Swansea dump Manchester United out of FA Cup

David Moyes’s woes continue after fifth Old Trafford loss of season

Swansea City’s Wilfried Bony   scores his the winning goal in the FA Cup third round clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Swansea City’s Wilfried Bony scores his the winning goal in the FA Cup third round clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Sun, Jan 5, 2014, 19:09

Manchester Utd 1 Swansea City 2: David Moyes ended this dire defeat at Old Trafford with his arms folded, entering and exiting the technical area in the vain hope that his Manchester United side could somehow answer Wilfried Bony’s late strike.

The tie had entered its 90th minute when Wayne Routledge zipped past Darren Fletcher down the left and popped up a ball that the unmarked Bony headed beyond a helpless Anders Lindegaard.

At the close Moyes was ashen-faced and the unpalatable facts are that this was a fourth home defeat in a month, a fifth in total this season. With the manager and the United hierarchy contemplating a January transfer window in which little or no strengthening may occur, where the Moyes project goes from this juncture will fascinate.

As this contest entered its final 20 minutes the old chant of “attack, attack, attack” could be heard from the United congregation. The problem is that the champions can still dominate for periods yet lack that telling edge.

Here, again, the issue was paramount against a Swansea City side that offered little yet still came away with the victory.

As with the 2-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur on New Year’s Day, Moyes’s side ended the contest camped outside the opposition area but were too blunt and predictable in what, at times, aped a training-ground game of attack-versus-defence.

For the manager the sight of Rio Ferdinand, making a first appearance for a month, limping off towards the end and his replacement, Fabio da Silva lasting four minutes before receiving a straight red card for a challenge on José Cañas was yet more attritional fare to digest.

Javier Hernández, who would miss several chances, had United’s first opportunity when an errant back-pass from Routledge deep inside the home half was latched on to by the Mexican.

He raced 50 or 60 yards but as Dwight Tiendalli, the visiting right back, came over to the left, Hernández’s shot was blocked, the danger cleared.

Hernández had a far clearer chance when the ball bobbled off Danny Welbeck close to the Swansea goal but he scuffed the shot wide.

Moments later Hernández and his team-mates regretted the miss even more. From near the centre circle Bony bounced the ball back to Alejandro Pozuelo and his first-time pass split the home rear guard. Routledge moved on to the pass, held off an exposed Chris Smalling, and lobbed Lindegaard coolly.

Less than four minutes were required for Hernández to square proceedings. His fifth goal of the season was a simple affair that will have had Michael Laudrup seething.

As the Dane’s side slumbered Alexander Büttner stretched to control the ball down his left corridor before thumping in a cross that Hernández finished first time beyond Tremmel.

This failed to steady a United side with six changes from the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. If Moyes informed his team to wake up during the break they failed to do so. Almost instantly following the restart Pozuelo was allowed to dance forward before unloading an effort.

(Guardian Service)

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