Early error costs Swans
Solitary strike from Hernandez hands Red Devils narrow win
Last Updated: November 19, 2011 7:58pm
Javier Hernandez bundled home after 11 minutes to put Manchester United in front
One lapse in concentration cost Swansea dear on Saturday as they slipped to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Manchester United.
Javier Hernandez pounced after 11 minutes to hand the Red Devils all three points and end the Swans' unbeaten run on home soil.
Angel Rangel was at fault for the goal as he surrendered possession to Ryan Giggs and he squared for Hernandez to bundle home from close range.
Swansea stuck to their game plan throughout, playing football that is pleasing on the eye, and Scott Sinclair wasted a glorious opportunity to haul them level in the first half when he allowed the ball to slip through his legs when presented with an open goal.
Brendan Rodgers' side threw everything they had at United after the interval, but there was to be no way through and the visitors were able to take three points away with them from their first Premier League visit to Wales.
Swansea's brightest moments arrived during the early stages of the contest, with wingers Nathan Dyer and Sinclair proving their primary attacking threat with several raids down their respective flanks.
But all the promise of an energetic home start was undone when Rangel's lazy pass gave the ball away to Giggs and the Welshman had little trouble finding Hernandez, who beat Michel Vorm from close range.
The goal briefly rocked the hosts back on their heels but a wonderful jinking run from Dyer, which saw the winger beat Wayne Rooney, Giggs and Patrice Evra along the way, soon had the home crowd on their feet.
And Swansea should have been level after 22 minutes as a deflected shot from Wayne Routledge found Sinclair with the goal at his mercy, but the ex-Chelsea man badly missed his kick and the ball deflected to safety off his standing leg.
Despite those bright moments, Swansea were finding it difficult to get into their usual rhythm as United pressed high up the field and penned them in.
The champions' increasing comfort saw Rooney, who excelled playing just off Hernandez, flash a long-range drive wide, while Giggs curled a free-kick narrowly off target.
Hernandez should have doubled the lead to reflect the visitors' superiority right on half-time, but he opted to square the ball after Rooney's wonderful control and weighted pass had put him in on goal.
With United looking comfortable at the interval, Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers summoned precocious midfield talent Joe Allen, who was nursing a calf problem, from the bench in place of Routledge in an effort to change the pattern of the game.
And Allen had an instant impact as he teed up Sinclair for a shot that David De Gea tipped round his post.
But United remained dangerous and Hernandez again failed to capitalise on more magic from Rooney as he miscontrolled his strike partner's superb ball towards the six-yard box.
But Swansea had started the second half with more verve and vigour and it took a brave defensive block from Nemanja Vidic to prevent Ashley Williams getting on the end of Garry Monk's goal-bound header.
Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand blocked on-target efforts from Danny Graham and Williams as the hosts continued to push forward in search of a leveller.
But having weathered that brief storm, United took a stranglehold on possession, with their assuredness on the ball taking the sting out of Swansea's attacking ambitions.Rooney had a chance to cap a fine individual display late on but chipped over the bar after getting a lucky ricochet from a Williams block, before Phil Jones clipped the post and Nani fired wide as time ran out.
|Swansea City||Team Statistics||Manchester United|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|1||Shots on Target||5|
|4||Shots off Target||5|
Barclays Premier League
|8||West Bromwich Albion||38||49|
|10||West Ham United||38||46|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||38||25|