Swans v Man Utd: Ayew Sparks Superb Swansea Fightback



Swansea City 2-1 Manchester United

SWANSEA made it three straight Premier League victories in a row over Manchester United as an Andre Ayew inspired fightback saw Garry Monk’s men come from a goal down to win at the Liberty Stadium.

Juan Mata had given the visitors the lead just after the break, but Ayew levelled matters when he headed home a Gylfi Sigurdsson cross, before the Ghanaian sublimely set up the winner for Bafetimbi Gomis.

It ensured the Swans maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign, propelling them to fourth in the table in the process.

Monk’s men were dealt a blow on the eve of the game when in-form winger Jefferson Montero withdrew with a thigh injury – and it was the Red Devils who made the sharper start as Memphis saw his low free kick palmed away by Lukasz Fabianski.

Mata fired a low shot narrowly wide before Luke Shaw played in Wayne Rooney, but the United skipper hesitated at the crucial moment and was dispossessed by Ashley Williams.

But after struggling to create much in the way of openings in the first 25 minutes, the Swans then burst into life with four good chances in quick succession.

Gomis half volleyed wide after latching onto Aye’s lofted pass – before a Jonjo Shelvey free kick was touched on by the Frenchman into path of Sigurdsson, who dragged his shot wide with the goal gaping.

United keeper Sergio Romero, who went into the game on the back of three straight clean sheets in the league, then mishit a clearance into the path of Shelvey, but the midfielder could only put his lobbed effort straight into the hands of the Argentinian.

The home side continued to press and Gomis did brilliantly to turn past Daley Blind and Chris Smalling in the area, only to see his sliding effort strike the face of the post.

Smalling then appeared lucky not to be penalised after lunging in on Cork, and it could have proved pivotal as seconds after referee Martin Atkinson waved play on, the centre back headed into the path of Rooney – who could only volley tamely over the bar.

However, four minutes into the second half, Louis Van Gaal’s men broke the deadlock when Shaw skipped past Kyle Naughton, and his clipped left foot cross found its way to Mata at the back post, and the Spaniard fired high into the net.

Just two minutes later United so nearly doubled the lead when a Memphis cross deflected off Williams, forcing Fabianski into a one handed save.

Mata threatened again as his near post effort was gathered by Fabianski at the second attempt – but just as United were beginning to look increasingly dangerous, they were left stunned as the Swans struck twice in five minutes.

Monk had introduced Ki Sung-Yeung for Wayne Routledge just before the hour mark, and although the South Korean had no direct involvement in the equaliser, the change of formation paid instant dividend when on 61 minutes Sigurdsson drove down the right wing, and crossed for Ayew to plant a header past Romero.

And Ayew then went from scorer to provider, playing a delightful ball with the outside of his left foot that Gomis latched onto and placed past Romero at his near post – to make it four goals in four games this season for the striker.

Van Gaal tried to respond as he threw on Michael Carrick, Ashley Young, and Marouane Fellaini – but with the outstanding Williams to the fore, the Swans coped comfortably with the direct approach of the visitors.

And yet with two minutes left, United fashioned a golden chance when the largely ineffective Rooney went clean through on goal, but was thwarted at the last moment by a superb recovery tackle from Williams.

It proved to be United’s last real chance, leaving home manager Monk delighted with his side’s fightback.

“It was a difficult game for us today, especially as they started very well.

“But we changed our shape in the second half and enjoyed a really good 10-15 minute spell where we got the two goals. It’s a sign of a good team who can react to different situations.

“And I think when you look at who had the best chances in the game, no one can grumble about the result.”

However, Monk’s opposite number Van Gaal, questionably claimed his team had been the better side.

“It’s disappointing because for 85 minutes of the game we were dominant  – but we lost it in a five minute spell.

“They changed their shape and we didn’t adapt to that.”

Van Gaal also refused said he “didn’t know” if David De Gea would still be at the club beyond  Tuesday’s transfer deadline.

Swansea City: Lukasz Fabianski, Kyle Naughton, Federico Fernandez, Ashley Williams (capt), Neil Taylor, Wayne Routledge (Ki Sung-Yueng 58), Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jack Cork, Jonjo Shelvey (Kyle Bartley 88), Andre Ayew, Bafetimbi Gomis (Eder 81).

Subs not used: Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Nathan Dyer, Franck Tabanou, Angel Rangel.

Manchester United: Sergio Romero, Matteo Darmian, Daley Blind, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw, Morgan Schneiderlin (Michael Carrick 70), Bastian Schweinsteiger, Andre Herrera (Marouane Fellaini 77), Juan Mata (Ashley Young 70), Memphis, Wayne Rooney (capt).

Subs not used: Sam Johnstone, Javier Hernandez, Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia, Paddy McNair.

Referee: Martin Atkinson.

Assistant referees: Mike Mullarkey and Peter Kirkup.

Fourth official: Roger East.

Attendance: 20, 828.