Premier League
Man Utd2Swansea1

Manchester United 2-1 Swansea City

Wayne Rooney
Rooney is now clear of Denis Law as Manchester United's second-highest scorer

Wayne Rooney's brilliant instinctive winner beat Swansea as Manchester United ended a run of eight games without a win.

The England striker flicked home Anthony Martial's cross with 13 minutes to go to settle a close contest.

After a dour first half, Martial had headed United in front, before Gylfi Sigurdsson's glancing effort set nerves on edge at Old Trafford.

Manchester United move up to fifth, two points behind Tottenham.

Swansea's raids forward were rare, but they twice came close to a second equaliser in injury time.

First Ashley Williams brought a good save out of David de Gea before goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski headed wide from a corner with almost the last touch of the game.

How the action unfolded at Old Trafford

Listen to 5 live commentary of Wayne Rooney's winner

Win can be start of fantastic 2016 - Van Gaal.

Rooney's touch of class changes mood

Swansea had won all three of their league meetings with Louis van Gaal's Manchester United - including the Dutchman's very first match in charge.

Wayne Rooney scores against Swansea
Rooney's deft flick provided only his third Premier League goal of the season

History seemed dangerously close to being repeated for the home fans when Sigurdsson - the matchwinner in Van Gaal's United debut - steered home Modou Barrow's cross with 20 minutes to go.

Rooney's afternoon up to that point had been full of industry but short on inspiration. However, United's captain improvised brilliantly to flick Martial's cross round his standing leg and into the far corner past a rooted Fabianski for the winner.

As well as delivering three points for his team, the strike gave Rooney sole possession of second place on the all-time goalscoring lists of the Premier League - on 188, 72 behind Alan Shearer - and Manchester United - on 238, 11 behind Sir Bobby Charlton.

Width + crosses = goals

The home fans' relief was palpable on the final whistle as Manchester United secured their first win since beating Watford away on 21 November.

Ashley Young's crosses
Ashley Young's more advanced role meant he was able to make more telling deliveries into the box than against Stoke on Boxing Day (shown right). Red arrows represent unsuccessful crosses, yellow show passes that led to chances, blue are assists

However, the half-time whistle had mostly been greeted with a bemused silence after a toothless first-half performance.

The one consistent source of danger for the hosts was right-winger Ashley Young. His pace and trickery gave Neil Taylor a testing afternoon and his consistently accurate delivery into the box was rewarded when Martial met a cross with a powerful header just after half-time.

The winner also came from the flanks as Martial drifted wide to turn provider for Rooney.

Fabianski almost provides stunning climax

Since losing his first match in charge across the city at Etihad Stadium last month, caretaker boss Alan Curtis had overseen three successive clean sheets to keep Swansea clear of the relegation zone.

And having kept United at bay for large spells in a tight and tidy performance, their discipline was almost rewarded in extraordinary style when Fabianski climbed highest after coming up for the final corner of the match and sent a header just wide.

Man of the match - Ashley Young

Ashley Young
Ashley Young made 10 crosses during his 75 minutes on the pitch - twice the total of any other player

Manager reaction

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal: "I am very happy for the players because they had to play under big pressure and now we have won. We are still near the top of the league and the gap is less. So that's football.

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'Risky' Man Utd please Van Gaal

"That's a season. A season takes eight months or something like that and not one month.

"I think we played a very risky system against Swansea because they had a shape with four midfielders in a diamond.

"I hope this is a fantastic starting point for us in the New Year and we can continue against Sheffield United."

Swansea caretaker boss Alan Curtis: "Funnily enough, Lukasz Fabianski had asked a couple of minutes earlier to go up for a similar situation. I told him to stay back. I wish I'd asked him to go up earlier.

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Swans unlucky to lose - Curtis

"We had to get back into the game. We were comfortable with the midfield diamond when it was 0-0, but once we went behind, we had to change things, so we put two wingers on to get back into it.

"We grew into the game after that, and we were unlucky not to get something."

Stats you need to know

  • Rooney ended a run of 553 minutes without a goal for the club.
  • Manchester United have now failed to score in their last nine first halves at Old Trafford. The last player to score a first half goal at Old Trafford in all competitions was Juan Mata v Wolfsburg in September.
  • Gylfi Sigurdsson has scored twice and assisted twice in his last four league games versus Manchester United.

