Man Utd 1-1 Swansea: Impressive Swans Hold Red Devils to Draw at Old Trafford

Callum Rice-Coates

​Manchester United were held to their tenth Old Trafford draw of the season by an impressive Swansea side on Sunday, and missed out on the chance to move third in the Premier League table.

A controversial penalty in injury-time of the first half was scored by Wayne Rooney, after what appeared to be a dive from Marcus Rashford in the box.

It was another set-piece that provided the equaliser, Gylfi Sigurdsson bending an immaculate free-kick into the top corner with just over ten minutes remaining to earn his side a point that left them two off safety.

Manchester United v Swansea City - Premier League

There was a somewhat subdued atmosphere at Old Trafford in the early exchanges, and the football matched it. United struggled to find any sort of rhythm, while Swansea, perhaps buoyed by their win against Stoke last weekend, began with confidence.

It was an impressive, almost dominant start from the visitors, who nearly went in front through a Fernando Llorente effort, with United defending nervously. Swansea looked far from a side very much still in danger of relegation, controlling possession and appearing the more assured of the two teams.

Manchester United v Swansea City - Premier League

Jesse Lingard came close to opening the scoring against the run of play, denied by Lukasz Fabianski, before Anthony Martial cut inside and tested the Polish goalkeeper just before the half hour mark. At the other end, Jordan Ayew fired a shot across goal that David de Gea was forced to keep out with an outstretched leg.

But after a first half of frustration, Fabianski was controversially adjudged to have brought down Marcus Rashford in the box, and Rooney dispatched his penalty in injury-time to give the hosts the lead.

Despite the apparent unjust nature of the opening goal, United were on top immediately after the break, Rooney denied a second goal by the back of his own teammate having been picked out in the box, in space.

It seemed the impetus had been taken out of Swansea's game, the organisation and urgency that had been so prevalent in the first 45 minutes diminished having fallen behind. United, meanwhile, were still far from fluid, but had far more control over the game.

Manchester United v Swansea City - Premier League

Fabianski was called into action as the game approached the hour mark, keeping out a Martial shot somewhat awkwardly, but opportunities for both sides had been limited. 

Jose Mourinho had been forced to field a back four made up entirely of full-backs due to injuries to Luke Shaw and Eric Bailly, though the home side's shape meant that Swansea, unlike in the first half, found it difficult to create.

But with just over ten minutes remaining, a superb, curling free kick from Sigurdsson left De Gea motionless, and levelled the scores. 

United looked to find a winner, but Swansea dealt fairly comfortably with their sporadic attacks, and should have won the game in injury-time when Llorente was picked out in the box by Sigurdsson but miscued his finish from close range, having shoved Daley Blind to the floor.



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