Manchester United needed to correct their recent run of poor form against the Swans and more importantly badly needed 3 points from a Premier League win after going on a 4 game winless streak. Fortunately for Jose Mourinho and his side they managed to do both on a crisp Sunday afternoon in South Wales as they won convincingly 3-1.
Jose Mourinho went with a tried and tested group of players as he made 6 changes from the Europa League on Thursday night. He recalled Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata in midfield while he used Phil Jones (who has not even been training regularly) in the centre of defense as Ashley Young played right-back and Zlatan Ibrahimovic was brought back into the attack. The boss stuck with Rooney and moved Matteo Darmian to left-back while Marcus Rojo moved to partner Jones in central defense.
Most United fans felt that Zlatan was overdue to score and his class had to bring goals and so it proved on Sunday as after Paul Pogba had put the Reds 1-0 up with an unstoppable strike from outside the box, the striker scored the landmark 25,000th goal of the Premier League since it’s formation and he added a second all before half-time. Speaking about his 6 game Premier League drought, as the BBC reported Zlatan said,
“I wasn’t worried. As long as you create the chances, which I have been doing, the goals will come. But the most important thing is the win. The goals will come.”
Jose Mourinho has been a constant backer of the Swedish legend and despite his lack of goals has called the attitude of Zlatan “brilliant”. The return to the starting Premier League XI for Wayne Rooney was earned after his fine goal against Fenerbahce and the captain looked something close to his best as he had a hand in all 3 goals which helped him to be selected as man-of-the-match which shows how well he really played. The inclusion of Michael Carrick cannot be under-estimated as United always look a more composed side with him in it and it is no surprise that their results and certainly their performances improve when Carrick is used.
Getting the first goal courtesy of Pogba’s undeniably fine strike was important for 2 reasons it meant that United never trailed and it came early so Mourinho’s men were able to play in the lead for pretty much the whole game. Despite conceding a consolation goal when Swansea’s van der Hoorn scored on 69 minutes United never looked like losing to Bob Bradley’s men.
After the game the United boss had this to say about his side,
“We were really impressive in our control of the game. We controlled it by having a lot of the ball and hurting the opponent when we could.
“Credit to my defensive line – Ashley Young is not a right-back, Matteo Darmian is not a left-back, Phil Jones was a great guy to make himself available for the team even without training for months.
“We needed these three points after losing two against Burnley at home. This was the best way to end the period before the internationals.”
So as the manager said it would have been a long international-break with a loss to Swansea City sitting in their minds but they avoided that possible frustration as the Red-Devils made a mockery of their recent issues and lack of goals as they bulged the net 3 times and dominated the game pretty much throughout. The bad news for United is that in their first game back after the break they are scheduled to play Wenger’s Arsenal and sadly Zlat’s is unavailable after picking up a yellow card vs the Swans. So things look better for United after they scored a few goals and won convincingly. Sadly Bradley’s Swansea have many problems to address not least the lack of goals in the team.