What's next?

Manchester United face Sheffield United in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, before a trip to Newcastle on Tuesday, 12 January in their next league outing. Swansea travel to Oxford in the FA Cup on Sunday, before playing Sunderland in a potentially vital match on the following Wednesday.

Line-ups

Man Utd

  • 1de Gea
  • 18YoungSubstituted forMcNairat 78'minutes
  • 4JonesSubstituted forDarmianat 45'minutes
  • 12SmallingBooked at 42mins
  • 17BlindBooked at 85mins
  • 28Schneiderlin
  • 31Schweinsteiger
  • 8Mata
  • 21HerreraSubstituted forCarrickat 90+1'minutes
  • 9Martial
  • 10Rooney

Substitutes

  • 7Depay
  • 16Carrick
  • 20Romero
  • 27Fellaini
  • 33McNair
  • 36Darmian
  • 44Pereira

Swansea

  • 1Fabianski
  • 22RangelBooked at 64mins
  • 33Fernandez
  • 6Williams
  • 3Taylor
  • 24Cork
  • 7BrittonSubstituted forBarrowat 62'minutes
  • 4Ki Sung-yueng
  • 15RoutledgeSubstituted forMonteroat 82'minutes
  • 10AyewSubstituted forGomisat 82'minutes
  • 23Sigurdsson

Substitutes

  • 2Amat
  • 13Nordfeldt
  • 18Gomis
  • 20Montero
  • 21Grimes
  • 26Naughton
  • 58Barrow
Referee:
Jonathan Moss
Attendance:
75,415

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamSwansea
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home19
Away9
Shots on Target
Home6
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away2
Fouls
Home14
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester United 2, Swansea City 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester United 2, Swansea City 1.

Attempt missed. Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Chris Smalling.

Foul by Matteo Darmian (Manchester United).

Jefferson Montero (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by David de Gea.

Attempt saved. Ashley Williams (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Michael Carrick replaces Ander Herrera.

Matteo Darmian (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jefferson Montero (Swansea City).

Booking

Daley Blind (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Daley Blind (Manchester United).

Modou Barrow (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Swansea City. Bafétimbi Gomis replaces André Ayew.

Substitution

Substitution, Swansea City. Jefferson Montero replaces Wayne Routledge.

Foul by Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United).

Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Modou Barrow (Swansea City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jack Cork.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Patrick McNair replaces Ashley Young.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester United 2, Swansea City 1. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the top right corner. Assisted by Anthony Martial.

Attempt blocked. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Juan Mata.

Anthony Martial (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ashley Williams (Swansea City).

Attempt blocked. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by André Ayew.

Foul by Anthony Martial (Manchester United).

Angel Rangel (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester United 1, Swansea City 1. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Modou Barrow with a cross.

Attempt missed. Anthony Martial (Manchester United) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left misses to the left. Assisted by Wayne Rooney.

Ashley Young (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Neil Taylor (Swansea City).

Attempt missed. Juan Mata (Manchester United) left footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left.

Booking

Angel Rangel (Swansea City) is shown the yellow card.

Angel Rangel (Swansea City) has gone down, but that's a dive.

André Ayew (Swansea City) hits the right post with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Swansea City. Modou Barrow replaces Leon Britton.

Attempt missed. Ander Herrera (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Wayne Rooney.

Attempt blocked. Ashley Young (Manchester United) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Morgan Schneiderlin.

Attempt missed. Anthony Martial (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Wayne Rooney.

Attempt saved. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daley Blind.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Arsenal2013341642
2Leicester2011721240
3Man City2012351839
4Tottenham199821835
5Man Utd20965733
6West Ham20884732
7Crystal Palace19946731
8Liverpool20866-230
9Watford20857329
10Stoke20857029
11Everton19685726
12West Brom20758-526
13Southampton20668224
14Norwich20659-923
15Bournemouth20569-1221
16Chelsea19559-620
17Swansea20479-919
18Newcastle204511-1617
19Sunderland204313-1715
20Aston Villa201514-218
View full Premier League table

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