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Barclays Premier League

The Liberty Stadium (ATT 20,733) 17th August 2013 - Kick off 17:30 Ref: P Dowd

Swansea Swansea City vs Manchester United Man Utd

Swansea 1

W Bony (82)

ft

Man Utd 4

R van Persie (34, 72)
D Welbeck (36, 90+2)

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Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck star as Manchester United crush Swansea 4-1

Last Updated: 18/08/13 1:59pm

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Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie netted two goals apiece in 4-1 win over Swansea

Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie netted two goals apiece in 4-1 win over Swansea

Manchester United got their title defence off to a perfect start as David Moyes' first Premier League game in charge ended in a 4-1 victory away to Swansea City.

Robin van Persie provided an exhibition of superb finishing with two goals and Danny Welbeck also netted a brace in an emphatic away win, while Wilfried Bony scored for Swansea.

The crucial spell came towards the end of the first half as Van Persie fired home an acrobatic opener in the 34th minute and Welbeck added a second two minutes later to put United in control at the interval.

Van Persie made it 3-0 with a spectacular strike from distance in the 72nd minute, before Swansea's club-record signing Bony pulled one goal back eight minutes from time.

Best of the match

  • Man of the match: Robin van Persie. The Dutchman showed his class with two exceptional goals as he tore the Swansea defence apart with his movement and lethal finishing ability.
  • Goal of the match: Welbeck's fourth was sublime but Van Persie gets the nod for the magnificent strike that made it 3-0 as he cut away from a couple of defenders and rifled a ferocious shot into the top corner.
  • Save of the match: Michel Vorm produced a great stop to acrobatically push Phil Jones' volley over the crossbar when the score was still goalless.
  • Moment of the match: The match was on a knife-edge until Van Persie conjured something out of nothing to open the scoring, and a second goal moments later from Welbeck killed off Swansea's chances.
  • Taking point: Does this result show that Manchester United should still be regarded as favourites to retain their title?

United were not finished, though, and Wayne Rooney played his part after coming on as a substitute by playing in Welbeck for an exquisite chipped finish.

The confidence of winning five championships in the past seven seasons was in evidence throughout the first half as United soaked up pressure, then struck with deadly efficiency.

Swansea had already escaped from a couple of defensive lapses, as Ryan Giggs elected to try and find Welbeck when it seemed more obvious to go for goal himself, before Michel Vorm turned over Phil Jones' volley.

Even Van Persie had failed to take a decent opportunity. But when the Dutchman evaded the attentions of the home defence and was allowed to drift into space behind the centre-halves because Angel Rangel was playing him onside, there was only ever likely to be one outcome.

And Van Persie showed the class that made him a back-to-back Golden Boot winner, hooking a shot into the corner to make him the first United player to score a league goal for someone other than Ferguson since Peter Davenport.

Welbeck found the net just once in domestic combat last term, but within a minute of Van Persie's effort, he had matched that figure.

Again Swansea were architects of their own downfall as Ben Davies got sucked into a central position attempting to clear a Patrice Evra cross. That allowed Antonio Valencia to return the ball to the edge of the six-yard area, where Welbeck turned it home.

It was no surprise Swans manager Michael Laudrup sent a call out for £12million record signing Bony at the break though, the striker having missed out on a starting berth due to midweek international duties in the United States.

Rooney was introduced for Giggs shortly afterwards, a move well received by the visiting contingent, who bellowed the striker's name in their usual manner, with no hint of annoyance.

And Rooney claimed an assist for Van Persie's second, finding his strike partner with a short pass.

Williams paid the price for standing off on the edge of his own box and after Van Persie stepped round Chico Flores he applied a brutal finish from 20 yards that flew into the top corner.

Bony netted a consolation for Swansea after good work by Pablo Hernandez but the contest itself was already over, and Welbeck eclipsed last season's meagre tally in stoppage time with a wonderful chipped finish.

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Liverpool 34 77
2 Chelsea 35 75
3 Manchester City 33 71
4 Arsenal 34 67
5 Everton 34 66
6 Tottenham Hotspur 35 63
7 Manchester United 33 57
8 Southampton 35 49
9 Newcastle United 35 46
10 Stoke City 35 44
11 Crystal Palace 35 43
12 West Ham United 35 37
13 Swansea City 35 36
14 Hull City 33 36
15 Aston Villa 34 35
16 West Bromwich Albion 33 33
17 Norwich City 34 32
18 Cardiff City 35 30
19 Fulham 35 30
20 Sunderland 34 29

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