After a stalemate Manchester derby on Thursday night, the Red Devils fluffed their lines once again today against Swansea City, by drawing on home turf this time, denting their hopes of finishing in the top 4 in the process, and not showing any of the combative spirit which they once had under a certain SAF even when things were clearly not in their favour.
United had a sluggish start, with Shaw leaving the field after only 9 minutes, while the Swans looked the better team for the opening quarter of an hour as the Red Devils clearly struggled in midfield to keep possession, just like in the match against Man City on Thursday. Lingard made a first attempt for United on goal on the 17th minute, but his volley following Martial’s cross was well blocked by the keeper. United were caught out themselves at the other end, as De Gea had to produce a fine save to keep out Ayew’s effort. The game looked to be headed for a 0-0 scoreline at half-time, until a controversial decision from the referee gifted a generous penalty to the Red Devils. Rashford made a dash in the box, but looked to have pushed the ball too far, while Fabianski raced out to meet him, but despite going on the ground, did not make any real contact with the former, who instead had his foot striking minimally the keeper’s restrained hand. However Rashford went down and looked in pain, which made the referee give the decision in his favour. Rooney stepped up to take the resulting penalty kick, and calmly wrong-footed Fabianski for an undeserved goal.
United looked better in the second half as Rooney had a clear chance denied by Martial’s back, but more woes were awaiting as Bailly had to leave the field with a knock, substituted by Darmian. Sigurdsson then wasted a chance for Swansea as United’s backline struggled, but eventually made amends on the 79th minute following a free-kick from 20 yards out. A defensive mix-up involving Herrera proved to be vital here, as he was initially sent on the near post to provide cover, but somehow he made his way to the wall again just before the free-kick was taken, and Sigurdsson showed no mercy by curling in a beauty in the same spot which Herrera was occupying seconds earlier, and which left De Gea rooted to his spot watching the ball fly in for the equalizer. United could not muster any reply at the other end, and the final whistle was greeted with huge frustration by the home fans, as yet another opportunity to climb up the table slipped away for the Red Devils, while Swansea are still left fighting to avoid a possible relegation.