It was a frantic game in South Wales today as Swansea City held the Premier League leaders to a 1-1 draw. United started brightly enough, and went ahead after Robin Van Persie's wonderful corner was met by the head of Patrice Evra. That was soon cancelled out however when the Frenchman went to sleep, allowing Di Guzman to run and shoot from about 8 yards out. It was well saved from David De Gea, yet Michu could not miss from 6 yards out, as the rebound fell to him. Both teams had chances in the second half, yet neither could break through and secure a winner, despite United hitting the bar twice, once from RVP, and once from the head of Micheal Carrick.
Nemanja Vidic started for United today for the first time in a number of months. He looked incredibly shaky early on. Michu had a chance to score after blowing past the Serbian, leaving him trailing in his wake. Hopefully, this was nothing more than rust. Thankfully, Vidic grew into the game as it wore on and the defense looked quite solid in the second half.
The first chance for United came from a wonderful run from Ashley Young. He made many runs from the left side to the center, but this one was timed beautifully. Carrick found him and Young shot first time. Vorm scrambled it aside for a corner. RVP swung it right into the danger zone, and not for the first time this season, it was Evra who wanted it most. The ball sailed between Leon Brittain and the post he was "marking". Evra's goal scoring has been a joy to watch. The way he sneaks in and gets his nut on the ball continues to surprise me.
If only he stayed alert at the other end of the pitch however. The left back should have been tucked in, but instead a ball was played between him and the center back to find the impressive Di Guzman. His shot was well saved, but the rebound was easy for Michu to slot home. Perhaps DDG could have pushed it away from danger, but Di Guzman being so close to goal, I think that would be a tad harsh on our Spanish number one.
Half time came around with the Welsh side on top. After the break it was more of the same for the opening stages of the second period. But then United took over, largely dominating possession. The chances came and went however. Wayne Rooney, had two bites of the cherry within a couple of minutes, but both times poor touches left him being dispossessed. Another came when he won the ball deep in Swansea territory. Yet his lackluster pass was cut out far too easily.
Chicarito came on for Antonio Valencia. That meant Rooney went to the left and Young to the right. Rooney seemed to enjoy playing on the left slightly more, and found RVP with a cross. It came to him at a very awkward height, yet he somehow managed to turn it goal wards. From my perspective, it looked for all the money as though it was dipping beneath the bar. Yet instead it crashed off the woodwork.
RVP next won a foul on the edge of the area. WIth the referee blowing for the foul, Ashley Williams booted the ball at the Dutchmen while he was on the floor. That led to some minor scuffles and delayed the game for a minute or two. It was Rooney who stepped up and played it straight into the wall in what was his last contribution of a very poor day for the English striker. Ryan Giggs came on and played very well, linking up with Evra at least twice in a brief cameo.
It was Carrick who had the last real chance. Another RVP corner came in. Carrick made a run to the front post and got his head on it. The returning Micheal Vorm made a fantastic save to tip it onto the bar, before the ball was cleared to safety. Ryan Giggs could have scored a sensational one in injury time. Vorm came out of his area to clear. His header fell to Giggs who struck it first time from a difficult position. It sailed about five yards wide.
I personally am happy with a point. Swansea away is a difficult place to go and are a very decent team. We have two home games against Newcastle and WBA coming up, which are ideal to maintain are four point lead over Manchester City.
I hope everyone has a good Christmas. Make sure you join us boxing day for our game against the TOON!