Manchester United vs Swansea City: United denied by late Sigurðsson free kick

Match Report

A late Gylfi Sigurdsson free kick denied United all three points and the chance to move up to third position in the table. The 1-1 draw boosted Swansea’s hopes of avoiding the drop. United went ahead through a controversial Rooney penalty. However, dropping two vital points were not the only negatives from this match as Luke Shaw and Eric Bailly succumbed to injuries and went off.

United were slow out of the gates and appeared shackled as Swansea produced the first effort of the game when Ki Sung-Yueng fired over. Shortly after, Luke Shaw went to ground and could not continue on. He was replaced by Antonio Valencia with less than 10 minutes played. For the next period of the game, it was Swansea who threatened more and looked like scoring as Eric Bailly got away with a ricochet and Fernando Llorente was kept out by a smart De Gea save.

United made the first effort soon after as Martial found Lingard whose shot was kept out by a Fabianski save. Martial himself was denied by Fabianski after a trademark run and shot. But United could not keep up the momentum as Jordan Ayew forced De Gea into another stop.

In stoppage time at the end of the first half, Rashford went down rather easily under a Fabianski challenge and referee Neil Swarbrick awarded United a penalty which Rooney duly converted.

Minutes into the second half, Rooney should have had a second to double United’s lead but his shot bounced off Martial’s back. United were much better in the second half and dominated proceedings, but Swansea looked dangerous on the counter. Sigurdsson put in a brilliant cross and De Gea had to be alert to deny Llorente.

The injury jinx reared its ugly head once again as Eric Bailly hurt himself trying to win back possession and had to be replaced by Matteo Darmian. Darmian, a right back who has played most of the season at left back, took his place at the right of Blind in central defence.

Despite the setback, United continued to attack and Martial was denied again by Fabianski. The two teams continued to throw jabs at each other before Sigurdsson delivered the sucker punch. Just as he has done so well all season, Sigurdsson converted a beautiful free kick that left De Gea rooted to the spot. Herrera was standing on the line at the same spot Sigurdsson would fire moments later. However, he left his station to prevent Llorente from blocking De Gea’s view.

Swansea could have won had Llorente got the required touch from another Sigurdsson free kick. United hung on to stay in fifth place.