Disappointing. Swansea were always going to have a lot of possession and so it proved in the early exchanges as Wayne Routledge was able to fire them in front after a lovely through ball split Manchester United’s defence.
However, United replied almost immediately through a smart Javier Hernandez finish after a great Alexander Buttner cross. It was a perfect response to going behind and the remainder of the first saw United increase the pressure on Swansea.
That trend continued in the second half as Swansea were pegged back by United who looked hungry to score a second but for all our positive play at the start, it all unravelled in the last 15 minutes.
A red card for Fabio started the demise and in the 90th minute, Wilfried Bony headed home the winner. We’re out of the FA Cup in the third round for the first time in four years.
Pressure is mounting. David Moyes has been up against it since a poor start to the season but it is only getting worse for him and United and today’s loss against Swansea isn’t going to help.
United limped to their fifth defeat at Old Trafford against a Swansea side who were up for it but certainly beatable if we played better, but we didn’t. The squad may have plenty of injuries but we still have the quality in the team to win at home against Swansea, at least we do on paper.
A chorus of boos from the fans that stayed until the final whistle sums up the feeling amongst a lot of United fans right now. All is not well.
Chicharito now needs to kick into gear. In the past couple of years, Chicharito always had an innate ability to score when he played no matter how little game time he had been getting. That trait disappeared this season.
The usually confident Hernandez has been a shadow of himself this year but it looked like all he needed was a goal to inject some confidence back into his game – let’s hope that today is the turning point.
That was Chicharito’s fist goal since October and in a World Cup year, he needs to improve his performances.
Fair play to Buttner. I’m still not convinced that Buttner is good enough to be Patrice Evra’s long term replacement but his performance against Swansea was very good.
The most impressive aspect was his delivery into the box. It was his whipped cross that Hernandez got on the end of to equalise and there were plenty of other occasions where his cross was right on the money.
As well as being impressive in attack, Buttner was reliable in defence and a last ditch tackle to stop Wilfried Bony being straight through on goal in the 80th minute was extremely well timed.
Fabio, Fabio, Fabio. In Rafael’s absence, plenty of United fans had been calling for Fabio to be played at right-back instead of Chris Smalling or Antonio Valencia and he got his chance for the last 15 minutes after Rio Ferdinand picked up an injury.
However, he was sent off just as quickly as he had been sent on after Mike Dean felt his lunge on Canas was strong enough to warrant a red card.
As far as taking your chances go, that was suicide from Fabio. He was too eager to get the ball and won’t get any nearer to Moyes’ good books after that tackle.