOAL MANCHESTER UNITED! 1-1! And Rooney does snap out of it, powering home Mata's cross with an improvised bicycle kick. Jones got a touch before Rooney adjusted his body.
Another great run from Januzaj, who gets the corner as Williams smashes the ball to touch. United toiling, Januzaj a bright spark - remind anyone of last season?
Bony with a dipping volley from range but underhit and easy for De Gea. United have looked brighter in the second half - but Rooney has done next to nothing. And as their striker and captain he needs to snap out of this.
Okay so Manchester United are back to 4-4-2 - Young is playing left-back. Odd.
LATE! That was Taylor with a lunge on Januzaj. Booking, free-kick on the right, cleared as Mata can't find Rooney, and a foul on Dyer sees Swansea have it back.
Swansea City Yellow card

Man Utd


Januzaj with a fine turn and run down the right but his low drive is wide of the near post.
The second half is underway and Januzaj is still on the right! Which means Young is playing... as a central midfielder?
HT SUB: Nani is brought on for Hernandez. Which means Nani will play wingback and surely Januzaj moves central. Surely?
And here is a pic of Swansea celebrating Ki's goal.
Here is a pic of the FIRST EVER use of vanishing spray in Premier League history
Well then. What did you make of that? Problems afoot at Old Trafford or an early anomaly? Can Van Gaal overcome this little setback? Let me know on Twitter @Reda_Maher_LDN
Manchester United Substitution
HT: Manchester United 0-1 Swansea. The Van Gaal effect suffers an early setback.
Swansea now have a free-kick on the left wing but wisely elect to keep it short and wind down the clock to half-time.
From Infostrada: "Ki Sung-Yueng is the second Swansea player to score the opening goal of a #EPL season"

Ki Sung-Yueng is the second Swansea player to score the opening goal of a #EPL season – after Michu in their 5-0 win at QPR in 2012.

Three minutes injury time being played as Januzaj is closed down on the United right.
Young with a poor touch. Perhaps Nani will replace him and United completely abandon this wingbacks malarkey.
And there's more Moyes-VanGaal #banter. Let this be the end of it.
Here is a pic of Hernandez being challenged by Shelvey.
Better from United as a short passing move sees a Fletcher effort blocked. Nani is being spoken to by Van Gaal. Wonder where he'd play?
More magic spray as Mata swings in the free-kick - easy claim for Fabianski.
Mata swings in the corner but Fabianski punches away. Ander is clearly forearmed off the ball by Routledge and United have a free-kick on the right.
Meanwhile, the hosts are hogging possession. Januzaj, looking like a young Jason Perry, wins a corner off Taylor.
Of course these are early days, particularly for a team being overhauled. Not the first time United have started poorly...

4 - Manchester United have conceded in each of their last four opening games of the season. Sluggish.

Hernandez rifles an easy chance wide but he's already been penalised for a tug on his marker.
And let the memes begin...
Ki and Januzaj are tearing at each other's clothes like young lovers in a secluded lay-by, and the referee decides the United man initiated the flirtation, so Swansea get the free-kick.
End to end stuff here as United charge down the left. Swansea are back in numbers.

Stating the obvious: a. United don't have the players to play 3-5-2 effectively yet; b. United need some better players.

Januzaj - who looked a little bit lost covering at full-back there - is on the right wing and earns a throw off Williams. United with a promising attack here but Swansea break it up and counter...
GOAL SWANSEA!! 1-0! KI WITH A LOW DRIVE! Sigurdsson picked him out on the edge of the box, a gaping hole in United's back three, with pretty much everyone out of position as Bony blocked Jones from getting across.
Swansea City Goal

Left Footed - Bottom Right

SHOULD HAVE BEEN 1-0! Well, could have been 1-0. Rooney heads the ball straight at Fabianski after a fine cross from Januzaj I think. The Manchester United skipper couldn't get any power on it.
Shelvey is booked for a foul but United's free-kick is cleared. Mata with the ball.
Swansea City Yellow card

