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August 17, 2013
• Liberty Stadium, Swansea
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 20733
W. Bony 82'
R. van Persie 34', 72'
D. Welbeck 36', 90'+
Well that's your lot from me today, folks. It's been a pleasure to bring you coverage of the opening day of the Premier League. Be sure to stick with Goal.com for reaction and news from all of today's games. From me, Tom McKeown, though, it's goodnight!
On paper this was a tough start to David Moyes' Premier League career at Old Trafford, but his star man did the job for him today and they look as good as ever.
And that's FULL-TIME at the Liberty Stadium. It's finished 4-1 to Manchester United after braces for Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck. Swansea enjoyed huge periods of possession but it was a frustrating afternoon decided in the end by a world-class performance from Van Persie.
90' + 2'
Assist Wayne Rooney
90' + 2'
Goal Danny Welbeck
WELBECK GETS HIS SECOND!! Another goal of real quality, here. Rooney slots a perfect pass into the path of Welbeck, who takes a touch before lifting a delightful chip over the top of a stranded Vorm and the ball nestles right in the bottom corner. A beautiful goal to cap a wonderful day for the new United boss.
90' + 1'
Vidic and De Gea come under a bit of pressure from Michu and Hernandez, with the defender eventually having to play it out for a throw. Defensive communication could be on David Moyes' radar this week.
Davies does well to win the ball from De Gea's clearance, as the board goes up to indicate four more minutes will be played in the rain.
Swansea win a corner, which really fires up the home crowd. Shelvey's ball is punched away well by De Gea, who was under severe pressure from Bony. Rooney breaks forward and is hauled down by Chico Flores, giving United plenty of time to retain possession.
Robin van Persie
That's the end of a superb day's work for Robin van Persie, as Anderson comes on the replace the striker, who has been on stunning form.
United have a great chance on the break but Valencia doesn't make up his mind quickly enough and Swansea are able to get men behind the ball before Rooney's cross is blocked and goes through to Vorm.
Assist Pablo Hernández
Goal Wilfried Bony
BONY GETS ONE BACK!! After his bad miss moments earlier, the striker - who has thoroughly impressed since coming on - receives the ball after good work by Hernandez, and strokes the ball with the side of his right foot across De Gea and into the far corner.
Shelvey receives the ball on the right and fires in a delightful cross which Bony meets in the air, only to head wide from inside the six-yard box. A disappointing effort.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, the pace has slowed right down. It's surely job done for United now. Van Persie darts forward into space once more and tries to set Evra free, but the flag goes up for offside.
United are passing it around with style now. Swansea look well beaten.
More danger for Swansea as Van Persie drives in a cross and it bounces off a defender, almost setting up a goalscoring chance for Evra but he can't divert it in.
Absolutely nothing Swansea can do about quality like that. They've again enjoyed a good amount of possession in this half, but failed to create anything meaningful.
Goal Robin van Persie
VAN PERSIE AGAIN!! IT'S THREE!! And what a goal that is! Van Persie shows stunning skill to shuffle away from two defenders on the edge of the box before absolutely rocketing a strike into the roof of the net. No chance for Vorm at all, and it's 3-0. Simply breathtaking from Van Persie yet again.
Chance for Rangel as he comes in at the far post to meet a cross, and hammers a well-timed volley wide of De Gea's goal.
Off the line!! Evra rises high to head the corner towards goal, but Canas is there on the far post to keep the ball out. No need for the new technology just yet, sadly.
It's United's turn to attack and Rooney collects the ball on the right, trying to swing in a cross but it deflects off Davies and behind for a corner.
The game is starting to look a bit more stretched, with both sides able to move up the other end more freely. Hernandez floats the ball into the box looking for Michu, but it evades the striker and goes behind for a goal kick.
United charge forward with a fine move and they have three versus two, but Rooney is offside when Welbeck slides a pass in his direction and the hosts breathe a massive sigh of relief.
Chance for United as Valencia is taken out by Davies after a nice one-two with Rooney. Van Persie lines up the cross but puts way too much power on it and Swansea escape with a goal kick.
Dyer and Rangel link up well on the right, and the latter fires the ball across the box, but Ferdinand does well to head away under pressure from both Bony and Michu.
Swansea immediately move up the other end, and Davies swings in a lovely cross from the left, which Bony meets in the air but can only head wide. Meanwhile, it looks like Wayne Rooney might be ready to come on for United.
Chance for three!! Van Persie spurns a glorious chance as he is released beyond the defence on the right. He cuts into the box and tries to guide a left-footed effort into the far corner but it flies wide. That really would have been game over.
The visitors seem content with allowing Swansea to dominate possession, as they're not doing a huge amount with it at the moment. Hernandez lifts it over the top looking to meet Rangel's run, but Vidic muscles him out and De Gea gathers comfortably.
