Gary Monk was only 12 years old when Louis van Gaal started coaching, yet he successfully led his Swansea team to a smash and grab win against a mediocre Manchester United team.
The problem with this Man United team is a reluctance to adapt to new formations (which is why they suffer in Europe), as well as having a lack of quality in important positions, such as at left (wing) back and centre midfield, while they could also do with another striker. However, with an inflated market, their appears to be few bargains any more… Unless your Wolfsburg signing Bendtner.
After an early warning from Wayne Routledge for Swansea, Ki Sung-Yueng showed his cool technique that won him plaudits last season at Sunderland, passing it into the far corner from 18 yards out. Swansea continued to counter attack with pace and precision, whilst United controlled possession, but lacked cutting edge.
The 3-5-2 formation, which is loved by van Gaal, seemed brand new to a Man United team that had been training in this formation throughout pre-season.
The introduction of Nani in the second half definitely lifted Man United somewhat (after a poor display from Javier Hernandez), and the change in formation to the usual 4-4-2, with Juan Mata sat just behind Wayne Rooney, was a breath of fresh air.
A new United seemed to appear after the break, rejuvenated and ready to put right the wrongs of the first half – and perhaps an entire season under David Moyes. United dominated for the first 20 minutes of the second half, with Rooney scoring a close range overhead kick in a stylish manner, before stricking the crossbar from a 25-yard free-kick.
Credit has to go to the Swansea defence and midfield, who worked tirelessly in stifling the Manchester United attack – in particular their captain Ashley Williams, who yet again showed how important a player he is for the team.
The same cannot be said for the United defence however, who yet again switched off in a manner that they became notorious for under Moyes, which allowed Swansea to secure a quick smash and grab win in the 71st minute after a comfortable finish from Gylfi Sigurdsson.
The defensive frailties still remain, and will need improving very quickly, or Manchester United will face an uphill challenge this season to get back into the top four.