Swansea City`s FA Cup 2-1 win at Old Trafford against the Premier League title holders has to be their best victory since winning the Capital One Cup in February 2013.
The Swans won their first ever match away at Manchester United – making history – just like they did last year when they won their first ever major trophy.
|“Could have actually won by more goals with chances for Pozuelo, Bony and Vazquez but the perfect headed winning goal was scored just at the right time.”|
|HAVE YOUR SAY|
What made today`s win even more special and impressive was Swansea`s lack of first team players. Laudrup can just about put a 18-player match day squad together and rested some of his assets for their return to Old Trafford next week in the League.
United too might have had players out, but you`d expect a club like them to cope with it just a bit better than Swansea – who were without Vorm, Michu, Dyer, Hernandez and Lamah. On the bench were regulars and captain Ashley Williams, Angel Rangel, Jose Canas and Ben Davies.
The Swans have lost both their trips to Old Trafford in the Premier League, though they did come close last year to getting a point but Rio Ferdinand scored a late winner. Swansea have previously looked somewhat overawed and intimidated playing the champions away from home, giving them too much respect and failing to take any points. However, with Sir Alex Ferguson now retired, United have instantly lost that fear factor, arrogance and the attitude that helped them win so much silverware over the years.
You could see how United have managed to lose a number of home games this season due to the absence of those factors mentioned above. At times Ferguson didn`t have a fantastic squad, but he was able to get the best out of his team and was an expert at embedding an arrogance amongst the dressing room, with the players believing they were the best and should therefore win every game – thanks to Sir Alex`s methods as a manager.
That doesn`t take anything away from Swansea City`s achievements against the Red Devils today though – none whatsoever. Old Trafford is still one of the toughest places to go in the UK and despite Wayne Routledge`s early opener, you just knew United would come back strongly. And they did, as the lead lasted only 4 minutes, as Hernandez headed in from close range as Chico Flores failed to track him in the 6-yard area.
The equaliser helped to ease the pressure of Moyes` men, but the Swans were able to soak up the pressure in spells before showing an improvement in the second half – as they made it very difficult to force Gerhard Tremmel into making any meaningful saves.
Swansea`s passing was crisper, more accurate and possession lasted longer and you felt it was anyone`s game after the break. Neither side were able to create many meaningful chances but the visitors possession was promising and if they took anything away from the game – it was another decent, confidence-boosting performance.
However, they took away much more than that. As both teams looked like they had to settle for a replay at the Liberty Stadium, Wayne Routledge went from goalscorer to goal creator in the final few minutes. He raced down the left flank, and stabbed a cross over to Bony with the outside of his right boot. Just like he did against the Blue side of Manchester last weekend, he got in between the two centre halves to head home past the helpless goalkeeper. It was the Ivorian`s third goal in 5 days and he certainly looks to have turned a massive corner going into 2014.
David Moyes counted his side “unlucky” to lose, but like he said, they didn`t do enough to win it. The Swans deserve massive credit for beating one of the favourites for the FA Cup, even more so for doing it without a host of first team players.
Can they do it all over again next Saturday and pick up a more valuable three Premier League points? United will be desperate to get their revenge, but there was plenty of evidence on display to suggest that the Swans can get their second win away at Manchester United in the space of 7 days.
Some Swansea City fans have been downbeat and lacking enthusiasm about our performances and results of late, but this win and achievement goes a long way in boosting their confidence about the season ahead.