Rangel looks for Bony with a first-time ball, but Vidic diverts it away. De Gea then scuffs a clearance, still clearly feeling the effects of that clash with Michu.
De Gea didn't come out of that challenge well and has been receiving treatment, but he's back up and we're ready to resume. Shelvey's corner is headed away by Welbeck before Bony fouls Ferdinand in the box.
Chance for the hosts as Bony nods the ball down looking for Michu, and the striker gets there ahead of De Gea but the United shot-stopper does enough to put him off and it goes behind for a corner.
The set piece comes out the other end of the box and it's worked back to Canas, who tries an audacious strike from 30 yards which never looks like troubling De Gea.
This is good positive play from Swansea, and Hernandez looks for Michu in the box, but Carrick cuts it out, sending it behind for a corner.
Michu flicks a header into the path of Bony but it bobbles of the striker's knee and United clear. Swansea win it back, though, and Dyer finds Michu, who tries his luck from range, forcing a low stop from De Gea which he gathers at the second attempt.
Michael Carrick has gone down but the referee waves play on, although United have pretty much slowed to walking pace. Carrick eventually gets up again and Swansea win possession, but Michu can't find Bony.
Two changes for Swansea, then, as Wilfried Bony and Pablo Hernandez replace Routledge and Britton. That should give Swansea more presence up front; it's a positive move from Laudrup.
The visitors get the second half underway.
Not long to go until the restart at the Liberty Stadium, then. Do Swansea have any chance of getting back into this?
Here are some half-time thoughts from our reporter Ben Cullimore: "United's opening goal, which came out of nowhere, brought the visitors to life and resulted in them ending the half two goals ahead and firmly on top. It will be interesting to see if Michael Laudrup's men can fight their way back into the game after the break, as the two quick-fire goals have left them noticeably shaken."
Here's one for the stat fans, courtesy of our friends at Infostrada: Danny Welbeck's goal was his 20th league strike on his 100th league appearance. That's a very neat and tidy stat, isn't it?
And that is indeed HALF-TIME at the Liberty Stadium and Manchester United are sitting pretty at 2-0, despite a strong showing from Swansea. Two goals in quick succession have deflated Michael Laudrup's side; can they fight back after the break?
45' + 2'
The impressive Canas picks up the ball on the left and tries to swing in a cross which Rio Ferdinand hacks away. Swansea have possession but time is running out in the half for them to get back in the game.
Yellow Card Tom Cleverley
Rangel steals the ball off Evra and is cleaned out by Cleverley. It's a booking for the United man and a decent chance for Swansea, but they can't make the most of the ball into the box and Jones diverts it back to De Gea.
Carrick darts into the box with some fine skill but Swansea clear and Dyer picks it up in midfield, producing some excellent footwork of his own to create some space and keep hold of the ball. The hosts press forward but can't fashion a decent chance before Flores fires a speculative effort way off target.
Unsurprisingly, those two goals have really taken the sting out of Swansea. United move the ball around with their familiar swagger, making the hosts chase the ball.
Yellow Card Michael Carrick
Carrick goes in for a challenge and loses his footing, taking out Routledge in the process. Phil Dowd brandishes a yellow card, despite it looking accidental. A little bit harsh, perhaps.
Michael Laudrup is out of his chair and is pacing the edge of his technical area. The normally cool-headed Dane doesn't look too happy.
What a stunning couple of minutes, there. After all their good early possession, Swansea find themselves two goals behind. Unbelievable.
Assist Antonio Valencia
Goal Danny Welbeck
WELBECK MAKES IT TWO!! It's a real sucker punch from the champions, and Swansea are rocked here. A cross comes in from the left and Valencia is free at the far post to square it to Welbeck, who has the easiest of tap-ins to double the lead. Incredible scenes.
Assist Ryan Giggs
Goal Robin van Persie
VAN PERSIE SCORES!! UNITED LEAD!! It's against the run of play but Robin van Persie scores another superb goal, collecting Giggs' looping ball before slamming a stunning acrobatic volley past Vorm and into the corner. Absolutely wonderful finishing.
Once again Shelvey is involved, lofting a pass over Nemanja Vidic looking for Dyer, and the winger almost gets on to the end of it but De Gea stands firm to collect the ball.
Shelvey fires a dangerous ball in, but it evades everyone and goes out for a throw on the other side.
Routledge picks the ball up on the right and darts inside, drawing the foul from Evra and the Swans have a good chance with a free kick on the right-hand corner of the box.
Another Swansea move forward sees Davies swing in a cross but United clear before Dyer dispossesses Cleverley. The hosts are much sharper right now.
Ben Davies does well to win possession in the air and Swansea start moving the ball around again. Angel Rangel pushes up but loses control and United clear. The early pace of the game has definitely settled down a touch.
