Manchester United scored only the second goal that Swansea City have conceded at home to scrape a win at the Liberty Stadium. United, unfortunately this has to be said too often, lacked flair and creativity in Swansea’s half however can still be pleased to have taken a win in a fixture which is proving difficult for many teams.
United went ahead early on when Angel Rangel sloppily gave the ball to Ryan Giggs who was able to break into the Swansea area and find Hernandez, who did what he does best and took his chance beating Vorm in the Swansea net.
United were not able to build on their goal and failed to pressurise the Swansea defence too much. Rather it was the other way round, as unexpected as that might be. Swansea played without fear as they ran at the United defence, fighting at every scrap of ball they could. The United defence had to stay strong to hold off the advancing Swansea. Despite a couple of scares the back line held firm to take the three points.
Whilst no player particularly outshone it was pleasing to see a solid performance from Michael Carrick. The out of favour midfielder made a rare start in a side missing players to injury. Carrick has endured a torrid time at United over the past couple of seasons, he went from Mr consistency to the team’s scapegoat. As a player who could break down attacks and link the areas of the team together with his clever passing he was a key member of the starting United line up. However Carrick’s career at United turned sour as he became sloppy in his role allowing him to be the blame for many mistakes within the team.
Carrick sat in front of the pressurised defence against Swansea. This role allowed him to help in closing down the attackers and breaking up the attacks, a very helpful quality at times when the battle between Swansea’s attack and the United defence became scruffy.
Whilst the United midfield has struggled to start attacks the inclusion of Carrick did help the side win the ball and build from the back. Whenever Carrick was on the ball his passing was generally tidy and accurate.
Having Carrick sat in front of the backline gave support for the defence to offload the ball immediately and have Carrick distribute the ball out. It was unfortunate that the flair was lacking from the United attack and so Carrick’s on-form passing was often wasted.
At a time when many are calling out for a new face in the centre of Manchester United’s midfield and the inspirational Tom Cleverley is missing it was a breath of fresh air to see Michael Carrick step up and settle back into his old role.