Premier League
Man UtdManchester United2SwanseaSwansea City0

Manchester United 2-0 Swansea City

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport at Old Trafford
Manchester United's Antonio Valencia celebrates his opening goal

Manchester United's poor run of form was brought to a convincing end as Adnan Januzaj inspired them to victory over Swansea.

The 18-year-old did not start last weekend's FA Cup third-round defeat by the Welsh side but proved his undoubted value by helping to create second-half goals for Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck.

Moyes praises 'fantastic' Januzaj

His contribution returned David Moyes's side to winning ways as they avoided the ignominy of losing four consecutive games for the first time since 1961.

It also ended a wretched run of four defeats in their past six home games as United finished a forgettable week on a positive note.

Following their defeat by Michael Laudrup's side last Sunday, United lost in the Capital One Cup at Sunderland, with Moyes charged by the Football Association for comments about the referee after that loss.

But this was a much improved performance by the Scot's team, who moved back to within four points of fourth-placed Everton.

They are still nine points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, whom they face a week on Sunday, but with Welbeck and Shinji Kagawa also impressing in the absence of the injured Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, there was at least a sense that a Champions League spot is well within their grasp.

The hosts were helped by the performance of Nemanja Vidic, who kept Wilfried Bony, scorer of Swansea's winner last week, quiet.

The Swans were far better in possession than United in that game, and the pattern of the first half was similar this time as the home side created the better chances but were less accomplished on the ball.

Januzaj, rested last weekend, was United's most creative force, playing in the number 10 position behind Welbeck, and delivered several testing set-pieces before cracking a shot against the bar from one.

Second goal really hurt us - Laudrup

Vidic, Darren Fletcher and Patrice Evra then all went close and Welbeck should have put the hosts ahead when a smart interchange between Valencia and Rafael led to the Brazilian finding the unmarked England striker, who curled a shot wide of the far post from 10 yards.

Although the visitors caused problems, with Jonjo Shelvey dragging a shot wide, they did not - unlike last week - have an early goal to defend.

Januzaj emerged from the break to feature down the left and the Belgium-born forward immediately teased Angel Rangel before whipping another superb cross in, with Valencia firing in from Kagawa's header back across goal.

Twelve minutes later, Januzaj was at it again, this time on the right. His curling centre was cleared as far as Evra, whose shot was flicked in by Welbeck for his ninth goal of the season and sixth in as many league games.

With a two-goal cushion, United's confidence was restored and Chris Smalling missed a golden chance when he somehow volleyed over from five yards following Kagawa's cross.

Kagawa was then wasteful when, after a swift break, he dribbled around goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel but saw his effort cleared off the line by Leon Britton.

The visitors caused a few nervous moments thereafter but United held firm and will approach their next game against Chelsea, in which Rooney could return, with renewed confidence.

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup:

"I think we did well, we controlled the first half knowing that Manchester United would be a bit anxious after three consecutive losses but giving away the goal after just 90 seconds of the second half was just what we didn't want.

"They have very good players and they got on top of the game and when they got the second goal they got real belief.

"We lost the game but now we have to get some players back and win the next game. I think we are down to just 13 fit players now but we will see what happens in the week."

Line-ups

Man Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1de Gea
  • 2da Silva
  • 3EvraSubstituted forBüttnerat 79'minutes
  • 16Carrick
  • 12Smalling
  • 15Vidic
  • 25A Valencia
  • 24Fletcher
  • 19WelbeckSubstituted forHernándezat 86'minutes
  • 44Januzaj
  • 26Kagawa

Substitutes

  • 11Giggs
  • 13Lindegaard
  • 14Hernández
  • 23Cleverley
  • 28Büttner
  • 29Zaha
  • 35Lingard

Swansea

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 25Tremmel
  • 22RangelBooked at 37mins
  • 33Davies
  • 21Cañas Ruiz HerreraSubstituted forFlores Morenoat 17'minutes
  • 2Amat
  • 6Williams
  • 24Pozuelo Melero
  • 7Britton
  • 10BonyBooked at 45mins
  • 8ShelveySubstituted forVázquez Garcíaat 63'minutes
  • 15Routledge

Substitutes

  • 3Taylor
  • 4Flores Moreno
  • 13Cornell
  • 26Vázquez García
  • 29Richards
  • 31Lucas
  • 41Donnelly
Referee:
Chris Foy
Attendance:
75,035

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamSwansea
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home16
Away13
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home3
Away5
Fouls
Home9
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester United 2, Swansea City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester United 2, Swansea City 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Wilfried Bony (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

  4. Post update

    Wilfried Bony (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United).

  6. Post update

    Offside, Manchester United. Shinji Kagawa tries a through ball, but Javier Hernández is caught offside.

  7. Post update

    Álex Pozuelo (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Alexander Büttner (Manchester United).

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United. Javier Hernández replaces Danny Welbeck.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Chico (Swansea City).

  11. Post update

    Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Álex Pozuelo (Swansea City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Álvaro.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) left footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is too high from a direct free kick.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Ben Davies (Swansea City).

  15. Post update

    Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United. Alexander Büttner replaces Patrice Evra because of an injury.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Wayne Routledge (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Chris Smalling.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Rafael.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Rafael.