Man Utd 1 Swansea 1: Sigurdsson cancels out controversial Rooney penalty with crafty free-kick

Clive Whittingham
Marcus Rashford controversially wins a penalty. - AFP

Gylfi Sigurdsson's brilliant free-kick put a dent in Manchester United's Champions League hopes as yet another Old Trafford draw gave relegation-threatened Swansea reason to believe in Premier League survival.

England striker Marcus Rashford's contentiously-won penalty just before half-time, converted by Wayne Rooney, had given United control of the match but Sigurdsson bent the ball home the 79th minute, seconds after Ander Herrera abandoned the post to join the wall.

It was a deflating way for United to set a new record unbeaten streak - 25 matches dating back to October 23 - and a more important statistic is the 14 league games they have drawn this season, 10 in front of their own fans. And if that was not enough there was further bad news for United's overworked medical staff, with Luke Shaw and Eric Bailly picking up injuries to join a cluttered treatment room.

Mourinho, already missing a host of first-teamers, made four changes from Thursday's derby draw against Manchester City, with Rooney, Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young and Shaw recalled. Shaw's third Premier League start of the year lasted just eight minutes, though, as he hobbled from the pitch in genuine discomfort.

For most of the half, United adopted the care-worn look of a squad stretched thin by congestion and circumstance. There were uncharacteristic giveaways from Michael Carrick, miscued passes from Rooney and even a scream of frustration from the mild-mannered Rashford when an expected ball from Herrera was not forthcoming.

Luke Shaw went off injured early on Credit: AFP

Anthony Martial was key to the two clear chances they did manage, floating the ball brilliantly over the top for Lingard, only for the England winger to fluff his connection after springing the offside trap. The Frenchman went himself on the half-hour, cutting past two men from the left and unleashing a low drive which Lukasz Fabianski almost spilled at Lingard's feet.

For their part, Swansea were bright and up for the contest. Fernando Llorente, collecting a smart pass from Tom Carroll, had David De Gea flapping when he turned Bailly at the back post and let fly. Andre Ayew and Sigurdsson both drew further saves from the Spaniard but United took the lead when Rashford made his controversial intervention.

Having sprinted clear he converged with Fabianski, though the teenager was well on his way to the ground when Fabianski touched him. Rooney, for 252nd time, did the rest for United.

Sigurdsson struck a beautiful free-kick

He should have had a second early in the second half, but hit Martial's back rather than the target from 10 yards. Bailly pulled up around the hour mark, leading to a second reshuffle of the red defence and giving Swansea renewed hope.

Rooney's foul on Martin Olsson gave them the opening they needed and Sigurdsson lined up from 20 yards. His strike was clean and curled perfectly inside the post but would have hit Herrera square in the chest had he not sprinted away from his station moments earlier.

Either side might have won it in an ill-tempered finale, Lingard heading straight at Fabianski at the far post and Llorente failing to meet a glorious cross in added time.

2:29PM

That's a wrap

So there we go then, Paul Clement not happy with Marcus Rashford or referee Neil Swarbrick, Jose Mourinho not happy with Luke Shaw (again) or a heavy fixture list.

Two more United defenders off injured, two points dropped in the quest for the Champions League places. Swansea pleased with their draw, but believing it should have been three - particularly with Llorente missing a late sitter.

Grumbles all round. Neither team has their fate in their own hands. Thanks for your company.

2:24PM

Clement not happy either

On the controversial first half penalty which gave United the lead...

"My initial thought at the time, seeing my players reacting, they clearly thought it wasn't. I've seen the replay, the player has deceived the referee, it's clear. There was a significant delay between the incident and the whistle so he had doubts, he told me afterwards he was just waiting for his linesman to confirm what he thought he'd seen. It's a mistake. He's gone down, way before there's contact."

"The player has deceived the referee, it's clear."

 

2:22PM

Mourinho v Shaw Round Nine

Seconds out, round nine, Mourinho not thrilled with Luke Shaw's early withdrawal...

"We lost players, we lost two points. It's not we looked exhausted, we are exhausted. You can't analyse the performance out of context, this is our ninth match in April with a squad of 22 reduced to 13 or 14, with players very, very, very tired. It's a difficult situation, the boys gave everything. I'm intelligent and experienced enough not to isolate the performance from the context.

"Luke Shaw must have a big injury, to leave the field after ten minutes. I don't know, for sure, for sure Luke Shaw must have an important injury.

"I prefer not to speak (about when players will be coming back). Mata is a brave guy, he's trying his best to get back."

A very serious injury. Perhaps.