Man Utd


THE MAGIC SPRAY! WE HAVE THE MAGIC SPRAY! Its first use in professional football in England, 25 minutes into the new season.
Jones is caught late by Williams after racing down the right. Not another injury surely? No, he's all right and United have a free-kick on the edge of the box.
Manchester United Substitution
Poor Jesse Lingard. He was given a debut and he barely lasted a quarter of the match. Another highly-rated youngster, Adnan Januzaj, replaces him. Surely he won't play as a wingback? He's wearing Giggs' no.11 shirt too. No pressure kiddo.
Rooney feeds Hernandez down the right and he has a march on Sigurdsson, who clips him and the Mexican loses balance. Dean plays advantage initially but pulls play back when Hernandez hits the deck.
While Lingard is walked off - he clearly wants to continue - let's reflect on how gross that Ashley Young incident was. Ew.
Lingard still receiving treatment and it looks like he may not be able to continue... his knee.
Lingard goes down after a 50-50 with Williams... That was a cruncher.
The vine embedded below may not last long, but a dollop of spittle landed in Ashley Young's mouth while he was waiting to defend a free-kick. Presume it was accidental.
Rooney on a driving run but his shot-cross-chip fusion is blocked and Swansea go agricultural. You have to say that short-passing 'Swansealona' style is long gone now.
The United fans are having their customary dig at Liverpool as Swansea get a free kick - Sigurdsson swings it in but Blackett heads clear. Good defending.

First Steven Gerrard chant of the season at Old Trafford. It's only taken 12 minutes. Surely that has to be a record? #LFC #MUFC

Down the other end Rooney has a chance to test Fabianski, but he scuffs the shot and it's easy for the Pole. Fine pass from Mata in the build-up.
Swansea look a bit short up front without Michu who - after the club rejected big money bids last summer - spend most of the season injured and has been loaned to Napoli.

Sorely missing the days of us talking about Michu's price tag

This probably counts as the first real chance, with returning hero Sigurdsson stinging the palms of De Gea with a fierce low drive.
Now Ashley Young is another attacking player who is, today, a wingback. But - for all his weaknesses - he does know how to defend, and covers brilliantly after Jones is caught out.
United lay camp deep in the Swansea half with Lingard seeing a lot of the ball. He has a decent first touch but his crossing has been a bit iffy - again, not usually his role.
Swansea really are struggling to use the ball - Williams plays it straight to a red shirt, United swarm forward but Lingard's cross is straight at Fabianski. Williams is usually so composed but he's looked flustered so far.
Lingard was exposed there - as you'd expect from a man who has never really had to defend before. Could be an interesting experiment.

If Moyesy played Lingard and Young as wing backs with Januzaj and Kagawa on the bench someone would have flown an aeroplane into his house.

I say that and then a long ball from Shelvey catches Lingard cold and Routledge could be in - but his touch is heavy and De Gea gathers.
Ander has an eye for a pass - and he lofted one in for Hernandez to race on to as Rooney created some space. Have to say - Swansea have offered little thus far.
This is how United are lining up - it's fair to say the wingbacks are a lot more advanced than is traditional.
'Welcome to England' - that's what Jonjo Shelvey was saying with his body as he left Ander Herrera in a heap. Don't think Ander will mind too much, the hardy Basque he is.
Lingard's first act is to let rip at the assistant referee after a goal-kick is awarded. Like an old hand at Old Trafford. It did seem that he should have won a corner...
MISSING FOR UNITED: Shaw, Carrick, Cleverley, Valencia, Van Persie. That's quite the list! /// MISSING FOR SWANSEA: Britton, Emnes.
Yes, that is actually what Van Gaal said in his pre-match. Jose has some competition in the charisma stakes...
Louis van Gaal is the epitome of the Die Hard baddie: "Do what we have agreed - then we shall win."
Back to Lingard, he has been highly-rated for a few years and impressed last season on loan at both Birmingham and Brighton in the Championship. He scored four goals for Brighton in 16 matches, and six in 13 for Birmingham. He normally plays behind the striker.
View image on Twitter

Jesse Lingard scored 10 goals, created 52 chances & recorded 6 assists while on loan in the Championship last season.

Swansea manager Garry Monk shows he is already an expert in the art of saying nothing: "I'm just looking forward to the game. I focus on the players, not myself. During the week we make sure everything is in place."
What do you think the decision to start Hernandez over Kagawa means? There have been reports that the Mexican will be sold, and it certainly looked like he wasn't in Van Gaal's plans. United could have gone with Rooney up top and Kagawa/Mata forming a creative axis behind....

@Reda_Maher_LDN Good to see Hernandez getting a start! I suspect he will sneak in a goal or two tonight.

Unsure as to whether Lingard will play on the right or the left as Ashley Young, his fellow 'wingback' (I punctuate because neither are wingbacks by trade) has played on both flanks in pre-season.

