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Premier League

  • 6 May 2012
  • • 16:00
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 75496

Manchester United 2-0 Swansea City: Scholes & Young goals take title race to final day with champions needing a miracle

Manchester United 2-0 Swansea City: Scholes & Young goals take title race to final day with champions needing a miracle


Sir Alex Ferguson's side made short work of the out-of-sorts visitors running out comfortable and deserved winners at home as the title race goes into the final game of the season

Manchester United ensured they took the Premier League title race into the final day of the season with a routine victory over Swansea at Old Trafford, with Paul Scholes and Ashley Young getting the goals.

After a nervy opening twenty minute period from the hosts, they were put ahead after Scholes managed to turn in Michael Carrick's scuffed shot from inside the box past the despairing Michel Vorm.

Ashley Young added a second just minutes before the break, clinically dispatching a loose ball into the far-right corner after some kamikaze defending from Swansea.

The second half followed a very similar pattern to the first, with United well on top for long spells, and failing to put the game to bed despite creating a host of chances, with Javier Hernandez the main culprit in a wasteful display.

Sir Alex Ferguson made three changes to the side that lost the crucial derby match against Manchester City and added a more attacking dimension to their starting eleven with the aim of bridging the goal difference gap.

Javier Hernandez, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia all returned to the side in place of Ryan Giggs, Park Ji-Sung and Nani, while Jonny Evans and Danny Welbeck missed out altogether through injury.

Brendan Rodgers made just two changes to the side that were held to a thrilling 4-4 draw against Wolves, with Mark Gower replacing the injured Leon Britton and Angel Rangel preferred to Andrea Orlandi in defence.

The game began at a frantic pace, but only a blocked Wayne Rooney shot and a speculative effort from Nathan Dyer were worthy of note in the opening quarter of an hour.

Vorm was forced into a smart double save in the 21st minute, though, first to deny Patrice Evra's angled volley and then Wayne Rooney's follow-up.

A decent move from Swansea saw Danny Graham get off a snapshot while under pressure from Rio Ferdinand moments before the hosts took the lead in the 27th minute through Scholes.

The veteran playmaker began the move in the middle of the park, spraying the ball out wide to Antonio Valencia, with the winger leaving Swansea left-back Neil Taylor for dead before cutting back a superb ball from the byline.

The Ecuadorian's pass found Carrick unmarked 12 yards out, but as the midfielder scuffed his effort into the ground, a deft flick from Scholes just in front of Vorm turned it goalwards and handed Ferguson's side the lead.

In the very next move, they should have gone two goals up after some excellent work down the right by Valencia again found Carrick bursting into the box, and his low arrowed centre across goal was missed by the onrushing Hernandez with the goal gaping.

Young soon had a strong penalty appeal turned down after Angel Rangel appeared to catch him in the area. From the resulting corner, Hernandez nodded well over from inside the six yard box.

Phil Jones, starting at right back, then burst in off the flank after playing a lovely give-and-go with Valencia, before firing straight at Vorm from wide on the edge of the area with the angle slightly against him.

United extended their lead even further in the 40th minute through Young. The visitors were guilty of trying to over-complicate things by playing the ball out from the back and Joe Allen suicidally passed the ball to Valencia, who played it inside to Rooney, who saw his shot well blocked by Ashley Williams.

However, the ball fell to Young's feet inside the box, who looked up and curled a low effort past the outstretched fingertips of Vorm and into the bottom right-hand corner to double the hosts' lead.

Early in the second half, David De Gea had to be alert to turn behind a stinging Gylfi Sigurdsson strike from the edge of the area after Allen had released Dyer away down the right with a superb ball over the top.

From the resulting corner, though, United broke away at pace and only a marvellous bit of covering from Dyer prevented Young from turning in at the far post after some tidy work from both Valencia and Rooney.

Hernandez continued his prolifigacy in front of goal as he headed narrowly over unmarked inside the six yard box from a Jones cross as United chased further reward for their dominance.

But Swansea still posed a threat on the break and they should have reduced the deficit in the 63rd minute when Dyer blazed over high, wide and not so handsome after collecting Sigurdsson's cute diagonal pass into the area.

With the game petering out into little more than a training exercise, Sigurdsson forced De Gea into a decent stop at his near post in the 70th minute in a rare scare for the home side's relatively untroubled defence.

United were still real threatening every time they poured forward, though, but they only succeeded in providing further evidence of why they find themselves eight goals behind City on goal difference in the race for the title.

Rooney spurned a great chance after collecting Carrick's sublime first-time pass from 25 yards before angling his finish wide of the far left-hand post in the 73rd minute with Vorm well beaten.

Berbatov came off the bench in the 78th minute to replace Rooney up front in what could well be his final appearance at Old Trafford, but was largely ineffective.

United comfortably closed out three points which keep their slim title hopes alive, but they remain eight goals further back on rivals City on a day when they were more than capable of filling their boots.

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