FA Cup Match Report: Manchester United 1-2 Swansea City

Manchester United 1-2 Swansea City

I’ve become fed up of commenting this season on how United fell to defeat at home to an organised but fairly unremarkable visiting side, but unfortunately that’s what happened again.  The only slight difference is that the Swans probably would have settled for a draw had Fabio’s wild challenge not left United with only ten men and clearly there for the taking.  While United could have done without a cup replay in an already busy January fixture list, this was far worse.

Although United enjoyed the best of the early possession, they went behind immediately after missing a clear chance when Chicharito scuffed a shot from the kind of position in which he’d normally be ruthless.  From there, Swansea went up the other end and took the lead, Routledge finding himself with only Lindegaard to beat and calmly looping the ball over the keeper.  Thankfully, the Mexican was given the opportunity make amends for his earlier miss in the sixteenth minute when he found himself on the end of an excellent Buttner cross and this time made no mistake.

Although Chicharito put his awkward start behind him and became an increasing threat to the Swansea defence as the half went on, a further chance falling to him when he latched onto a long ball from Evans only to fire his volley wide, the partnership with Welbeck up front never looked promising.  While Buttner continued to supply repeated ammunition from the left and Fletcher alternately broke down and set up play from midfield, United looked in a position to take more of a grip on the game in the run up to half-time.   Frustratingly, the Reds failed to build on this in the second half and the extra body in the Swansea midfield allowed the visitors to keep United at bay for long periods.

Not only that, but by cutting off the supply route to Chicharito, and getting tight on Fletcher, the Swans effectively nullified what had been the only sources of danger.  Things got worse for United when Ferdinand was forced off through injury and then his replacement, Fabio, was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge within minutes of his arrival.  Those United fans who repeatedly ask why the Brazilian doesn’t get more games may find their answer in a challenge that, while not malicious, was impetuous and ugly in an area of the field where there was no danger whatsoever: in short, it exuded an inexcusable naivety at this level.  Already finding it difficult to find space in midfield, the Reds were now presented with the problem of doing so with ten men.   Swansea signalled their own intentions by putting on an extra forward to put further pressure on the patched-up United side.

For a while it looked as it United would hold out and head for a replay at a ground that, much like our own, hasn’t exactly been a fortress this season, but Bony popped up with a decisive header to give the Welsh side victory and consign the Reds to an early dismissal from the FA Cup.  It was, needless to say, another depressing afternoon at an Old Trafford that has now witnessed only one home win (to a hapless West Ham side) alongside four defeats in the last five domestic fixtures.


  1. Your opening sentence sums it all up very well.

    In his post-match interview Moyes said that he wanted more consistency from the team. Unfortunately he is getting it but not in the way he wants. There is a pattern emerging especially in these home games and United seem unable to change things around.

    Of the not so regulars, Buttner is a real Jekyll and Hyde. He is good at whipping in pacy, curling crosses but his defensive skills are weak. Though scoring, Hernandez looks out of touch. He is energetic but lacks a bit of composure at times. As one of those people who wanted Fabio to play, perhaps it’s a matter of ‘be careful what you wish for’. His cameo performance was a disaster; waiting all that time for a game, and then letting over-enthusiasm get the better of him. Will we see him again in a Moyes team? Ironically, the other forgotten man, Wilfred Zaha was about to come on, but the sending off changed that.

    Swansea at home again on the weekend, let’s hope it’s not Ground Hog Day.

  2. united dont really need to buy any more players, yes we have been hit hard by injuries, but moyes effectively has an even stronger squad then what ferggie had last season.

    the reason we are failing so badly is because moyes is idiotic in his team selection and blind to simple match tactics.

    firstly i have said this loads of tiems already… ferdinand is past it!

    i have never been a fan of evans and he keeps proving this to me time and time again. yes he can make a last ditch tackle, but his confidence on the ball and decision making can be sooooo costly… and he is an incredibly lazy defender at tracking players. i mean the first goal was a complete sham! and for all the criticisms that he has taken, buttner saved his lazy ass at least twice in the match!

    secondly moyes loves playing two defensive central midfielders. and for some reason utd fans keep asking for this in their own opinion of team selections. cleverley and carrick, cleverley and fletcher, fletcher and carrick… ALL TERRIBLE!!! they are holding players that prefer to try and make ling balls, distributing out wide. this is why of the millionth and one time i will say shinji needs to be our central midfielder. against swansea shinji wascentral to two fantastic interplays with hernandez and wellbeck that were incredibly unlucky not to at least produce a shot, he was turning players for a joke and creating loads of space… but because hes played as a winger, and everyone knows it just pass to the right wing, our opponents are flooding the one wing with players so there is nobody to pass to. at least if shinji starts central, and we keep two wingers we can try and stretch their defence. we need two strikers, and we need to wingers, and we need a holding player to support the defence and shinji to try and influence play.

    evans needs to get the boot until he stops being so lazy (because i can see he has potential) and ideally smalling and jones need to be played as our main central pair.

    fabio… idiotic foul to concede but its gonna happen. and he needs to learn. after all all great players have had silly red card moments, its learning from it what needs to be done. look at rafael and even vidic. they have had their red cards and they have and currently have great football careers. i feel bad criticising fabio to much because i believe he can be just as great as his twin.

    ideally we could do with a second attacking central midfielder, but we need to build the midfield around shinji!!! the guy has barely played centrally in over a year, so yes he may need a little time to adjust, but he can offer so much creatively!!

    utd have no shape, and by only playing attacking wingers we lose any ability to be unpredictable. at the moment im shocked we manage to score because we are the most predictable team ever.. its simply pass the ball to the wings. which is simply childs play.

    but the most annoying thing is that i actually think i saw zaha about to come on before fabio got sent off!!! ARGHHHHHH!!! lol

  3. Even the manager admits United are not good enough.Swansea have a worse form than United,they are really good at pingpong yet they managed a couple of good goals.Yes United were missing VP,Roon and Forlorn laini and where was Nani but even so Fergie might have got a result.Does,nt look like Moyes is gonna get the Cash.Bet there is a manager out there that could get if not technical but MORE tactical competence out of the motley crew.

  4. Smaller team which face bad form come to played against united they win and gain confident of winning the next game. Shame moyes out why u ruin the team

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