Ayew instrumental as Swansea stun Man Utd again
Swansea City made it three victories in a row against Manchester United, stunning them once again with a 2-1 win following a spirited comeback at the Liberty Stadium.
Visiting United began the brighter, with crisp, quick passing before fading, as has been the pattern in the Red Devils’ Premier League games of late.
Memphis Depay, appearing to inch ever closer to breaking his league duck, sent a dipping free kick at Lukasz Fabianski, who palmed the swerving shot to safety in the opening few minutes.
Threatening from the off, Man Utd initially penned the hosts into their own half, with Luke Shaw particularly impressive.
The surging left back’s lovely pass released Wayne Rooney, who rushed through on goal before faltering in front of Fabianski, as Swansea skipper Ashley Williams recovered to cause the striker to second guess.
Moments later, Memphis drove forward from midfield and smart footwork by Ander Herrera set compatriot Juan Mata up perfectly, though the Spaniard drilled wide.
Garry Monk’s men soon settled into the game, however, with Jonjo Shelvey once again instrumental.
The midfield schemer won a scramble for the ball with Bastian Schweinsteiger, allowing Andre Ayew to loft a pass over the top to on-rushing Bafetimbi Gomis, who smashed his 22nd minute chance into the stands.
A Shelvey set piece then fell to Gylfi Sigurdsson, whose usual eye for goal deserted him, as his effort similarly skid past the post.
Lucas Romero had shown a few nerves in net throughout, and his poor kick was pounced on by sharp Shelvey, though his tame effort on goal was easily saved by the Argentine.
Shelvey was not deterred, however, and soon slipped a sublime ball through to Gomis, who bullied his way through United’s backline to get another shot agonisingly just off target.
Midfield shield Morgan Schneiderlin then underlined Man Utd’s frustration by receiving a caution for knocking Jack Cork off his feet, as the Swans closed out the half looking increasingly comfortable.
Whatever Louis van Gaal said in his team talk certainly did the trick, as it took the Red Devils under five minutes to go ahead after the break, though their elation was not to last.
More fine work on the flanks from Shaw saw the Englishman chip a cross into Swansea’s box, with Mata, making amends for his earlier miss, meeting it at the far post to give his side the lead.
Memphis almost made it two shortly after, as his speculative ball into the box deflected off Williams, but Fabianski saved the captain’s blushes.
Swansea then stunned their guests in the 61st minute, as Williams bombed forward, reaching Sigurdsson in space, who picked out Ayew perfectly in the box for an equaliser.
The superb summer signing’s unchallenged bullet header left Romero stranded, and saw Man Utd concede their first league goal of the season.
Goal machine Gomis delivered another suckerpunch around the 66th minute mark, with Ayew turning provider, as Daley Blind stood off the powerful Ghanaian, whose ball bypassed the entire United backline.
Gomis grabbed his chance, drilling his shot underneath Romero, to score his fourth in as many league games this term.
A late Rooney bust into the box, with Williams then bundling him off the ball to fruitless penalty appeals, was about all Man Utd could muster as the clock wound down.
Liberty Stadium erupted in celebration at the final whistle, as the result now deservedly propels Swansea in to the Premier League top four. Man Utd, meanwhile, will have more decisions to make before transfer deadline day.