Manchester United vs. Swansea City
Venue: Old Trafford
Date: Sunday, 30 April 2017
Kick-off: 12:00 BST
Manchester United drew 1-1 at home in the Premier League as Swansea City kept alive their survival chances whilst seriously denting the hosts’ top four ambitions.
A controversial penalty saw Wayne Rooney convert to give the home side the lead, only for Gylfi Sigurdsson’s immaculate free-kick to spoil the party late on.
Jose Mourinho has often rued the missed chances in similar circumstances this season but can have no complaints after his side’s lacklustre performance.
A sloppy start from United gifted the visitors plenty of the ball, and Fernando Llorente’s chance meant that David De Gea had to produce a decent stop from close range.
Anthony Martial’s superb floated chipped pass was met by the perfectly timed run of Jesse Lingard, but Lukasz Fabianksi forced the ball behind for a corner.
Llorente failed to connect properly from Sigurdsson’s dangerous set piece as skipper Rooney headed over from Ashley Young’s cross at the other end.
A testing free-kick from Sigurdsson was held before Martial’s mazy dribbling whilst cutting inside ended with his effort being saved.
Despite the offside appeals, Jordan Ayew’s strike needed De Gea’s leg to deny after the Ghanaian found room, as Lingard flashed wide from distance as half-time approached.
However, before the interval was reached, referee Neil Swarbrick took his time before deciding that Fabianski had caught Rashford as the striker latched onto Lingard’s through ball, and Rooney sent the keeper the wrong way to bag his seventh of the season.
Less than four minutes after the restart, Ander Herrera’s low cross saw Rooney strike the ball first time, but the effort hit the back of Martial in front of the Stretford End.
On his weaker left foot, Martial’s low attempt was thwarted by Fabianski’s leg before injuries to both sides led to a stop-start feel to proceedings.
Antonio Valencia’s powerful drive was pushed away and as Swansea broke, Sigurdsson curled over from Ayew’s set.
The Icelander made no mistake with his next opportunity, curling an exquisite free-kick into the net as De Gea was left rooted to the spot.
Martial did well to bring down Valencia’s deep cross, and volleyed just over as United searched for a winner.
Lingard headed straight at Fabianski from Young’s cross with Tom Carroll firing just over from distance.
Sigurdsson’s chipped set piece was then missed by Llorente as full-time brought about a staggering tenth home league draw of the campaign for United.
This may have been a 25th match unbeaten in the league, but when 12 have been draws, you can’t expect to finish inside the top four, which now looks gone given the respective sides run-ins.
It now seems as though the Europa League is win or bust, with the semi-final first leg away at Celta Vigo to come this Thursday at 8:05pm.
With potentially no fit senior centre-halves to pick from after Eric Bailly joined Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling on the treatment table, a depleted squad heads to Spain hoping to salvage the season.
Champions League at the club may be imperative next season, with Thursday’s competition taking on extra significance after this result.
United: De Gea; Youn, Bailly (Darmian 61), Blind, Shaw (Valencia 9); Herrera, Carrick; Lingard, Rooney (Mkhitaryan 80), Martial; Rashford.
Subs not used: Romero, Tuanzebe, Mata, McTominay.
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Swansea: Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Kingsley; Ki (Fer 61), Britton (Montero 65) (Olsson 72), Carroll; Ayew, Llorente, Sigurdsson.
Subs not used: Nordfeldt, Amat, Cork, Baston.
Manager: Paul Clement