There was further frustration for Manchester United on Sunday, as José Mourinho’s side were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Swansea City. The Reds took the lead through a Wayne Rooney penalty at the end of the first half, only for Gylfi Sigurðsson to snatch a point with a stunning free-kick late in the second. It was a poor performance from the hosts, who were eventually booed off the field by the Old Trafford crowd.
United made a rather sloppy start to the match, their general lethargy enabling Swansea to gain an early stranglehold. David de Gea was relieved to see a clearance bounce off Sigurðsson and into the side-netting early on, a few minutes before the Spanish shot-stopper was forced into a fine save on a curling Fernando Llorente effort.
Not until just short of the half-hour did United call Swansea keeper Łukasz Fabiański into action, with the Pole smothering a low drive from Anthony Martial at the second attempt. United were generally poor in possession, and it was the visitors who looked the more likely to break the deadlock.
That would only have made the travelling supporters all the more bitter in stoppage time, when Marcus Rashford went to ground in the box after being brushed by Fabiański. The referee was fooled, and promptly pointed to the spot; Rooney stepped up and made no mistake with a fine finish. It was a cruel blow for the Swans — United had struck lucky.
Rooney should’ve killed the game off within five minutes of the restart, though he could only welly a low Ander Herrera cross against Martial’s back. The hosts were in the ascendancy, though were dealt a blow on the hour, when Eric Bailly went down with an ankle injury. Like Luke Shaw in the first half — who went down and had to be replaced by Antonio Valencia — the Ivorian couldn’t continue, and Matteo Darmian took up an unfamiliar role in the heart of the defence.
A centre-back pairing of Darmian and Daley Blind didn’t inspire confidence, but United initially held firm. Unfortunately, there was nothing they could do with 10 minutes remaining, when Swansea earned a free-kick right on the edge of the penalty area. It was perfectly positioned for Sigurðsson to curl into the top corner, and he duly obliged. The Swans almost took the lead in stoppage time, though Llorente fluffed his lines on another Sigurðsson free-kick, and de Gea made a decisive stop.
With United having created almost nothing of note, they could have few complaints with the final score. Another opportunity to breach the top four goes to waste.