 

2:05PM

Britton on the penalty

"The performance was very good. It was disappointing conceding the goal just before half time. We showed great spirit and character. It's a good point at a tough place. The referee didn't seem too sure, if you're going to give a penalty you have to be 100% sure. Fabianski said he didn't touch him."

2:00PM

At the top

United are still fifth, level on points with Man City in fourth with an inferior goal difference. City play their game in hand later today against relegation-haunted Middlesbrough.

Well, quite.

 

1:59PM

At the bottom

Swansea are now two points behind Hull with a slightly better goal difference and three matches each left to play. Both teams have to face bottom club Sunderland in the run in.

1:57PM

Full Time - Man Utd 1 Swansea City 1

A great result for Swansea who deserved their point for a spirited performance, particularly as United's goal was scored from a penalty awarded after a blatant dive from Marcus Rashford.

Swansea weren't as good in the second half as they had been in the first, but Sigurdsson's trademark free kick equalised Rooney's penalty and Llorente missed a stoppage time sitter which would have won it.

Sigurdsson curls home.

 

1:57PM

Time on ball (at full time)

Possession: Man Utd vs Swansea 1:57PM

Average touch positions (full time)

Average touch positions (full time) 1:56PM

90+6 mins

Swarbrick now arranging a drop ball on the edge of the United area. Ball drops. Final whistle blows. What nonsense.

1:53PM

90+3 mins

Good job it's a Bank Holiday tomorrow, I think we'll still be playing. Kingsley injured now after a challenge from Rashford.

1:52PM

90+2 mins

Martial crowded out in the area but Man Utd have a late corner... Fabianski great goalkeeping, fine catch through a crowd.

1:50PM

90 mins

Six extra minutes. Swansea should win it in the first of those as Blind slips defending a free kick leaving Llorente a free header from a yard out but he inexplicably tries to go with his boots and the ball bounces safely through to De Gea. Sitter.

Llorente won't want to see this again.

 

1:49PM

89 mins

As you were. Rashford gets it all wrong, booting the ball high and wide into the Stretford End.

1:48PM

88 mins

Swansea can see the finishing line but Fernandez has chucked himself into a ludicrous tackle on the corner of the area and United will have a dangerous free kick once the yellow card has been processed.

1:43PM

83 mins

Lingard does really well at the back post to not only reach a deep cross, but also direct a firm header towards the top corner - Fabianski saves and holds.

1:42PM

81 mins

Mourinho responds immediately, removing Rooney who's missed one good chance and then given a soft free kick away for the equaliser, and sending on  Mkhitaryan.

1:39PM

GOAL!!!!!!! Man Utd 1 SWANSEA CITY 1

No goals in ten games but you'd never know it - Gylfi Sigurdsson places his free kick perfectly in the top corner. Swansea are level.

Sigurdsson levels it up

Man Utd 1 - 1 Swansea (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 79 min) 1:37PM

77 mins

Ironic cheers as Swarbrick does now award Swansea a free kick on the edge of the area for a daft, lazy foul by Rooney. Gives Sigurdsson a chance to find his range from 25-ish yards.

1:35PM

Time on ball (60 - 75 min)

Possession: Man Utd vs Swansea 1:34PM

74 mins

Swansea opened up down the right, Valencia cuts in and draws a save from Fabianski. Swansea able to exploit the space going to the other way on the counter but Sigurdsson shoots miles over.

1:31PM

71 mins

This won't improve the mood in the away end much. Olsson straight into the action, charges into the area, Young comes across and clatters him, no penalty, United get the free kick.

1:30PM

70 mins

Montero's very brief afternoon is over. Martin Olsson is going to replace the replacement.

 

1:29PM

69 mins

Game drifting away to a 1-0 as it stands. Swansea have stopped threatening and the Portuguese Tony Pulis is happy to hold what he has.

Swansea's need to find a way to recapture their first half form. Montero's first action sees him win a corner, and pull his hamstring just five minutes after coming on - a persistent problem for him all season.

1:24PM

63 mins

United have matched Swansea's midfield diamond and the away side are now finding the going much harder. Clement responds by sending on winger Jefferson Montero for defensive titan Leon Britton.

1:21PM

61 mins

Martial's shot from the edge of the box looks tame enough but it strikes Hernandez on its way through and changes course - Fabianski thrusts out a leg and just about keeps it out.

1:19PM

Time on ball (43 - 58 min)

Possession: Man Utd vs Swansea 1:19PM

59 mins

Bailly is done. Carrick to centre back? Darmian is stripped and ready to replace him. United now have four centre backs sidelined, and have lost two more defenders to injury in the first hour here.

Swansea replace Ki with Mr Relegation Leroy Fer.

