The first Premier League game of the season for Van Gaal and Manchester United, ended in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Swansea City. Wayne Rooney scored the only goal for United, in a pretty terrible game. We started with the 3-5-2 formation, but changed to 4-4-2 at half time as the 3-5-2 was really not working at all. Tyler Blackett, Jesse Lingard, and Ander Herrera all made their first starts for United too.
Its fair to say we dominated the whole game, in terms of possession and controlling the game. United started the better team, and saw much more of the ball, but we were not creating any clear cut chances. Lingard was seeing a lot of the ball down the right, in an unfamiliar role at right wing back, as he looks to impress Van Gaal. But unfortunately his chance was cut short, as he was substituted after 25 minutes due to coming off worse from a 50/50 challenge to be replaced by the new number 11, Adnan Januzaj.
Swansea began to settle into the game, but were still seeing much less of the ball. On their first real attack on 28 minutes, they scored to make it 1-0 against the run of play. Some pretty poor defending, left Ki to smartly finish from the edge of the area. United tried to get a quick reply, but were still failing to create a good chance. The attacking quality from the tour seemed a distant memory as the 3 up front were pretty poor.
At half time, United switched to a 4-4-2 with Nani coming on for Hernandez. It instantly seemed to improve and we were having much more joy going forward. United got a deserved goal on 53 minutes to equalise. A delicious corner was delivered in by Mata and it was flicked on, and Rooney smartly finished from 3 yards. We dominated for the next 15 minutes, and looked certain to be the team scoring a second goal, but failed to create many more chances. Rooney came close on 66 minutes from a free kick but hit the post.
Ander Herrera’s first appearance for United ended on 67 minutes. It was an impressive start to premier league life for Herrera, and dealt with the tough tackles the Swansea players were purposely giving him well, and his substitution was the deciding factor in the defeat.
On 72 minutes, Bony took a quick free kick and caught United out. Some poor defending eventually lead to Sigurdssqon finishing past De Gea to make it 2-1 against the run of play. United didn’t look like threatening again after this, and ended up resorting to kicking the ball up to Fellaini. We were denied a certain penalty in the dying minutes for a handball, but the game finished 2-1.
It wasn’t the start Van Gaal wanted, and wasn’t the start everybody expected, as we slumped to a 2-1 defeat. It proved to everyone, and more importantly Van Gaal, that world class signings are definitely needed in the final couple of weeks of the transfer window. There’s still a long way to go though so reds, fasten your seat belts.
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