Going with his original 3-4-1-2 Dutch setup, Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United was clearly still getting used to the new formation against a Welsh team that pressed. In the second half United switched to a 4-4-1-1 formation. but Swansea manager Garry Monk had his team well prepared for the changed as was evidenced by the amount of room Swansea utilized on the pitch. United had more of the possession but ran out of time to do anything with it.
David De Gea — 4/5
The two goals conceded by United were not so much the fault of De Gea, but more so a result of poor defending and giving Swansea too much time and space.
Tyler Beckett — 3.5/5
Regardless of what you might think about youth player debuts, the only way you’ll learn is through experience. Beckett has a big responsibility filling in for a position that was commanded by the like of Patrice Evra. However, it was clearly evident from today’s performance that United do need an experienced center back or two at the defensive helm if they are to improve at all this season.
Chris Smalling — 4/5
Smalling’s successful clearances and timely tackles held the defense together. Also the communication between Beckett, Phil Jones and he was good to see.
Phil Jones — 4.5/5
Despite the defeat, Phil Jones put in a man of the match performance. He made several important tackles and clearances that otherwise would have inflicted United with further damage.
Jesse Lingard — 4/5
If we continue to see anything like what we saw in the first twenty five minutes, he definitely has a bright future ahead of him. Lingard was substituted after picking up a knock.
Darren Fletcher — 4/5
Fletcher put in a typically solid game.
Ander Herrera — 4/5
The new boy from Bilbao really had a good showing at midfield. He opened up some chances for United and got some important passes up front through to Mata, Rooney and Chicharito.
Ashley Young — 3/5
Young was ineffective today. He made far too few attacking runs at the Swansea defense, and resorted to passes to defenders or midfielders far too often.
Javier Hernandez — 3/5
Hernandez had a quiet afternoon, for the most part, and didn’t show enough to convince United to keep the footballer.
Juan Mata — 3/5
Mata was responsible for not tracking back when marking Ki Sung-Yueng, which led to Swansea’s first goal.
Wayne Rooney — 4.5/5
United’s captain came close to scoring from a free kick when his shot hit the outside of the post. Other than that, he was vocal when needed, which is a good sign. Meanwhile, his overhead goal shows that Rooney still has the magic touch.
Adnan Januzaj— 4/5
After coming on for the injured Lingard, Januzaj made an immediate impact by tearing Swansea left back Neil Taylor to shreds in several runs down the wing. His impact on the game resulted in Taylor being substituted.
Nani — 3.5/5
Some might say his best years are already behind him. However Nani displayed some glimpses of his vintage dribbling prowess. Having been rumored to be on the chopping block at the end of the season, what was lacking today was his final third completion passes. That won’t help his cause in United’s future. Being brought on for Herrera, Nani looked to make some prosperous crosses that evidently did not connect with anyone at the front. The unforced errors in terms of attacking possession are something that needs to be improved on in his game. That is where the majority of frustration about him from the supporters comes from. He sometimes has that hunger for goal. While sometimes he is dormant and you don’t notice he’s even on the pitch. Hopefully that can change with Van Gaal or with a change of scenery.
Lukasz Fabianski — 4/5
Fabianski made a few key saves during the match, which will give Swansea fans and players a lot of confidence regarding the former Arsenal keeper.
Angel Rangel — 3.5/5
With 98 appearances last year for Swansea, Rangel continues to command the right side of defense for Swansea.
Jordi Amat – 3.5/5
He and Ashley Williams controlled the center of defense; United managed 8 shots on target. With some successful clearances, he worked well to prevent United’s attacks coming down the center of the pitch.
Ashley Williams — 4/5
With several key tackles at defense, the center back put in a hard hitting performance.
Neil Taylor — 2.5/5
While Taylor’s level of play in the first half was satisfactory, he got exposed after Adnan Januzaj ran past him on several occasions. Taylor is no Ben Davies, and the sooner Swansea get a better full back in this transfer window, the better. Otherwise Swansea will continue to be opened up, and will be weaker when attacking down the left wing.
Ki Sung-Yueng — 4.5/5
Ki did well to create space and to take advantage of Mata failing to track him, which led to the calm, cool and collected goal to open the scoring for the Swans.
Jonjo Shelvey — 4/5
Shelvey completed a good majority of the passing in the middle to help Swansea maintain position when they needed it.
Wayne Routledge — 3.5/5
Routledge was a constant workhorse in midfield for the Swans, but his poor first touch in the first half prevented him from having a clear-cut one-on-one opportunity to score against De Gea after failing to accurately control Shelvey’s through-ball.
Gylfi Sigurdsson — 4.5/5
Sigurdsson put the match out of United’s reach in the second half. What looks to be Tottenham’s loss may be Swansea’s gain.
Nathan Dyer — 3.5/5
Dyer continued his pesky runs down the right wing, but his decision making at times was poor.
Wilfred Bony — 4.5/5
Swansea’s talisman from last year picked up from where he left off. His strong physical presence really helped Swansea up front to create some chances for midfield when the Swans were pushing up.
Dwight Tiendalli — 4/5
Having come on for Taylor, Tiendalli managed to put a stop to Januzaj’s probing runs down the right wing.
Jefferson Montero — 4.5/5
Having come on for Dyer, Montero really changed the pace of the match. He went on to to make the cross that led to Sigurdsson’s game winning goal. A great performance.
Bafetimbi Gomis — 4/5
Gomis immediately made an impact on the game with his physical prowess, which was just as strong as Bony — the man he came on for in the second half.