A new season, a new manager, a new era, but the same old United.
David Moyes has been in the press this week after questioning the way the Premier League decides its fixture list as Manchester United have been dealt a severely tough opening few matches.
Away trips to arch-rivals Liverpool and noisy neighbours City, plus a home game against Mourinho’s Chelsea all look extremely difficult – so to add an away trip to last year’s League Cup winners Swansea as the opening fixture seemed like an instant banana skin.
With an unhappy Wayne Rooney in the squad, and still no marquee signing, it was a familiar look to David Moyes’ first starting XI, opting for experience with the likes of Giggs, Ferdinand, Evra and Valencia all in the side – despite heavy summer rumours that all would be replaced with the younger players in the squad.
Despite Swansea dominating possession in the early stages, it was United who created the better of the chances, with Giggs and Welbeck both being wasteful in front of goal. With Danny Welbeck only scoring one Premier League goal throughout the whole of last season, many fans must have assumed it was to be the same this time around when Vorm saved a very tame Welbeck effort early on.
There was one very noticeable difference amongst the United side – it looked as though they had all spent hours in the gym working on size and strength. Van Persie, Ferdinand, Welbeck and Valencia all seem to have spent time building their chest, shoulders and arms.
United went in at the break two goals up after a mad few minutes. Firstly a lofted Giggs pass was controlled and put into the net by Van Persie with an excellent bicycle kick. Minutes later the Swansea defence were falling all over each other trying to deal with a cross which lead to Valencia getting in at the back post to put it on a plate for Welbeck.
Welbeck, having scored for England during the week to make it five goals in seven games for country, is often criticised for not scoring enough at club level – so this goal was vital in giving the young striker confidence.
This is an unconventional part to my Man of the Match report, but it is something we all bleat on about, day in day out, so I am going to give you my take on events, and you are going to read them… and probably slate me in the comments afterwards.
The second half saw the introduction of Wayne Rooney to a somewhat mixed reception from both home and away support.
Does he want to leave? Is it all media hype? Who knows, but what I saw from Rooney was two assists and absolutely no celebration or interaction with teams mates after goals.
The first ‘assist’ was more a pass to Van Persie who turned the Swansea defence inside out before smashing the ball into the top corner. A great piece of solo play from Robin, but none the less, Rooney was involved and did create the space and the chance for Van Persie.
The second assist was a lovely through ball for Welbeck. Now, I am confident in saying most reds anticipated this would have ended up in row Z – but having already scored a tap in, Welbeck took a quick look at Vorm’s positioning and placed a delightful, delicate lob over the keeper. A goal of Eric Cantona magnitude.
Having operated mostly from the left – young Danny tormented the Swansea defenders throughout the game. He showed lightening pace down the flank, great hold up play and a good pass. He also doubled last year’s Premier League goal tally and showed why we have always backed him! A solid man of the match performance.
Despite this not being a vintage United performance, a 4-1 away win in Moyes’ first game is a cracking result.
Was Welbeck that good or am I deluded? Have your say and leave a comment below.
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