Another comfortable victory in the Premier League maintains Manchester United’s lead over Liverpool as the Reds edged a 2-1 win against Crystal Palace with second half goals from Sadio Mané and Mo Salah and with Chelsea playing Spurs on Sunday, there should be more points dropped by the top five. After a 3-1 victory at Goodison Park, Manchester City are just one win away from sealing the title and a victory at the Emptiad Stadium against Manchester United next week would win it for them.
Jose Mourinho made a few changes to the side that beat Brighton in the FA Cup with de Gea, Young, Pogba, Lindelof and Sanchez all coming in for Romero, Shaw, McTominay, Bailly and Martial. The boss once again chose a 4-2-3-1 formation against Swansea’s 5-4-1 with Carlos Carvajal looking to put eleven men behind the ball and play on the counter. United started well creating many chances in the opening minutes and opened the scoring after five with Alexis Sanchez finding Romelu Lukaku in the box and his shot deflecting past Lucasz Fabianski to award the Belgian striker with his 100th Premier League goal. Lukaku had a chance to get his 101st League goal but a superb stop from Fabianski denied him the opportunity and the Polish keeper made another save from Lingard’s long range effort. United kept probing and probing and dominated play with Swansea rarely getting a sniff of the ball let alone a shot on target. After 20 minutes, United doubled their lead as Jesse Lingard fed Alexis Sanchez in after some shocking defending from Swansea and the Chilean finished sublimely to double United’s lead and his own Manchester United tally for the season. United could have gone into the second half further ahead after Lingard dragged one shot wide and had a goal disallowed after Lukaku was deemed offside when supplying Lingard.
In wake of Swansea’s shocking first half, Carlos Carvajal made a double change with Ki and Nathan Dyer both coming off for Tammy Abraham and Tom Carroll. However these changes had very little effect with United still creating chances and making efforts to extend the lead with early chances going to Alexis Sanchez and Juan Mata who ought to have converted the efforts. Substitute Abraham came the closest to ruining De Gea’s clean sheet after his strike was clawed away by the Spaniard only to have to party another shot not a few minutes after from the Chelsea loanee. Either way United kept looking for a more emphatic victory but to no avail, and José decided to sub Sanchez and Lingard off for Rashford and Herrera to end the game in control. Lukaku had another chance to earn a brace but his shot was struck straight at Fabianski and that was the last real chance of the game.
Overall Sanchez starred in attack and bagged a cleanly finished goal and an incisive assist but the real hero was Victor Lindelof who was very impressive at the back and looked like an impenetrable wall at the back for United and attempted to pass forward at any given opportunity unlike his counterpart Chris ‘sideways’ Smalling. This is a good momentum builder and may be a catalyst for a potential upset in the Manchester derby.