Another one bites the dust.

 

1:18PM

56 mins In election slogan news

Strong, stable scoreboard.

 

1:15PM

55 mins

United's injury problems might be about to get even worse still. Bailly - their only fit centre back with Jones, Smalling and Rojo out - has crocked himself kicking Llorente.

1:12PM

52 mins

Swansea still knocking on the door as Llorente sets it back for Sigurdsson to hit but Carrick gets across with a strong challenge. Much the same as the first half so far, Swansea look good but can't score.

1:11PM

50 mins

Young fouls Naughton. Sigurdsson's free kick from out wide is delicious and there's a line of barely marked Swansea players waiting to gobble it up. Ki looks favourite, but Llorente flicks it out of his way. Bailly did very well to ease the Spanish target man under the ball.

1:09PM

48 mins

Could easily be 2-0. Herrera puts it on a plate for Rooney who smashes it towards the gaping goal from eight yards out but actually smacks it straight into the back of Martial and Swansea survive. 

1:04PM

46 mins

Second half underway, backing track of "1-0 to the referee".

12:58PM

Graham Poll says...

"He has to be guessing that's a penalty. He's not got a view, he's looking through players. I would say it's a dive and a yellow card."

12:54PM

Half Time - Man Utd 1 Swansea City 0

Such is the way of things when you're down the bottom. Swansea have been the better of the two teams, had more chances, forced two very good saves from David De Gea. United have been leggy, ineffective, and tired at the end of a month where they've played nine times. 

But it's United who lead at half time, thanks to the most Old Trafford of Old Trafford penalty decisions from referee Neil Swarbrick who spent an age considering whether Rashford's dive was in fact a foul by Fabianski and in the end guessed that it was. Rooney rolled home his seventh of the season from the spot, United up to third as it stands.

Errrrrr, penalty? Maybe?

 

12:49PM

Time on ball (first half)

Possession: Man Utd vs Swansea 12:49PM

Average touch positions (half time)

Average touch positions (half time) 12:48PM

45+2 Mins GOAL!!!! MAN UTD 1 Swansea City 0

Rooney calmly rolls home the penalty. Savage is honking on about "good centre forward play" but the simple fact is Rashford has dived, Swansea have been conned and an enterprising first half comes to nothing for them.

Rooney opens the scoring.

Man Utd 1 - 0 Swansea (Wayne Rooney, 45 + 3 min) 12:47PM

45+2 mins PENALTY UNITED

Rashford into the area, Fabianski down at his feet, goalkeeper withdraws his hands, Rashford dives. Swarbrick looks, and looks and looks and keeps looking. Belatedly, complete guess, awards the penalty.

Spot the contact
Deaf ears.

 

12:46PM

45 mins

We're going to have another two minutes of the first half after that earlier injury to Jose Mourinho's Brain. United start it with a corner which Sigurdsson somehow heads back to his keeper completely by accident from close range.

12:44PM

43 mins Lingard booked

Lingard picks up the game's third yellow. Just about right but with the lunging motion and the studs up you've seen reds given in the modern non-contact sport.

12:42PM

The shot count is similar

Man Utd and Swansea are evenly matched in attack so far - the vistors have fired in seven shots to the hosts' four.

Man Utd vs Swansea shots on goal 12:42PM

42 mins

Lingard, outside of the boot, three quarters of a mile out, shoots wide.

12:41PM

39 mins

Swansea will surely live to regret these missed chances. Worked a break really nicely down the left, Sigurdsson free to pick out an inside ball to Little Tom Carroll but his touch is heavy when a softer foot would have seen him glide through on goal and no doubt draw another save from David De Gea.

12:35PM

34 mins

It's taken half an hour but United are starting to play a bit. Rooney smashes Ki out of the way then almost springs Rashford in behind Mawson but he clears behind. Carrick shoots wide at the near post from the corner.

12:33PM

Neither side taking control of the game yet

Swansea enjoying slightly more of the ball, with 230 touches to 200 from Man Utd.

Man Utd vs Swansea 12:33PM

Time on ball (15 - 30 min)

Possession: Man Utd vs Swansea 12:32PM

31 mins

Ayew, who like Llorente earlier looks offside but isn't flagged, draws the save of the game from De Gea, with his feet this time, shooting powerfully from a tight angle. Rebound just eludes Sigurdsson.

Swansea getting closer.

 

12:30PM

29 mins

United finally get Carrick on the ball and he feeds it wide to Martial who runs with real purpose to the heart of the area and draws the first real save from Fabianski who just about holds on with a queue of United players awaiting a rebound. 

Fabianski flappy handski.

