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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
09:09 21st November 2011

PREMIER LEAGUE: Swans 0 Man Utd 1

Swansea City's unbeaten Premier League home record ended after champions Manchester United claimed a 1-0 victory at the Liberty Stadium.

Javier Hernandez scored the only goal after 11 minutes after Ryan Giggs intercepted Angel Rangel's pass and found the Mexican striker in the box.

The Swans had a golden chance to level soon after though as Wayne Routledge's deflected shot found the unmarked Scott Sinclair, but the winger failed to connect with the goal gaping in front of him.

The hosts enjoyed a lot of possession while the champions sat back and soaked up the pressure.

There were a few chances for either side in the second half, Danny Graham for the Swans while Phil Jones struck the post late on for United.

In the end it was the champions who took the honours, but the Swans will have won yet more plaudits after this performance.

The Swans made just one enforced change to the starting XI that drew last time out against Liverpool for this home game with Manchester United.

Joe Allen had to settle with a place on the bench after picking up a calf injury during the week - that meant Scott Sinclair went into the XI after being among the substitutes at Anfield.

The champions included the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney in their starting line-up, and could afford to name Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Dimitar Berbatov on the bench as Sir Alex Ferguson's side looked to close the gap on leaders Manchester City.

man utd

Swans: Michel Vorm, Angel Rangel, Garry Monk (capt), Ashley Williams, Neil Taylor, Leon Britton, Mark Gower (Stephen Dobbie, 79), Wayne Routledge (Joe Allen, ht), Nathan Dyer, Scott Sinclair, Danny Graham.
Subs: Gerhard Tremmel, Jazz Richards, Vangelis Moras, Luke Moore, Leroy Lita.

Manchester United: David de Gea, Patrice Evra (Fabio de Silva, 51), Phil Jones, Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs (Darren Fletcher, 76), Ji-Sung Park, Javier Hernandez (Antonio Valencia, 84), Nemanja Vidic (capt), Michael Carrick, Nani.
Subs: Anders Lindegaard, Jonny Evans, Dimitar Berbatov, Ashley Young, .

Referee: Mike Dean

Attendance: 20,295

As ever, the Liberty was rocking as the Jack Army ensured the atmosphere was electric.

Also throwing their support behind Brendan and the boys were Only Men Aloud - the Classical Brit Award winners - who performed before kick-off.

There were special guests too - current World 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene, once of the Swans youth set up, paraded his gold medal while former Swansea-born Busby Babe Kenny Morgans - who had played for both United and Swans - was given a rousing reception along with Sir Bobby Charlton on the Liberty pitch by both sets of supporters.

The game started at a frantic pace, both sides looking eager to get on the ball and spray it around the perfect Liberty surface.

The first real chance fell to the home side and Mark Gower. After United could only half clear, the midfielder connected with a volley but it bounced harmlessly wide.

After a period of pressure, the struck from nowhere. Ryan Giggs latched onto a loose pass on the edge of his box from Angel Rangel. The former Wales international squared a low pass for Javier Hernandez, who neatly guided his effort past Michel Vorm after 11 minutes.

Man Utd

The Swans replied shortly after with Wayne Routledge linking up 25 yards out. The striker found Routledge just inside the box, and when his effort was deflected to Sinclair, the winger failed to connect with an open goal in front of him.

After that, both sides seemed to cancel each other out.

Giggs flashed a 20-yard free-kick over the crossbar while the lively Nathan Dyer and Rangel were looking dangerous down the right flank though they just couldn't create an opening before the break.

Half-time: Swans 0 Man Utd 1

Brendan made one change during the break, replacing Routledge with Joe Allen as the hosts looked to get an early equaliser.

Within two minutes of the restart, referee Mike Dean was forced into his first booking as Patrice Evra clattered into Dyer.

It proved Evra's final contribution as he was replaced by Fabio de Silva after 51 minutes.

The Swans kept plugging away, using possession wisely.

Their first big chance of the half then came their way. Gower raced forward into space and his well-placed cross cannoned into the air. It fell to Graham, but he failed to connect properly with his attempted overhead-kick.

The Swans enjoyed large periods of pressure as the champions sat back and soaked it up.

Another wave of pressure followed with 20 minutes left as Gower's free-kick was half cleared, but Scott Sinclair outpaced marker Phil Jones and raced into the box to find Graham. His effort was blocked, then Ashley Williams tried his luck from the edge of the box but he didn't get a clean connection.

Man Utd

Sir Alex Ferguson then made a change as Darren Fletcher replaced Giggs, who was given a warm send-off by the home crowd.

Brendan responed by sending on Stephen Dobbie for the last 12 minutes in place of Gower.

But it was the visitors who went close to sealing the win with two minutes left as Rooney latched onto Rangel's loose pass and fired straight into Williams. Rooney picked up the loose and chipped Vorm but his effort dropped over the crossbar.

United came again seconds later, sub Antonio Valencia powering on before teeing up Phil Jones, whose shot beat Vorm but cannoned off the baser of the far post.

That was it, though, as the Swans certainly gave a good account of themselves against the Premier League champions.

    Data provided by Press Association