Swansea took on Manchester United in the first of today’s minute-by-minute liveblogs.
Hello, and welcome to today’s first liveblog. Swansea have already upset Arsenal this season. Can they do the same to United?
Here are the teams:
Swansea: Vorm, Tiendalli, Chico, Williams, Davies, Dyer, Britton, Agustien, de Guzman, Routledge, Michu. Subs: Tremmel, Graham, Monk, Shechter, Moore, Ki, Richards.
Man Utd: De Gea, Jones, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Young, Rooney, van Persie. Subs: Lindegaard, Giggs, Hernandez, Welbeck, Scholes, Fletcher, Buttner.
According to Sky, United have had “the highest scoring games” in the Premier League this season.
Cue: a dull 0-0 draw.
It’s been a lively start to the game.
Evra appeals for a penalty after his attempted cross appears to strike the hand of a Swansea defender.
It doesn’t look deliberate based on replays, thus proving the referee correct in waving away the French defender’s claims.
Swansea are starting to look impressive, passing the ball intelligently in United’s final third.
They’ve yet to create a clear chance though.
A great long ball over the top of the defence from Agustien allows Michu to sprint away from Vidic.
However, the in-form Spanish attacker shows an uncharacteristic lack of composure, blasting it well wide.
Shortly thereafter, another promising Swansea attack ends with Routledge’s disappointingly tame finish.
Swansea look the better team at the moment, as they constantly pose a threat on the counter-attack.
Vidic meanwhile, on his return, looks a little rusty and sluggish at times.
It’ll be interesting to see whether Michu can take advantage of United’s fallibilities in defence.
GOAL FOR MAN UNITED!
United 1-0 Swansea: Somewhat against the run of play, United take the lead (15 mins).
A corner is flighted in and Evra heads powerfully home.
Questions must be asked of Britton though, who possibly could have done more to prevent it going in on the goal-line.
United have been much better since scoring.
There’s been some neat passing from the visitors, with Michael Carrick beginning to pull the strings in midfield.
It’s also been a pretty entertaining opening 25 minutes.
GOAL FOR SWANSEA!
Swansea 1-1 United: De Guzman is played through cleverly by Routledge, and his shot is well saved by De Gea, but Michu (who else?) is on hand to tap in the rebound (28 mins).
It’s probably deserved for the Welsh side, who have showed a brave willingness to attack United throughout this game so far.
Bring back John O’Shea…
The most satisfying aspect of this game is probably been the fact that both teams have consistently tried to play positive, passing football.
It’s been very attractive to watch as a result.
Evra breaks forward into the box and pulls it back to Rooney, but his shot is straight at the goalkeeper.
The England striker has not looked at his best today.
HALF-TIME: SWANSEA 1-1 MANCHESTER UNITED
So at half-time, United look set for an archetypal Fergie dressing down.
The visitors were second best for most of that first half, with their defence struggling to cope with the speed and quickness of thought of Swansea’s attackers.
Swansea, meawhile, have been typically effervescent in their opponents’ final third, though their susceptibility at set pieces has threatened to undo their good work.
United may be tempted to bring Scholes off the bench after the break, as they bid to gain greater control over the midfield area.
While we’re waiting for the second half to begin, we might as well conduct a quick poll.
Which area do you think Man United would best advised to invest in in January?
The second half is underway…
(A pic of Evra’s first-half goal – JON SUPER/AP/Press Association Images)
Again Wayne Rooney fails to show his usual sharpness.
Despite finding himself in a promising position, he is slow to react, allowing the defender to get into position to block his shot.
United are beginning to open up Swansea at will now, and another goal looks inevitable.
The impressive Williams has to make a last-ditch block to stop Ashley Young’s effort from threatening the goal.
There perhaps has not been as many chances as the first half, but this game is still being played at a frantic pace.
Meanwhile, rather hilariously, the referee accidentally treads on de Guzman’s toe as the player appeals his decision.
Hernandez is on for United in place of Valencia, with Rooney dropping into midfield.
And for Swansea, Ki has replaced Britton.
Good ball in from Rooney, and Van Persie hits the bar with a well-executed volley.
United are beginning to dominate this game, both in terms of possession and territory.
Swansea substitution, as Moore comes on for De Guzman.
Perhaps Laudrup senses that this game is getting away from Swansea.
There’s some handbags on the edge of the box, and Van Persie tangles with a few Swansea players.
The Dutchman had just won a free kick on the edge of the box.
Williams and Van Persie are both consequently booked.
Right after hitting a free kick straight into the wall, Rooney is put out of his misery and replaced by Giggs.
Shortly thereafter, Carrick hits the bar with a header from a corner.
With ten minutes remaining, both sides look as if they’re still trying to win this game rather than settling for a point.
Ashley Young’s goal-bound effort has just been cleared off the line, with United players optimistically claiming for a handball and a penalty.
Confirmation of Rooney’s appalling performance today.
Ryan Giggs has now been joined by fellow veteran Paul Scholes in the United midfield.
In addition, Shechter has come on for Agustien, as Swansea make a positive change.
We’re into four minutes of injury time now.
Swansea look solid at the moment, but United always seem to prevail in these situations.
Swansea’s Kemy Agustien has just deservedly been named Man of the Match.
And it looks like the hosts are set to claim a point.
FULL-TIME: SWANSEA 1-1 MANCHESTER UNITED
(Swansea City’s Ben Davies (left) and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney (right) battle for the ball – Nigel French/EMPICS Sport)
So Swansea pick up their first-ever point against United, and it was probably just about deserved.
Their determined defending and accomplished organisation ultimately saw them through.
United, meanwhile, will be hugely disappointed with the outcome.
Unusually, they failed to build on going a goal ahead. And furthermore, the performances of both their defence and Wayne Rooney will be of great concern to Alex Ferguson.
Right, that’s all from me for now.
However, you can follow our Chelsea-Villa liveblog with Ben Blake right here.
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