- Swansea vs Man Utd

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Sunday 23 December 2012 | Liberty Stadium | Referee: Michael Oliver | Attendance 20,650

Swansea
  • Michu (29)
Swansea
1 - 1
Man Utd
  • Patrice Evra (16)
Man Utd

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Match report

To see the best pictures from the match, click on the box on the top left and scroll to “Photostream”. Scroll down for manager reactions.

Manchester United missed the chance to extend their lead in the title race to six points as Michu came out on top in the battle of the Barclays Premier League’s top scorers at the Liberty Stadium.

Patrice Evra had given United the lead in the 16th minute as he headed in Robin van Persie’s corner, but Swansea continued their good record against the top-flight big guns as Michu finished from close range to move clear of Van Persie with his 13th league goal of the season.

Man United will hold a four-point lead over second-placed Manchester City at Christmas but will be left to rue a series of missed chances during the final half-hour when they piled the pressure on their hosts.

The Swans felt they had shown Sir Alex Ferguson’s side too much respect during this fixture last season but, after a slow start, they showed little sign of being overawed as they took the game to the visitors.

Dwight Tiendalli flashed a threatening ball across the six-yard box before Kemy Agustien freed Michu with a superb long ball, but the Spaniard sliced high and wide.

At the other end David De Gea easily saved weak efforts from Wayne Routledge and Michu and United halted the hosts’ building momentum as they took the lead.

Wayne Rooney had already warmed Michel Vorm’s hands with a stinging drive before Evra put the visitors ahead, arriving to glance a header in off the far post from a Van Persie corner.

But Swansea recovered well from the blow and Jonathan de Guzman had the ball in the net two minutes later, only for the effort to be ruled out because Michu had blocked off Jonny Evans as the midfielder advanced.

Their next goalbound attempt did stand, however, as Evra was caught out by De Guzman’s clever run and when De Gea could only parry the Dutchman’s angled shot, Michu was on hand to tap in.

The goal added extra bite to Swansea’s play and they had the better of the remainder of the opening half. De Guzman and Routledge were becoming increasingly influential for the hosts and the former should have done better after working his way into the United box on the byline, only to shoot straight at De Gea with several team-mates well placed.

But United offered a remainder of their quality in first-half stoppage time when Evra easily got past Nathan Dyer and intelligently pulled the ball back to Rooney, who fired directly at Michel Vorm.

The second half started at a furious pace and there were chances for both sides. Michu again headed over and De Gea had to stand firm to repel Routledge’s close-range strike.

At the other end Ashley Williams made two superb blocks to stop goalbound efforts from Rooney and Ashley Young after Swansea twice surrendered possession cheaply.

United were finally exerting some authority and Van Persie came close to putting them back in front as he cleverly diverted a Rooney cross goalwards, only to see his effort cannon away off the bar.

Substitute Javier Hernandez passed up another presentable chance as he failed to control Van Persie’s astute pass and Vorm gratefully held the Mexican’s deflected strike.

Swansea were by now under incessant pressure and Vorm had to tip a Carrick header against the bar while Van Persie and Young were each denied by blocks from Williams and Davies, but Michael Laudrup’s charges held firm.

Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup: "There is a reason why they are top. They have very good players. They had the first, maybe, one or two chances but we came back and I think that was great. In the second half they put us under pressure they really wanted to win. They had a couple of big chances.

"It was fantastic the way we handled everything I'm very pleased. You know, up against Van Persie, Rooney and company they will always create chances. Just after the goal at 1-0 they had 10 minutes when if they score a second it would have been very difficult."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson: "Thrown two points away really. How we didn’t win the game is the question of the year really because we absolutely battered them. We created a lot of chances and hit the post, the bar and there were a few scrambles in the box.

“In criticism, you would have to say that sometimes our final ball wasn’t good enough. In the second half it was an absolutely brilliant performance, but I’ve got to be disappointed with that result. We should have won the game by quite a margin really.

“We’ve done well from set-pieces this season and it’s a big improvement. Patrice Evra has now got three goals and Jonny Evans has got three. That’s a good contribution they are making in terms of the goal tally for the season.”

Fan Rating

- rate the player performances for this match

Line-up All Fans BFR
1. Michel Vorm - -
4. Chico - -
33. Ben Davies - -
6. Ashley Williams - -
21. Dwight Tiendalli - -
15. Wayne Routledge - -
12. Nathan Dyer - -
26. Kemy Agustien - -
7. Leon Britton - -
20. Jonathan De Guzmán - -
9. Michu - -
Substitutes All Fans BFR
25. Gerhard Tremmel - -
16. Garry Monk - -
24. Ki Sung-Yueng - -
19. Luke Moore - -
17. Itay Shechter - -
10. Danny Graham - -
29. Ashley Richards - -
Line-up All Fans BFR
1. David De Gea - -
15. Nemanja Vidic - -
4. Phil Jones - -
3. Patrice Evra - -
6. Jonny Evans - -
16. Michael Carrick - -
7. Antonio Valencia - -
18. Ashley Young - -
23. Tom Cleverley - -
10. Wayne Rooney - -
20. Robin van Persie - -
Substitutes All Fans BFR
14. Javier Hernández - -
22. Paul Scholes - -
24. Darren Fletcher - -
13. Anders Lindegaard - -
11. Ryan Giggs - -
19. Danny Welbeck - -
28. Alexander Büttner - -

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