Manchester United 1 Swansea 2
Now it’s getting serious. Now, David Moyes’s difficult first season at Manchester United is developing into a full-blown crisis, a train-wreck of a campaign that just seems to lurch from bad to worse.
Consider these statistics. Sir Alex Ferguson went out of the FA Cup at the third round stage just once in his 27 years at the club. The Barclays Premier League champions and record 11-time cup winners have lost at Old Trafford five times this season, including four of their last six at home. Before on Sunday, Swansea had never won here, going back 10 games and 82 years.
Manchester United: Lindegaard 5; Smalling 5, Evans 6, Ferdinand 6 (Fabio 76, 4), Buttner 5; Valencia 6 (Januzaj 63, 5), Cleverley 6, Fletcher 5, Kagawa 6; Welbeck 6; Hernandez 7.
Subs: De Gea, Anderson, Giggs, Carrick, Zaha.
Scorer: Hernandez 17
Sent off: Fabio
Swansea: Tremmel 6; Tiendalli 5, Flores 6, Amat 7, Taylor 7; Pozuelo 7, De Guzman 6 (Vazquez 85), Britton 7, Shelvey 6 (Canas 64, 6), Routledge 8; Bony 7.
Subs: Williams, Cornell, Rangel, Davies, Donnelly.
Scorers: Routledge 12, Bony 90
Booked: Amat, Flores, Tiendalli
Referee: Mike Dean 7
Man of the match: Wayne Routledge
David Moyes – 5
Michael Laudrup – 7
Changes from last PL fixture
United – 6 (Out: De Gea, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Rooney, Januzaj) (In – Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Buttner, Fletcher, Kagawa, Hernandez)
Swansea – 5 (Out: Rangel, Williams, Davies, Canas, Hernandez) (In – Tiendalli, Amat, Taylor, Pozuelo, Britton)
Michael Laudrup’s side also arrived in Manchester without a win in seven games but they were fully deserving of the victory that was sealed by Wilfried Bony’s 90th-minute header.
By then United were in disarray. With Antonio Valencia off the field and Rio Ferdinand forced off by injury, Moyes sent on Fabio da Silva to play at right-back and moved Chris Smalling to central defence.
The Brazilian lasted three-and-a-half-manic minutes, sent off by referee Mike Dean for a reckless lunge at Swansea substitute Jose Canas. No-one argued with the red card, not even Fabio.
Darren Fletcher was next to take up position on the right side of defence, and in the final minute of normal time the Scotland midfielder was left trailing by Wayne Routledge who got to the line and clipped a cross to the near post. Neither Smalling or Jonny Evans were anywhere near Bony as the Ivory Coast striker rose to plant a header beyond Anders Lindegaard.
Moyes tried to put a brave face on it afterwards. Fortune is not smiling on him at the moment, no question, and Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie were among seven players unavailable to him yesterday.
But he knows this simply isn’t good enough.
United’s title hopes have all but disappeared by New Year and now they are out of the FA Cup. They go to Sunderland in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final tomorrow night (tues) and resume Champions League duty next month, but the doors are starting to slam shut on their new manager.
It was already becoming a collector’s item of season at Old Trafford with West Brom, Everton and Newcastle ending winless runs here totalling 97 years, and now Swansea have made their own little bit of history.
Bony and Co will fancy their chances of doing it all over again when they come back here in the Premier League on Sunday.
Once again Ferguson was here to witness the debacle and there is little doubt the so-called fear factor that came with playing United at Old Trafford left the building along with him last summer.
Theatre of Dreams? It’s turning into a living nightmare for his successor.
Moyes might have kicked off the Premier League season with a comfortable victory in South Wales, but the champions were in trouble as early as the 12th minute yesterday.
Bony knocked the ball back to Alejandro Pozuelo – one of five changes to Laudrup’s team – and the Spaniard found it all too easy to split United’s defence with a simple lofted pass down the middle.
Routledge was onto it in a flash, outpacing Smalling and lobbing the ball over Lindegaard who had strayed well off his line.
It was the third time in four games that United had gone behind and Moyes sat hunched in the dugout, his hands wedged into his armpits.
He didn’t look a whole lot happier when Javier Hernandez equalised for United five minutes later.
Pozuelo and Dwight Tiendalli allowed Alex Buttner far too much time and space down the left, and the United defender punished them with a wonderful inswinging cross to the edge of the six-yard box that invited a close-range finish from Hernandez. In truth, he could hardly miss.
Swansea, on the other hand, were full of energy. They were neat in possession and tenacious in winning it back from their opponents.
Tom Cleverley’s foul on Pozuelo gave Jonathan De Guzman the chance to test Lindegaard from the edge of the area, Routledge’s blast from 10-yards was blocked by a desperate lunge from Evans, and Pozuelo drilled wide when he was given too much space just inside the United box.
Swansea’s explosive mood ended in Routledge giving them visitors the lead early on – see more from our fantastic Match Zone service here
FOUR MINUTES OF MADNESS
United’s Fabio da Silva had only a brief encounter with the FA Cup this season — four minutes and 29 seconds to be precise.
The Brazilian defender was a substitute for injured Rio Ferdinand (right) with the clock at 75:04, but his first meaningful contribution was a studs-up challenge on Jose Canas that referee Mike Dean punished with a straight red card.
No wonder Fabio still had the energy to sprint straight down the tunnel
By then Ferdinand was off the pitch after jarring his knee in a challenge with Chico Flores, bringing Fabio onto the field, and that’s when it all began to go seriously wrong.
Within seconds he had hurtled into three challenges, and it was no surprise when another wild tackle left Canas rolling on the floor and Dean reaching for his top pocket.
From that moment on, it became a case of seeing out the final few minutes and taking it to a replay at the Liberty Stadium next week, but United couldn’t even manage that.
Now they head for the Stadium of Light desperately in need of a win and a genuine turning point in what is becoming a wretched season.
Sunderland will scent blood, however, and they aren’t the only ones.
Source : Daily mail