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Swansea City v Manchester United: Manchester United disappoints in high-voltage clash
With the festive season just around the corner, the Premier League leaders' away game at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, Wales was always going to be a high-voltage clash. Swansea had already shown they weren't going to be bullied when they visited White Hart Lane last week.
A galvanized and energetic team at home, the Swans attacked the United goal thrice in a short span of the opening 10 minutes with Michu getting the better of Vidic twice.
Despite Patrice Evra drawing first blood by losing his marker and heading in a well-taken Van Persie corner, the United back four were clearly rattled by the quick slick passing between the Swans frontline. United defenders had a narrow escape when Michu stood his ground just outside the United box blocking Johnny Evans from running into the advancing De Guzman who put it into the United net only for the goal to be disallowed as the body-block by Michu was deemed a foul.
Michu then showed his class by calmly tapping in a rebound off David DeGea when De Guzman drilled in a shot on target thus nullifying Evra's strike. With that goal he re- justified what a good buy he has been for the Wales football club.
The first half belonged to the Swans with De Guzman, Dwyer, Routledge and the omnipresent Michu tormenting the United back line. Manchester United actually appeared a shade slower than the home team .However United finished the final moments of the opening half strongly with Rooney's shot from within the box being collected cleanly by Michel Vorm, the Swans Dutch goalkeeper. At the half time whistle Sir Alex's face was a picture of muted concern.
The second half belonged to Man.United who suddenly stepped up a few gears while the Swans inexplicably dropped down a gear and turned more defensive. A much sharper Man.United mounted several attacks including a Michael Carrick header from a corner which met with a superb save from Vorm.
United's frustration as they missed more and more close chances from good positions elevated tempers among both teams. With neither Rooney nor Van Persie meeting with any success Javier Hernandez was introduced into the attack and Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes thrown in to strengthen the midfield. With the Swans now playing deep into their own half to defend strongly, the closing whistle saw Sir Alex Ferguson shaking his head in disbelief.
Swansea are now 11th placed in the League standings, definitely not a side to be taken lightly. Manchester United's 4 point lead over their city rivals could disappear quickly if they don't take their game a couple of notches higher very soon.
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