The script was set beforehand. A rejuvenated Manchester United skippered by Wayne Rooney under the managerial leadership of Louis Van Gaal would enjoy a triumph start at home by beating Garry Monk's Swansea City. The only problem was Swansea hadn't read the script. In a stop start match the Welsh team's gameplan saw them come out on top with a 2-1 victory.

Louis Van Gaal sent his Red Devils out in a bold 3-5-2 formation.


Young defender Tyler Blackett and young striker Jesse Linegard were given starts a left centre back and right wing back respectively.

A more cautious Garry Monk packed the midfield with a defensive deep sitting 4-2-3-1 formation the only débutantes of which were goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and the returning hero Gylfi Sigurdsson.

First Half

Things started well for Manchester United as they dominated possession in the opening ten minutes.


For all their control of the game though Manchester United rarely threatened or got behind the Swansea backline. The first moment of note came on 19 minutes when young Jesse Linegard stretched for a tackle with Swansea captain Ashley Williams and came off worse injuring his knee. The youngster tried to run the injury off but was substituted on the 23rd minutes with fellow youngster Adnan Januzaj taking his place at right wing back.

The substitution seemed to invigorate Manchester United injecting some much needed pace into their build up play. The largely anonymous Juan Mata dropped deep laying the ball off to centre back Phil Jones who stormed forward with the ball playing a quick one two. Getting behind the Swansea defence before being clattered on the edge of the area by Ashley Williams just as his cross/shot forced a diving save from Fabianski.

Driven on by the crowd, Manchester United won another freekick seconds later, resulting in a Wayne Rooney header on target. Then just as Manchester United were getting going Swansea delivered a sucker punch. The visitors swept down the right hand side of the pitch over-runing the Manchester United midfield and exposing the back three. Swansea passed the ball across the edge of the box into the path of the Ki Sung-Yeung who guided the ball into the bottom right corner of the net beyond a diving De Gea.


Second Half

The second half started with Swansea leading by a goal to nil. In an effort to bring some life to his side Louis Van Gaal brought off striker Javier Hernandez and brought on Portuguese attacking midfielder Nani.

Van Gaal didn't have to wait long to see his substitution and half-time words take effect. On 51 minutes Manchester United won a corner and the new captain Wayne Rooney stepped up with the equaliser.


Juan Mata floated in the corner, a deflection flicked it onto the backpost and Rooney was there to turn it in.

With forty minutes left and the scores now level, the expectation was for Manchester United to power on forward for the victory. Things didn't work out that way though as the well drilled Swansea side set about making life difficult for the home side. Whenever the home side began a promising move the offending player would inevitably be fouled by a Swansea player and the movement would grind to halt. A particularly culprit of this was ex-Liverpool man Jonjo Shelvey whose efforts were rewarded with a booking.

Just as the game seemed to be petering out for a draw though Swansea scored their second of the game. Substitute Jefferson Montero worked his way into some space and found Gylfi Sigurdsson inside the box and the Icelandic international drilled the ball home.

In days of old this would have been when Manchester United showed their championship potential. As it was though Swansea closed out the game with little difficulty to start the season with a shock 2-1 win and pose big questions for Manchester United and their new boss Louis Van Gaal.

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