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What We Learned: Swansea City 2-1 Manchester United – Barclays Premier League

Permission to go to the pub and drown our sorrows? Here’s what we learned this afternoon at the Liberty Stadium.

Poor Defending Costs Us Again

An obvious statement I know, but we have escaped at times this season. Unfortunately, it was Luke Shaw culpable for the first goal, Sung-Yueng Ki escaped his attentions far too easily. It happened again shortly after the restart, he was perhaps unfortunate to come off, but only because he attacked well. Paddy McNair didn’t have the best game, he looked too weak (but that I will get into a bit later). The second was just a case of not closing Shelvey quickly enough, whether we like to admit it or not he does have a cracking shot on him so he has to be closed down in that area. The deflection is just unlucky, you can’t plan for that.

Weak Players

As alluded to, Paddy McNair was not strong enough. I think it was Jonjo Shelvey down in the corner that just brushed him off and easily let it to run for a goal kick. Angel Di Maria was bullied off the ball all too easily, all too regularly. Comparisons to Ronaldo are foolish I know, but in the situations Di Maria found himself, Cristiano Ronaldo would have bounced the defender away and burst on. Something needs working on there.

Amidst The Bad Was Good Play

Some of the football in the first half especially was sumptuous. The build up play for the goal was absolutely magical, the link up and swift passing was exactly why people saying its been ‘as bad as Moyes’ need to go in the bin. And there were plenty of examples throughout, one-two’s and one touch passing a plenty but with absolutely no fruition bar the goal. It looked gorgeous but has to have an end product otherwise you’d be as well lumping it to Fellaini every time, it really is pointless.

Conclusion

I was struggling for ideas if I’m honest. Normally there are standout points during the game to comment on, but there wasn’t really one point, there were a host of things. Robin van Persie was getting chances again, but his inability to convert shows what I’ve been going on about for months now – he is not the player we signed anymore. I would have liked to have seen Radamel Falcao on for him. Juan Mata getting about seven minutes to influence a game is a ridiculous ask for the Spaniard. I can’t think of many players capable of doing it, there was 15 minutes after the goal to give him a chance. Antonio Valencia played OK, Ashley Young is proving everyone wrong with a succession of solid performances. Another enigma is why Ander Herrera hasn’t started more games, another great game.

David De Gea was a spectator for the most part, and was given no chance with either goal. Possession in our favour for absolutely nothing is infuriating, but there were signs again that things are coming together for Louis van Gaal. I just hope it slots together before the end of the season, no European football next season could well break us. It’s a rollercoaster that’s for sure.

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