Blimey, Van Gaal has gone all Tim Sherwood on us. Lingard and Blackett in the starting line-up? You'll win nothing with kids... #MUFC

If you want to target me with your opinions, predictions or vile personal abuse, I suppose you can also find me on social media - @Reda_Maher_LDN.
Of course we are on Twitter, so if you would like to monitor the news as it breaks - or respond to any of our outrageous claims or opinions - you can find us on @EurosportCom_EN
SWANSEA CITY: Fabianski, Rangel, Amat, Williams, Taylor, Ki, Shelvey, Dyer, Sigurdsson, Routledge, Bony... Subs: Tremmel, Bartley, Richards, Tiendalli, Montero, Sheehan, Gomis.
Jesse Lingard and Tyler Blackett both make debuts for Manchester United. Lingard is preferred to Reece James, otherwise United line up as expected. Swansea team news to follow.
TEAMS IN! MANCHESTER UNITED: De Gea; Jones, Smalling, Blackett; Lingard, Fletcher, Herrera, Young; Mata; Rooney, Hernandez... Subs: Amos, James, M Keane, Fellaini, Kagawa, Nani, Januzaj.
STATS! STATS! STATS! Erm - stats ahead of the opening weekend. It'll only take 90 seconds... Includes an absolute pearler about Romelu Lukaku.

Watch the video Stats: The opening weekend in 90 seconds on Yahoo Eurosport UK. The return of the Premier League is finally upon us! We bring you the stats you wouldn’t have heard about the 10 games kicking off the season.

14 - Swansea’s three previous matches on the opening weekend of a @premierleague season have produced 14 goals. Festival.

11:45 is the place to be all season long, as we have live minute-by-minute coverage of all 380 Premier League games! There are five matches coming up at 15:00, plus Arsenal v Crystal Palace at 17:30 - we'll be with you for all the action until the final whistle on 24 May 2015!

All the team news ahead of the Premier League curtain raiser, with Robin van Persie out of Manchester United's clash with Swansea.

Swansea's Twitter account perhaps operating in Hong Kong time - the official time zone of the Barclays Premier League.
View image on Twitter

Good afternoon from Old Trafford, where the #Swans kick-off the 2014-15 @premierleague season against @ManUtd.

View image on Twitter

That matchday feeling is back at Old Trafford. Team news shortly... #MUFClive

Van Gaal has admitted his squad is "a little below the level" he wants, but says he's not worried ahead of his first competitive match: "I am very confident. I am not nervous. Nine players injured and I am not nervous.” Those absentees in full: Jonny Evans, Luke Shaw, Michael Carrick, Antonio Valencia, Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck, Rafael, Anderson and, er, and that's all we can think of, unless you include reserve keeper Sam Johnstone. So we better had.
First brainfreeze of the season - and almost certainly not the last! Robin van Persie is out of today's game too - Javier Hernandez is expected to start up front alongside Rooney.
MANCHESTER UNITED predicted starting XI (4-3-1-2): De Gea; Blackett, Jones, Smalling; Young, Herrera, Fletcher, James; Mata; Rooney, Van Persie... SWANSEA CITY predicted XI (4-3-3): Fabianski; Rangel, Bartley, Williams, Taylor; Sigurdsson, Shelvey, Ki; Dyer, Bony, Gomis.
So how will United line up today? In pretty unfamiliar fashion, we expect. Van Gaal's 3-4-1-2 will feature debuts for centre-back Tyler Blackett and left wing-back Reece James. There is also a debut for £32m midfield man Ander Herrera. Swansea are more recognisable from last season, but Garry Monk should hand debuts to goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and striker Bafetimbi Gomis.
We asked our experts who will win the league as part of our Eurosport Roundtable series - and the results were surprising. Chelsea received six votes, Manchester City four and Manchester United two, with nobody backing Liverpool or Arsenal.

In our final round of pre-season predictions, it's the big one: our writers say who they think will lift the Premier League title in May. Continue reading →

Wayne Rooney wasn't a unanimously popular selection as Manchester United captain, with some fans remembering his two attempts to leave the club - or at least his threats to leave that resulted in massive new contracts. But Rooney has the backing of one influential Old Trafford legend - Gary Neville: "There has been a sharp decline in leadership in football but Rooney has all the attributes. By 'leaders' I mean people who are prepared not only to hold themselves accountable but hold their team-mates accountable too. Rooney is one of a dying breed of footballers who is willing to call his team-mates out. He can take criticism but also hand it out."

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville believes Wayne Rooney will lead the Red Devils back to glory as captain.

And have you ever wanted to play Fantasy Football against Ade Akinfenwa? Of course you have! Here's your chance with Yahoo's 'Beat the Beast' competition!

