Premier League, Old Trafford – Manchester United 1 (Rooney 53) Swansea City 2 (Ki 28, Sigurdsson 72).
Louis van Gaal’s first competitive match as Manchester United manager ended in disaster as Swansea claimed a 2-1 victory in the Premier League curtain raiser at Old Trafford.
Despite dominating possession, United – who fielded three debutants – failed to create many meaningful chances and lost one of those new boys, Jesse Lingard, to an injury midway through the first half.
Swansea played on the counter and took the lead as United’s overstretched back three failed to deal with Gylfi Sigurdsson, whose pass was converted by Ki Sung-Yeung’s low drive.
Van Gaal switched to a 4-4-2 for the second half, bringing Nani into the fray and pushing Ashley Young to left-back. It was initially a success as new captain Wayne Rooney equalised with an improvised bicycle kick.
But playing wingers as defenders is a risk and, with Young slightly out of position, Swansea went in front again as Sigurdsson drilled home.
Like last season, United toiled when chasing the game and fell to an embarrassing defeat that will represent a huge blow to Van Gaal’s hopes of restoring the club’s place at English football’s top table.