 

12:25PM

24 mins

Ki charging forward, wins a cheap free kick off Ashley Young. Young, in a moment of Joey Barton-like self awareness, is accusing somebody of going down too easily. Sigurdsson curls the free kick round the wall but De Gea read his intention and saves comfortably.

12:23PM

22 mins

Clipped cross from Young down the left is just too high for Rooney - 650th appearance for club and country this season but his worst ever goal scoring season with six - and he heads over.

12:20PM

18 mins

Second yellow card in quick succession. Martial, for nothing much at all. Hope everything's alright at home with Neil Swarbrick.

12:18PM

Man Utd hit back

Man Utd have their first shot at goal, while Swansea have registered five efforts so far.

Man Utd vs Swansea shots on goal 12:17PM

16 mins First United chance

Finally the home team joins us. Martial cross, Lingard in at the near post, Fabianksi just about scrapes the ball behind and the corner comes to nothing.

Lingard tries his luck.

 

12:16PM

Time on ball (0 - 15 min)

Possession: Man Utd vs Swansea 12:15PM

14 mins Britton yellow card

United's first attack sees Rashford streak away and Britton deliberately pulls him down. Such an obvious yellow card it's overridden the It's A Bit Early Yet Act of 1984 and Swarbrick produces the card. Daley Blind makes an absolute pig's ear of the free kick and it's a goal kick.

Cynical.

 

12:14PM

13 mins Bigger Swansea chance

Llorente, offside but not flagged, turns on the corner of the six yard box, draws a brilliant save from De Gea. Carrick hacks it straight up in the air causing a scramble and Swansea have a corner which Mawson turns goalwards at the near post but it's cleared.

12:13PM

11 mins Big Swansea chance

Ayew with the ball at his feet in the area tries to spin Bailly and shoot but the ball is blocked. United, however, panic and wallop it straight into Sigurdsson and the ball flashes an inch wide with De Gea beaten.

Now the Spanish keeper has taken too long over a clearance and shanked it into touch. Swansea growing into this game.

Ayew goes close.

 

12:11PM

10 mins

Swansea press high, Sigurdsson (no goals in ten) wins the ball back in a good area, Britton finds Ayew, prolonged possession on the edge of the area... Kingsley's cross is cleared by Valencia.

12:09PM

8 mins

Valencia comes on, Mourinho's Brain heads down the tunnel, Ashley Young switches to the left and Valencia slots in on the right.

12:08PM

7 mins Shaw down

Jose Mourinho's Brain is sitting down rubbing his leg. Valencia and Darmian warming up, this is going to be an early change. This'll go down well with the management.

Jose Mourinho's Brain leaves the field injured.

 

12:06PM

4 mins

Swansea looking pretty good, with their heavyweight midfield combination of Leon Britton and Little Tom Carroll dominating possession as United struggle to get going and give a couple of cheap passes away. Ki fires over from wide right, should maybe have crossed to Llorente.

Bright start.

 

12:03PM

2 mins

Swansea going quite direct, with Llorente and Ayew playing up front together. The former flicks on a long ball for the latter but Bailly gets across, intercepts and wins a cheap free kick.

12:01PM

And it's live

Off we go then, United, kicking from left to right, and if you're watching in black and white they're in the red shirts. Neil Swarbrick is our arbitrator.  Robbie Savage in full on honking goose mode on the co-coms.

After a Saturday that threatened to have Goals on Sunday sued under the Trades Description Act, let's hope for more today although a 0-0 would probably suit Swansea if they could get it.

 

11:57AM

Teams are out

Just got to faff about with the handshakes and find out what Ray Winstone thinks Joey Barton should be doing with his hard earned today and then we'll be underway. 

Into the lion's den.

 

11:56AM

Big day for...

Scott McTominay, among the subs for the first time for United today as injuries and fixtures start to bite. Certainly a young looking bench for the hosts today.

Young United midfielder Scott McTominay.

 

11:49AM

Swansea say...

Paul Clement, brow furrowed, facing a team unbeaten in 24 league games, tells us: "We've only got four games to go now, we want to come and do the very best we can here.

"It's a big ask at a stadium like this with the quality they have in the team but we're in a positive mood after our performance last week. It made a big difference, that run of one point in six games was very disappointing and we were concerned with the way we were playing. If we hadn't won last week things would have been very difficult for us."

11:37AM

Eyes on Roy Keane

Jose Mourinho not a fan of United's current fixture list: "It's the ninth match in April with sometimes two days or three days in between matches. A squad of 22 players has been reduced to a squad of 14. The situation is not easy but the reality is we have two competitions to play for and we have to go for everything we have.

