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.