Ibrahi­movic dou­ble in­spires United stroll

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

SWANSEA: Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic eased the pres­sure on Jose Mour­inho as the Manch­ester United striker’s dou­ble sealed a 3-1 win at strug­gling Swansea yes­ter­day. With only one vic­tory in their pre­vi­ous seven Premier League games, United man­ager Mour­inho had come un­der mount­ing pres­sure at Old Traf­ford.

How­ever, for one day at least, it was all smiles for United as they poured even greater mis­ery on a Swansea side that look des­tined for a long strug­gle to avoid rel­e­ga­tion.

Swedish star Ibrahi­movic struck twice be­fore half-time af­ter France mid­fielder Paul Pogba had pro­duced a stylish opener as United ran riot. Mike van der Hoorn got a con­so­la­tion for Swansea in the sec­ond half, but there was never any chance of a fight­back from the hap­less hosts.

United started as they have in so many games this sea­son, with a de­gree of hes­i­tancy. They were clumsy in the mid­field and lack­ing di­rec­tion or ac­cu­racy in the fi­nal third. Still, what stood in front of them was a Swansea team equally short on con­fi­dence.

With only one league win this sea­son, Bob Bradley’s side are lan­guish­ing in the rel­e­ga­tion zone. So, once United set­tled, they en­joyed a glut of pos­ses­sion. And as Pogba be­came in­creas­ingly in­flu­en­tial, so the vis­i­tors be­gan to ask se­ri­ous ques­tions of Bradley’s team.

The first of those came on 15 min­utes when Pogba and Wayne Rooney cre­ated the dan­ger and Swansea couldn’t clear their lines, leav­ing Pogba to hit an un­stop­pable shot from 20 yards into the top cor­ner of Lukasz Fabi­an­ski’s goal.

Marouane Fel­laini came within a yard of mak­ing it 2-0 two min­utes later af­ter a sub­lime piece of foot­work from Ibrahi­movic.

Swansea sim­ply had no an­swer to United’s in­ci­sive raids and it came as no sur­prise when Ibrahi­movic lost his marker on the edge of the box and beat Fabi­an­ski with a fine strike from 20 yards in the 21st minute.

GREED

United sensed their op­por­tu­nity to kill the con­test and duly set off in pur­suit of a third. It came 12 min­utes from the in­ter­val when Ibrahi­movic popped up in acres and beat Fabi­an­ski from eight yards. The Swansea fans re­sponded with calls of ‘we want our club back’ and sug­gest­ing the de­ci­sion to sell to the cur­rent Amer­i­can own­ers was all about greed.

It was lit­tle more than a train­ing ground run out there­after for United, who popped the ball around with in­creas­ingly ease and con­fi­dence, while Swansea re­treated to­wards their own goal in an at­tempt to limit the dam­age. Hav­ing been booed from the field at half time, Swansea made two changes in per­son­nel. Jef­fer­son Mon­tero and Modou Bar­row en­tered the fray as Bradley sought a way back into the game. By now, United were happy to go through the mo­tions. They con­tin­ued to pass the ball with ease and com­fort and de­nied Swansea a foothold un­til the 69th minute. Gylfi Sig­urds­son whipped in a free kick from the right and van der Hoorn beat David De Gea with a firm header from eight yards. Re­ju­ve­nated and sens­ing a chance, Swansea gave it their all in the fi­nal 20 min­utes. Sig­urds­son came into his own and Bar­row and Mon­tero caused prob­lems out wide. How­ever, United re­mained firm and duly helped

— AFP

SWANSEA: Manch­ester United’s Swedish striker Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic (R) jumps and kicks the air as he cel­e­brates scor­ing his team’s sec­ond goal with Manch­ester United’s English mid­fielder Ash­ley Young (L) and Manch­ester United’s English de­fender Phil Jones dur­ing the English Premier League foot­ball match be­tween Swansea City and Manch­ester United at The Lib­erty Sta­dium in Swansea, south Wales yes­ter­day.

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