1-0, min. 45+2, Rooney (p). 1-1, min. 79, Sigurdsson.
Manchester United 1-1 Swansea City: Fatigued Reds' injury woes continue as Swans grab vital point

Manchester United 1-1 Swansea City: Fatigued Reds' injury woes continue as Swans grab vital point

Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw suffered injuries and José Mourinho suffered a late equaliser from Gylfi Sigurdsson.

harry-robinson
Harry Robinson
Manchester UnitedDe Gea; Young, Bailly (Darmian '61), Blind, Shaw (Valencia ‘9); Carrick, Herrera, Rooney (Mkhitaryan '80); Lingard, Rashford, Martial.
Swansea CityFabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Kingsley; Ki (Fer '61), Britton (Montero '65 - Olsson '72), Carroll; Sigursdsson; Ayew, Llorente.
REFEREENeil Swarbrick (Preston) Yellow cards: Anthony Martial ’18, Jesse Lingard ’44 - Leon Britton ‘7, Federico Fernandez '89

Manchester United's injury woes continued and José Mourinho's chances of steering this side to the top four took a dent as a sublime late Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick got a valuable point for Swansea City in the relegation battle.

José Mourinho's side ended the game with a backline of four full-backs; Antonio Valencia, Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian and Ashley Young. After just nine minutes, Luke Shaw's hard luck continued as he walked off grimacing, replaced by Valencia who Mourinho had planned to give a rest ahead of Thursday's UEFA Europa League semi-final first leg against Celta Vigo.

Eric Bailly, who had been immense in recent weeks, was taken off with a similar expression of frustration on his face after the hour mark for Darmian. Axel Tuanzebe, United's young centre-back and captain of the under-23s side, was left on the bench. Many had suggested Bailly should be rested, having played all eight games for United in a jam-packed April before this game.

United miss chance to move into top four

It was a Wayne Rooney penalty late in the first half that initially separated the sides. After a poor first half, he and United moved into the break leading wholly undeservedly. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial had been slight bright sparks, and it was the former who earned the penalty, sensing contact was imminent from Lukasz Fabianski and going over on the edge of the six-yard box. Fabianski had pulled his hands away from Rashford's legs, but the young Englishman had already elected to dive, and referee Neil Swarbrick awarded the penalty after much deliberation with his linesman.

Swansea had been on top, looking like the home side at Old Trafford. They dominated possession and chances, while United counter-attacked like the smaller side. Jordan Ayew and Fernando Llorente tested David de Gea on a number of occasions early on. Even when de Gea could parry their shots, United's defenders made a mess of clearing it. United looked unsurprisingly fatigued after an unforgiving April schedule. A result such as this was waiting to happen this month.

The United counter did work to an extent. Anthony Martial was in good form and delivered a wonderful angled ball into Lingard's path. The Englishman's run had been timed to perfection, only his arm breaching the line of defence, but his shot was weak and couldn't take the cross past Fabianski from a tight angle.

Martial was a bright spark for the Reds with quick feet, pace and power on the left flank, cutting inside frequently. Just before the half-hour mark he unleashed a powerful curling shot, Lingard looked to pounce on the rebound, but Fabianski smothered it.

Ayew was denied by David de Gea's outstretched foot. Everything for Swansea in the first half was a matter of inches and luck. The rebound fell into empty space in the penalty area rather than Sigurdsson.

Rashford dives for penalty, Rooney scores

Just before the break, Rooney netted his penalty. Moments after, he should have doubled his and United's tally. An excellent pull-back from Ander Herrera came to Rooney who could only shoot into the back of Martial. Mourinho had changed to a diamond to match Swansea, earning them the dominance of the second half.

But Eric Bailly fell for United's second injury of the day, leaving Mourinho with the most makeshift of defences and worries for Thursday night. Injuries were an issue for Swansea, too. Jefferson Montero came on for Ki, but was stretched off six minutes later and replaced by Martin Olsson.

Antonio Valencia powered a shot into Fabianski's arms from the right-flank, and soon after, Rooney had fouled on the edge of his own box, leaving the prolific set-piece man Sigurdsson with a golden opportunity. Herrera stood on the right post, where Sigurdsson's glorious free-kick would eventually nestle into the net, but ran out to create an offside line. Sigurdsson effectively used where Herrera had stood and hit it there, to perfection.

Llorente misses golden chance for 3 points

Llorente had an incredible chance to send Swansea back to Wales with three points, rather than the important one. United conceded another unnecessary free-kick. Sigurdsson took it again, chipped the ball in for Llorente who had lost Daley Blind, he tried to tap it in rather than heading it past de Gea and the United goalkeeper caught it, his heart surely beating quicker after a huge scare.

United have injury woes, and they missed a chance to move into the top four and above rivals Liverpool. The Europa League looks even more important now, but the Reds hardly have the defenders to play the game. Swansea, meanwhile, grabbed a deserved vital point for Paul Clement's side. Sigurdsson is only the fourth man to score in three consecutive games at Old Trafford.

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