Despite the list of absentees continuing from the Manchester derby in the suspension of Marouane Fellaini and the injury blow to Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Manchester United were expected to struggle in the early kick-off fixture against Swansea City at Old Trafford.
AS IT HAPPENED: Manchester United v Swansea
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With the only goal for Jose Mourinho’s side coming from the penalty spot before half-time and the equaliser for the visitors being from a superb free-kick well taken by Gylfi Sigurdsson in the 79th minute, the Red Devil’s still remain one point behind fourth-place Manchester City.
Here are the three things we learn from Manchester United’s latest draw at Old Trafford…
Top four is now over for the Red Devils
Following the 1-1 draw, it looks like the possible of finishing in the top four is now over for Manchester United and Jose Mourinho. Although they still have a game in hand to play which is against Southampton, the side have dropped too many points at home and the players were physically and mentally feeling the effect of playing nine games in the whole of April on Sunday.
On top of that, Mourinho’s men still have to play the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur away from home, which will be just two to three days after the Europa League first leg and second leg fixture against La Liga side Celta Vigo. The Red Devils will be ending the season with a tough schedule, but no top four and Europa League success could deny them the opportunity of signing the big names that they need during the summer transfer window.
More injury problems than points picked up
Two new injury problems and one point is how the game against Swansea City should be summed up, and what’s worse is that the defensive injury concerns continue to rise week by week. With no centre-backs available for the next few games, the likes of full-back Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind are expected to be utilised as a partnership in the heart of defence.
Also, the past few days, Jose Mourinho has called out on the injured Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to be brave and take one for the team by making themselves available no matter how bad their injuries are. It was seen as a stupid statement from the manager by a lot of Manchester United fans, who felt that Mourinho was shifting the attention from the poor results on to the helpless players that cannot do much about the injury issues that they have been facing over the last few years of their careers.
Sigurdsson will surely be playing for a bigger club next season
Even if Swansea City fail to finish above the relegation zone and drop into the Championship come the end of May, Gylfi Sigurdsson will surely be on the move straightaway with a lot of Premier League clubs interested in the Icelandic attacking midfielder. As well as scoring the superb goal from the free-kick when his team needed him the most, the playmaker created four chances throughout the game and put in a good shift on both sides of the pitch.
Having directly been involved in 21 of Swansea’s 40 league goals this campaign, it simply analyses how important the 27-year-old has been for the club since arriving at the Liberty Stadium in 2014 from Tottenham Hotspur. Known for his long-rate shooting ability and his technique from set-pieces, he will once again be wanted by the bigger clubs in Arsenal and Everton, soon or later.