Premier League
SwanseaSwansea City2Man UtdManchester United1

Swansea City 2-1 Manchester United

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport at the Liberty Stadium
Andre Ayew and Michael Carrick
Andre Ayew signed for Swansea on a free transfer in June after his contract at Marseille expired

Swansea City staged a stirring comeback to inflict a first defeat of the season on Manchester United.

After the Swans had edged a goalless first half, United took the lead early in the second as Luke Shaw's marauding run and cross set up Juan Mata to blast in from close range.

Andre Ayew headed the hosts level after a swift counter-attack as United conceded their first league goal of the season.

Ayew then provided a marvellous pass for Bafetimbi Gomis, whose shot squirmed under Sergio Romero to give Swansea a third straight win against United.

Having done the double against United for the first time last season, Garry Monk's side became only the sixth team to claim three successive league victories against the Red Devils.

For visiting manager Louis van Gaal, a first loss of the campaign was a miserable way to mark his 50th game in charge.

United's defensive fragility

With both teams protecting unbeaten starts to the season, there was a bristling intensity to the early exchanges.

United had not conceded in their opening three matches, but that record was under threat as Swansea pressed with chances for Gomis and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Gylfi Sigurdsson shoots wide for Swansea
Swansea had just 37% of the possession in the first half but came close through Gylfi Sigurdsson

Daley Blind, a midfielder currently playing at centre-back, offered little resistance as Gomis skipped past him and his central defensive colleague Chris Smalling before clipping the post with a delicate low shot.

Those fragilities were eventually exposed when Ayew and Gomis took advantage of slack marking and dubious goalkeeping to put Swansea ahead.

Monk's masterstroke

There may have been a few eyebrows raised when, with his team trailing after 57 minutes, Monk replaced winger Wayne Routledge with midfielder Ki Sung-yueng.

But the switch to a midfield diamond was vindicated after just four minutes as Ashley Williams strode out of defence and freed Sigurdsson, whose precise cross found Ayew for Swansea's equaliser.

The hosts were ahead four minutes later, as Ayew's artful through-ball with the outside of his foot found Gomis, whose low finish beyond Romero sent the Liberty Stadium crowd wild and gave Monk the satisfaction of a tactical alteration paying off in style.

Van Gaal's midfield headache

United's two changes from the midweek Champions League win at Club Brugge saw Van Gaal recall two of his highest-profile summer signings, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin.

That pushed fellow central midfielder Ander Herrera into a more advanced role behind striker Wayne Rooney, but United struggled for fluency.

The one positive was another bright display from Mata but, playing in his unfavoured position wide on the right, he was substituted after 70 minutes.

Touch maps for Wayne Rooney, Diego Costa and Christian Benteke
Wayne Rooney (left) had half the number of touches in and around the penalty box that Chelsea striker Diego Costa (centre) and Liverpool forward Christian Benteke (right) managed in their teams' games this weekend

Man of the match: Andre Ayew

Andre Ayew
The tireless Ghanaian forward was a constant menace, taking his goal well and providing a superb pass for Gomis's winner

Post-match reaction:

Swansea manager Garry Monk: "It was an amazing atmosphere. The first half, Manchester United played very well and made it very difficult for us.

"We showed our character. I don't think we were at our best, but we were organised and kept our shape.

"They were causing us problems centrally. I changed it with four midfielders inside and that allowed us to get into the game."

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal: "We controlled the game for 85 minutes but we lost in five minutes and that cannot happen.

Van Gaal believes his side were unlucky to lose

"They changed the shape and we had to be compact. We forgot that maybe because we are too dominant. We have to learn from that.

"First you have to create chances, with scoring goals you need luck that we don't have at the moment.

"I have enjoyed our football but you need the result and we lost again. All the players were very motivated to beat them."

Pundit analysis

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright on BBC Radio 5 live: "I haven't got a clue what Van Gaal is trying to do. What's their system? Surely Manchester United have got to play with a bit more pace and thrust and tempo. They seemed desperate."

The stats you need to know

  • Swansea have won four of the last five meetings with Manchester United in all competitions, all by a 2-1 scoreline.
  • Manchester United's last two Premier League defeats from leading positions have both come against Swansea City.
  • Andre Ayew has scored in both of his Premier League appearances at the Liberty Stadium. He also provided the assist for Gomis' strike.
  • Bafetimbi Gomis has scored nine goals in his last 10 Premier League games for Swansea.
  • Gomis is the first Swansea player to score in each of their opening four games of a Premier League season.
  • Gylfi Sigurdsson has provided 14 Premier League assists for Swansea; more than any other player.
  • Luke Shaw provided his first Premier League assist for Manchester United in what was his 20th appearance.
  • It is only the second time in his career that Wayne Rooney has gone 10 Premier League games without a goal. The previous occasion was between August and December 2003 while at Everton. Rooney's current goal drought stands at 864 minutes.

What's next?

The international break allows both teams to take stock. Once the Premier League returns, Manchester United take on north-west rivals Liverpool in the tea-time game on Saturday, 12 September.

Swansea will travel away to Watford earlier in the day.



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Fabianski
  • 26Naughton
  • 33Fernandez
  • 6Williams
  • 3Taylor
  • 24Cork
  • 8ShelveyBooked at 80minsSubstituted forBartleyat 89'minutes
  • 10A Ayew
  • 23G Sigurdsson
  • 15RoutledgeBooked at 43minsSubstituted forKi Sung-yuengat 58'minutes
  • 18GomisSubstituted forMacedo Lopesat 81'minutes


  • 4Ki Sung-yueng
  • 12Dyer
  • 13Nordfeldt
  • 14Tabanou
  • 17Macedo Lopes
  • 22Rangel
  • 27Bartley

Man Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 20Romero
  • 36Darmian
  • 12Smalling
  • 17Blind
  • 23Shaw
  • 28SchneiderlinBooked at 38minsSubstituted forCarrickat 70'minutes
  • 31Schweinsteiger
  • 8MataSubstituted forYoungat 70'minutes
  • 21HerreraSubstituted forFellainiat 77'minutes
  • 7DepayBooked at 41mins
  • 10Rooney


  • 14Hernández
  • 16Carrick
  • 18Young
  • 25A Valencia
  • 27Fellaini
  • 33McNair
  • 50Johnstone
Martin Atkinson

Match Stats

Home TeamSwanseaAway TeamMan Utd
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Swansea City 2, Manchester United 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Swansea City 2, Manchester United 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Luke Shaw (Manchester United).

  4. Post update

    André Ayew (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Chris Smalling (Manchester United).

  6. Post update

    Eder (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Swansea City. Kyle Bartley replaces Jonjo Shelvey.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United).

  9. Post update

    Jack Cork (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Offside, Manchester United. Daley Blind tries a through ball, but Marouane Fellaini is caught offside.

  11. Post update

    Memphis Depay (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Kyle Naughton (Swansea City).

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Swansea City. Eder replaces Bafétimbi Gomis.

  14. Booking

    Jonjo Shelvey (Swansea City) is shown the yellow card.

  15. Post update

    Offside, Swansea City. Ki Sung-yueng tries a through ball, but Jonjo Shelvey is caught offside.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United. Marouane Fellaini replaces Ander Herrera.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Memphis Depay (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ashley Young with a cross.

  18. Post update

    Memphis Depay (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Kyle Naughton (Swansea City).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United. Michael Carrick replaces Morgan Schneiderlin.

As It Stood

1Man City44001001012
2Crystal Palace43018539
5Man Utd42113217
8West Ham42029636
12Aston Villa411245-14
15West Brom411236-34
View full Premier League table

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