Not the start Louis van Gaal and Manchester United were hoping for in the 2014-2015 season, losing at Old Trafford to Swansea for the first time in the Premier League. An early goal from Ki-Sung Yeung showed it was going to be a tough day for the hosts, but Wayne Rooney scoring an equalizer brought the hope level back up. Gylfi Sigurdsson, making his return with the Welsh club, ended those hopes of three points on the opening weekend.
Manchester United got five minutes of injury time instead of four and almost got a hand ball penalty out of it, but Mike Dean decided that it wasn’t a clear cut case and waved the play on, probably the right decision. Swansea looked better earlier on, as their compact defense had no problem dispatching the confused Manchester United players in their weird 3-4-1-2 lineup, that later on was changed to an equally ineffective 4-4-2.
There seems to be some mis-communication between defenders and midfielders, with no one dropping to be the link between the two units. That kind of mistake allowed Ki-Sung Yeung to score the opening goal, left wide open on the edge of the box and cleverly beating David de Gea with a soft shot to the corner.
The second half, with changes van Gaal made to his lineup which included Adnan Januzaj and Marouane Fellaini coming on, looked a bit better earlier on for Manchester United, scoring the equalizer in the 53rd minute, as Wayne Rooney headed the ball in after a corner kick from Mata to Phil Jones was blocked, but not well enough. Once again, the confused look on United’s players as to what they’re supposed to do returned, allowing Swansea to once again become the more dangerous team.
In the 72nd minute some poor defending from Manchester United on all accounts allowed Gylfi Sigurdsson, returning to Swansea after some disappointing time with Tottenham, to score the winning goal, left uncovered from close range inside the box. We once again saw the same frantic actions of Manchester United players, reminding us of their desperation from last season, only this time around it was less of a shocking experience.
True – This wasn’t the best lineup Manchester United could have used. However, not having Robin van Persie isn’t an excuse to look this bad and this disjointed against a much weaker rival that didn’t park the bus or come to the Theater of Dreams in order to get a 0-0 draw. Van Gaal might be a better manager than David Moyes, but not good enough to turn things around so quickly.