We are delighted to announce, that for the duration of the 2014/15 season you will be able pits you managerial wits on the Yahoo Fantasy Premier League game against Adebayo ‘The Beast’ Akinfenwa.

You've got a couple of hours to settle on your Fantasy Football selections for the opening weekend - here are our players to choose and lose, featuring a Manchester United player you've never heard of!

Watch the video Fantasy: Drop Sanchez - pick United mystery man on Yahoo Eurosport UK. Still not finished your fantasy teams yet? You've not got long! But help is at hand. Check out our 5 players to pick for the opening weekend & 5 to avoid.

That United victory over Swansea inspired a brilliant and criminally underrated YouTube moment. It's got mild swears, but more importantly it's got a man dementedly waving a hankie while pledging undying allegiance to the Moyes Boys.

First game of the season.. Danny Welbeck 2 , Rvp 2 .... Man united 4- 1 Swansea... and yeah Arsenal lost SO ARSENAL JUST GOT SPANKED BY GUESS WHO??? MANCHEST...

It's almost a year to the day since David Moyes's ill-fated reign at Manchester United got under way in earnest. The result on 17 August 2014? Swansea City 1-4 Manchester United. So maybe let's not read too much into it of United emerge with the points today.
And the season could hardly kick off with a more exciting fixture than this. Louis van Gaal's arrival at Manchester United has electrified the Premier League - is the Dutchman a genius, a megalomaniac, or a bit of both. Today we get our first glimpse of Van Gaal in the Old Trafford dugout as Swansea visit.
Welcome to the opening day of the 2014/15 Premier League! It has been 34 long days since Mario Goetze's strike won the World Cup for Germany - and close season be damned - we are ready for more competitive football!

Starting Line-ups

Manchester United
Swansea City
    • 1
      de Gea
    • Blackett
    • 12
    • 4
    • 18
    • 21
    • Fletcher
    • 35
    • 8
    • 10
    • Hernández
Team Manager:  Louis Van Gaal
    • Bony
    • Dyer
    • 23
    • 15
    • 4
      Ki Sung-yueng
    • 8
    • 22
    • 2
    • 6
    • 3
    • 1
Team Manager:  Garry Monk
Players Sub Time
Players Sub Time
Goalkeepers G SAV GC GK FC FS Y R PEN Mins
D. de GeaDFP
0 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 90
Michael KeaneDFP
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 91
R. JamesDFP
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 91
P. JonesDFP
0 0 0 4 1 0 1 4 0 0 0 90
C. SmallingDFP
0 0 1 2 5 0 1 1 0 0 0 90
T. BlackettDFP
0 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 90
Midfielders G GA SHO PAS FK COR FC FS Y R PEN Mins
S. KagawaDFP
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 91
A. YoungDFP
0 0 1 46 0 0 3 0 1 0 0 90
D. FletcherDFP
0 0 0 57 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 90
0 0 0 41 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 67
A. JanuzajDFP
0 0 2 15 0 0 3 4 0 0 0 66
0 0 0 16 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 45
J. LingardDFP
0 0 0 13 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 24
M. FellainiDFP
0 0 0 22 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 23
J. MataDFP
0 0 1 49 1 4 0 1 0 0 0 90
W. RooneyDFP
1 0 5 27 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 90
J. HernándezDFP
0 0 0 10 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 45
Goalkeepers G SAV GC GK FC FS Y R PEN Mins
L. FabianskiDFP
0 4 1 9 0 0 0 0 0 90
Jazz RichardsDFP
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 91
K. BartleyDFP
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 91
J. AmatDFP
0 0 0 0 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 90
A. WilliamsDFP
0 0 0 3 15 0 1 0 0 0 0 90
A. RangelDFP
0 0 0 1 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 90
N. TaylorDFP
0 0 0 2 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 53
D. TiendalliDFP
0 0 0 3 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 37
Midfielders G GA SHO PAS FK COR FC FS Y R PEN Mins
Josh SheehanDFP
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 91
J. ShelveyDFP
0 0 0 46 0 0 4 0 1 0 0 90
W. RoutledgeDFP
0 1 0 23 0 0 4 1 0 0 0 90
Ki Sung-yuengDFP
1 0 1 35 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 90
G. SigurdssonDFP
1 1 2 21 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 90
N. DyerDFP
0 0 0 12 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 67
J. MonteroDFP
0 0 0 7 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 23
W. BonyDFP
0 0 1 22 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 77
B. GomisDFP
0 0 0 5 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 13
View comments (180)