Manchester United finally won in the Premier League, extending Bob Bradley’s winless Swansea record to four games. The match, which would have been much more interesting if Ryan Giggs ended up becoming Swansea boss, was commenced with a ridiculous effort on goal from Paul Pogba, who scored a volley from outside the 18-yard-box. Then, two Zlatan Ibrahimovic goals secured the match with two surprise assists from Wayne Rooney, who played well throughout the match for the first time this season.
Manchester United got off to a good start as a throw-in routine from Matteo Darmian and Paul Pogba allowed Wayne Rooney to have a run and take a shot on goal. Rooney’s shot was off, but the initial run from the Englishman was very good in the second minute of the match.
It took 10 minutes for something else relevant to happen, but when it came, it was worth the wait. Pogba sent a ball over the top to Wayne Rooney, who put in a quick cross that was cleared by the Swansea defence, but only as far as Pogba outside the box. The Frenchman struck a spinning side volley into the top corner of the net, silencing his critics with incredible precision. That was easily the goal of the season for United so far from Pogba, who looked incredibly up for the game.
Matters got even better in the 21st minute, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic picked the ball up just outside the box and flashed a shot into the bottom corner. Finally ending his goal drought, Ibrahimovic seemed relieved to be able to celebrate a goal.
Ibrahimovic made it 3-0 in the 33rd minute with another goal after Wayne Rooney put him through to finish. Ibrahimovic, having a great half, was joined by Rooney, who has also been very good. It became a matter of by how many, and not if, at the half hour.
Everything remained calm until half time, and Mourinho would undoubtedly have been satisfied with United’s performance for the first time in a while. United looked calm in possession, clinical in attack and put their opponents to bed in the first half without getting out of first gear.
In the second half, Jefferson Montero and Modou Barrow came on for Swansea, in an effort to add pace on the counter for Swansea. United seemed content with allowing them to attack, and they had a few chances in the opening twenty minutes of the second half.
Swansea was rewarded for their efforts with a goal from Mike van der Hoorn, from a Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick. Naturally, in the 69th minute, it was going to be the Icelandic creator if anything positive happened to Swansea. It was upsetting not to see United attacking the game the way they did in the first.
All of a sudden, everything became a little bit dangerous for United, as their failure to attack the lead and earn more goals allowed Swansea to become a dominant force in the game. In this, the problems presented in playing midfielders like Fellaini and Rooney, who are not progressive enough to reverse the tides when things go wrong, were revealed.
Ibrahimovic received a yellow card, ruling him out of United’s clash next week with Arsenal, but just then, Rooney almost created another goal for Juan Mata, who managed to get his shot very close to the target despite having a very narrow angle.
That marked the end of the game, though, and while United put three effortless goals into the back of the net, earning three points for their efforts, it would have been nice to see them try to really put Swansea away. In addition, Ibrahimovic could have been a weapon against Arsenal, and should’ve been substituted, but he did nothing to prevent himself from being carded when the match was already over.
Goals: Paul Pogba 15′, Zlatan Ibrahimovic 21′, 33′
Assists: Wayne Rooney 21′, 33′
Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Jones, Rojo, Darmian; Carrick, Fellaini; Mata (Lingard 81′), Pogba (Fosu-Mensah 90+4′), Rooney (Schneiderlin 89′); Ibrahimovic
Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Blind, Martial, Rashford
Bookings: Zlatan Ibrahimovic 76′, Juan Mata 80′