Manchester United continued their impressive start to the Premier League season with a 4-0 win over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.
Eric Bailly opened the scoring at the end of the first half when he poked in after Paul Pogba’s header had been saved onto the crossbar by Fabianski. United had to be patient to see the game out, when Lukaku latched onto a clever pass from Mkhitaryan to make it 2 – 0 in the 80th minute.
This was swiftly followed by counter attacking goals from Pogba and Martial as a clearly deflated Swansea were unable to further resist the pressure from a dominant United. This was Swansea’s first game since the departure of Gylfi Sigurdson, and with their top scorer from last season Fernando Llorente injured, goals and chances were always going to be sparse.
Despite this, they almost took the lead early on when Jordan Ayew hit the crossbar, indeed the high intensity and high line of pressure from Swansea looked to be unsettling United at times in the first ten minutes.
However, United began to look dangerous going forward, with Rashford causing problems with his pace and power. Their chance arrived in the shape of a Phil Jones header, which hit the crossbar after a Juan Mata free kick.
The rest of the half prior to Bailly’s goal was quiet, with United controlling possession but creating few chance against a well marshalled Swansea backline. This meant their strike force consisting of Tammy Abraham and Jordan Ayew were starved of any effective service, and the zero goals scored in Swansea’s first two PL games is telling of this.
Paul Pogba was then perhaps a touch fortunate to have not received a second yellow after a rash challenge on Martin Olsson, but the decision to warn him was the sensible decision by referee Jon Moss.
Rashford had been United’s main threat in the first half, but he was guilty of poor finishing after a misjudged Alfie Mawson header put him through, but he inexplicably tried to chip the keeper and the chance was gone. The breakthrough came when Pogba was left unmarked from a corner and headed powerfully towards the goal, Fabianski did well to save it onto the crossbar, but Bailly was alert and able to stab the ball home.
The second was more of the same, with United controlling the play but creating few chances, but Swansea were unable to mount any serious attacks until the 60th minute, when Abraham was afforded far too much space in the United area, but his header from a difficult cross went over the bar.
Paul Clement then the formation from a 3-5-2 to a 4-4-2 to place more pressure on United’s defence, and it seemed to work as a corner went through a crowed of players since Ayew was unable to get a touch on it.
After that United finished the game off with a surprising and stunning 4 minute spell where they scored 3 goals to finish off Swansea. Henrikh Mkhitaryan had been quietly effective prior to this moment, but he then exploded into life, firstly by feeding Lukaku with a clever reverse pass and then playing in Pogba a minute and a half late to make it 3 – 0.
Anthony Martial then latched onto Lukaku layoff and the Pogba’s simple pass to cut inside and neatly finish into the far corner, this ensured a repeat of last week’s score line against West Ham.
Swansea made United work hard for chances for 80 minutes before the rapid 3 – goal spell, but they must find a way to create and score goals without their previous creator in chief Sigurdsson, and their injured top scorer Llorente.
However, in Tammy Abraham they have a talented striker who has proven himself to be a top finisher, and thanks to the coaching of Paul Clement they have markedly improved their defence on last season. They will have few harder games than this one, as United continue to look strong, powerful and threatening.
Written by Sam Thomas.