You sense Michael Laudrup will be the happier of the two managers so far. United haven't really got going in the south Wales rain just yet.
Wide! Michu towers above the defence to meet the resulting corner but can only blast his header past the far post.
Giggs shows good vision to spread it wide to Evra. It's worked in to Van Persie but Leon Britton shows good strength to win the ball and Swansea move forward. Michu can't reach Routledge's cross but it comes back to the striker and his stabbed effort is turned behind by De Gea.
Carrick does well to challenge Michu and United have the ball again. Antonio Valencia works it inside to Van Persie, who tries an effort from outside the box but it rolls harmlessly wide of goal.
Chaos in the United box! Wayne Routledge pokes an effort towards goal and De Gea can't hold on to it, giving Nathan Dyer the chance to pounce. After a scramble Michu forces the ball home but the flag was up long before, with Dyer caught offside in the initial follow-up.
Two chances gone in quick succession for United! Swansea's early pressure has definitely dissipated, and Welbeck tests Vorm with a low drive, before Giggs blasts the follow-up way wide of goal.
Shelvey produces a superb driving run forward to move Swansea deep into the United half. Cleverly concedes a foul but Shelvey's quick free kick comes to nothing and the visitors eventually regain possession with a throw.
Great chance for Giggs as the space opens up in front of him. As he bears down on goal he tries to flick the ball into the path of Welbeck but completely overhits it and a glorious opportunity goes begging.
There's a first really good move from the visitors as Welbeck and then Cleverly spread it wide to Patrice Evra, who swings in a cross from the left, which Van Persie meets with a powerful header straight at Vorm.
It's definitely been a more positive start from the home side, here. United are struggling to get any prolonged periods of possession at the moment.
Superb defending from Chico Flores to stop Danny Welbeck in his tracks down the left flank. The striker felt the full force of that one.
Shelvey, already looking sharp today, tries to loft a diagonal ball over for Michu, but it evades the striker and United win possession, but instantly give it away as Robin van Persie fires a disappointing ball straight to Vorm.
Yellow Card Antonio Valencia
Great save by Vorm! Ryan Giggs swings over a free kick and it comes to Jones on the right-hand side of the box. The defender drills a volley towards goal and the Swans' shot-stopper does well to parry it over.
Shaky moments at the back for United as Phil Jones passes back towards David de Gea, but Michu is quick to charge it down and the goalkeeper's clearance hits the Swansea striker before going behind for a goal kick.
It's been a really bright start from the hosts and Moyes' men have had to deal with some early pressure.
Swansea are unhappy with a strong challenge by Welbeck on Canas but referee Phil Dowd waces play on. It looked hard, but legal. Meanwhile, Shelvey whips in a cross from the right and it's headed behind for a corner.
Yellow Card José Cañas
The visitors finally give it away and Jose Canas takes out Tom Cleverly, earning himself a pretty rapid booking. Not the ideal start to his Premier League career.
Swansea start well, moving it around nicely. Shelvey can't quite find Michu with a through ball but the Swans keep possession.
We're underway at the Liberty Stadium as Swansea get the ball rolling.
The teams are out and we're moments away from the start of this mouthwatering fixture. It's already been a pretty exciting opening day; what's this game got to offer?
Michael Laudrup clearly has a plan today. He told Sky Sports: "We have to be aggressive and positive and play our game. We have a lot of respect for Manchester United but we just have to go out there and do what we did in the two games last season."
Swansea have already shown some excellent form, including a very impressive win over Malmo in the Europa League. The Liberty Stadium isn't exactly the ideal place to travel for your first game in charge.
There is undoubtedly huge pressure on David Moyes today. They've had a fairly indifferent pre-season, but can they perform when it matters?
So, debuts for Jose Canas and Jonjo Shelvey, but Wilfried Bony has to contend with a place on the bench for Michael Laudrup's men. Meanwhile, the big news is that Wayne Rooney is on the bench for Manchester United, amid all the rumours over his future.
MANCHESTER UNTIED: De Gea; Jones, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Giggs; Welbeck, Van Persie. // Subs: Lindegaard, Fabio, Smalling, Anderson, Kagawa, Rooney.
SWANSEA: Vorm; Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies; Britton, Canas, Shelvey; Dyer, Michu, Routledge. // Subs: Tremmel, Amat, Taylor, Ki, Pozuelo, Hernandez, Bony.
With not too much longer until things kick off, let's get straight to it and show you the teams...
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE play-by-play coverage of the first evening kick-off of the 2013/14 Premier League season, as Swansea host champions Manchester United. I'm Tom McKeown and I'll be guiding you through all the action from the Liberty Stadium, as it promises to be a fascinating encounter.
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