The Numbers Game: Lingard excels and Lukaku gets to a landmark

Man of the Match manunited.uk

GK: David de Gea (8) – Had very little to do in the first half, but made two excellent saves in quick succession in the second period to preserve his 16th clean sheet of this league campaign

RB: Antonio Valencia (7) – Got forward a lot more than in recent weeks, albeit against willing opposition. Held his own against Swansea’s limited attacking threat

CB: Victor Lindelof (7) – Solid performance from the Swede, and he accentuated his defensive contribution with some excellent passing out from the back

CB: Chris Smalling (7) – A much better showing than in recent weeks from the Englishman. Coped easily with whatever Swansea came up with; however, his passing remains a major weakness

LB: Ashley Young (7) – A typically robust performance from Young, as he got up and down his flank with regularity, supporting attacks as well as performing his defensive duties

CM: Nemanja Matic (8) – Matic controlled proceedings from the base of midfield, with his quick and accurate passing setting the tempo for United’s attacks

CM: Paul Pogba (7) – Pogba had a good game on his restoration to the side, getting away from his markers easily and playing a number of incisive passes. He should have had more of an impact closer to goal against opponents this defensive, though

RW: Juan Mata (7) – Another quietly excellent game from the Spaniard. He tracked back diligently, while his clever movement and touch prised Swansea apart on a number of occasions. Docked a point for his failure to score from a superb near-post opportunity

CAM: Jesse Lingard (9) – Ran the game. Lingard kept popping up in dangerous positions, and had a hand in both of United’s goals with clever passes. Pressed from the front, as usual

LW: Alexis Sanchez (8) – Got a goal and assist, in one of his best performances since arriving. His energy and work ethic off the ball were superb as always, while he was clinical on it, with a superb finish for his goal

CF: Romelu Lukaku (8) – Notched his 100th Premier League goal with a deflected effort early on to set United on their way. A confident performance from the Belgian, he held up play superbly and was involved in some brilliant interchanges with one-touch flicks and passes

Substitutes –

CM: Ander Herrera (6) – Came on to add some defensive solidity in midfield, although it is debatable if this was required against opponents this limited

LW: Marcus Rashford (N/A) – Provided good pace and energy down the wing

CM: Scott McTominay (N/A) – Barely had time to do anything

Man of the Match: Jesse Lingard

While Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku will grab the headlines, it was Lingard’s work that set up this win for United. It was his pass which led to Sanchez laying it on for Lukaku to score the opener, while he assisted the Chilean for the second, albeit via a deflection off a Swansea defender, which kept Sanchez onside. Lingard was a willing runner as always, looking to shut down Swansea’s attempts to pass from the back, while he linked up superbly with his fellow attackers. Lingard has gone from bench prospect to near-assured as a starter this season, and critics of his new deal a year or so ago will surely be eating their words now.

About the Author

Harshal Patel
I like to analyze and write about football tactics, or just football as well. Manchester United obsessed, and hoping that the good times return soon.