"Today we forget Thursday, we focus on the match against an opponent that needs points. To be honest we're enjoying that with one month to go we're fighting on two fronts."

11:25AM

At the top

Man Utd are fifth, a point behind Man City and two behind Liverpool, meaning they can break into the Champions League places and go third with a win this lunchtime. City play later at Middlesbrough and Liverpool go tomorrow against Watford.

United, unbeaten in ten, have a tough run in, with away games at Arsenal, Tottenham and Southampton and a home match with Palace on the final day  - with those European commitments thrown in there.

Old Trafford expects/wonders why we've all had to get up so early.

 

11:18AM

At the bottom

Although Crystal Palace appear to have stuck the cue on the rack and headed off for their summer holidays three games out from the end of the season, and Middlesbrough are just about still in touch, one would think it's really only one relegation spot left to fill and only Hull or Swansea left to fill it.

The Swans snapped a run of no wins from six games with a 2-0 home victory against everybody's favourite gimme at this time of the season, Stoke City. But Hull clinging on for a 0-0 at Southampton yesterday, with the hosts missing a penalty, means the gap is now three to safety for the Welsh side, who do have a marginally better goal difference.

Both Hull and Swansea have to play bottom placed Sunderland, which they must surely be eyeing up as the banker three points in the run in. Swansea also have Everton and West Brom at home after today, when they may have reasonably expected United to field a weaker side than they have - given the fixture congestion and forthcoming Europa Bloat tie with Celta Vigo.

11:07AM

Swansea switch system

Swansea sticking with a tried and tested formula of calling on Leon Britton whenever things get tough.

Swansea: Fabianski; Naughton, Mawson, Fernandez, Kingsley; Ki, Carroll, Britton; Sigurdsson, Llorente, Ayew

Subs: Nordfeldt, Amat, Olsson, Cork, Fer, Montero, Borja

Swansea manager Paul Clement

 

11:03AM

Rashford, Lingard and Rooney all start

The home side, desperately trying not to rupture any more knee ligaments, looks like this...

Man Utd: De Gea; Young, Bailly, Blind, Shaw; Carrick, Herrera; Lingard, Rooney, Martial; Rashford

Subs: Romero, Darmian, Tuanzebe, Valencia, Mata, McTominay, Mkhitaryan

Jose Mourinho

 

11:00AM

Morning

Goodness it's early isn't it? Practically the middle of the night. But somebody somewhere thinks that what we all need at 11am on the Sunday of a Bank Holiday weekend is Manchester United 2 Swansea City 0 so here it is, lovely to have you with us.

If you've managed to come down from the high of yesterday's rip-roaring Premier League action (pity the poor editor of Match of the Day) then we'll begin, in about 60 seconds, with today's team news...

10:53AM

Match preview

What is it?

The Premier League match between fifth-placed and top-four chasing Manchester United, and 18th placed and relegation haunted Swansea City

When is it?

It's today, so Sunday April 30.

Where is it?

Old Trafford.  

What time is kick-off?

The unconventional slot of 12.00. 

What TV channel is it on?

The match will be show live on BT Sport 1, with coverage starting from 11.30am. Alternatively you can bookmark this page and follow all the action with our live blog. 

Jose Mourinho is a man on a mission

What is the team news?

United have suffered an injury crisis, and are without Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Juan Mata, Marcos Rojo, ZlatanIbrahimovic and Timothy Fosu-Mensah, while Paul Pogba is doubtful and MarouaneFellaini is suspended. 

Possible XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Valencia; Herrera, Carrick; Lingard, Rooney, Younh; Martial

Pick your Man Utd team to face Swansea

Swanseawill be without the injured trio of  Angel Rangel, Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge, while Jack Cork, Martin Olsson and Leroy Fer are doubtful. 

Possible XI (4-3-3): Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Kingsley; Cork, Britton, Carroll; Ayew, Sigurdsson, Llorente. 

Pick your Swansea team to face Man Utd

What are they saying?

Jose Mourinho offered a tongue-in-cheek solution to Manchester United's personnel problems: picking himself against Swansea.

Nineteen-year-old Axel Tuanzebe will have to come in at centre-back should Eric Bailly or Daley Blind need a rest, and Mourinho joked about an even more drastic decision.

"In this moment it's the only option we have: Axel, Eric and Daley. I have to speak with them and see how they are and how they feel. I'm also training hard in the gym so I can be an opton also," he said.

"Mourinho and Tuanzebe against Swansea."

What are the odds?

United win - 2/5

Draw - 4/1

Swansea - 9/1

What's our prediction?

United to get a 2-1 win. 

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