Manchester United on to something good as goals from Bailly, Lukaku, Pogba and Martial blow Swansea away
Pogba: 'We've had a very good result, 4-0 again with a clean sheet, We want to carry on on this road'
SWANSEA, SOUTH WALES // Three late goals helped Manchester United to a flattering win against Swansea City. Eric Bailly’s first for his club a minute before the break was followed by one apiece from Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba and the hugely effective Anthony Martial as Jose Mourinho’s men made it two straight 4-0 wins at the start of their Premier League campaign.
"We've had a very good result, 4-0 again with a clean sheet, We want to carry on on this road," French midfielder Pogba told Sky Sports. "We are more confident [than last season]. We know each other more. We work for each other and I think that is easier for us."
A United side unchanged from their convincing 4-0 opening day victory against West Ham United survived an bright opening three minutes from Swansea, when Martin Olsson found space on the left to drop a ball into the United area. His effort brushed the crossbar and bounced away from danger to the relief of David de Gea and the 2,000 travelling United fans behind the goal, most of whom had left Manchester at 6am for the long journey and an early kick off.
United quickly asserted themselves and also hit the crossbar after nine minutes with a Phil Jones header from a Juan Mata free kick. The visitors were superior in possession as they controlled the game, though ponderous, without having the cutting edge shown against West Ham. Indeed, Swansea’s Kyle Bartley should have scored with a 33rd-minute header after rising above Bailly.
Marcus Rashford, frustrated at the attention he received from Swansea’s defenders and from home fans who thought his dive led to a goal when the sides met at Old Trafford last season, used his speed and a fine first touch to set himself up with a chance after 35 minutes. A more clinical striker would have taken it, but instead of hitting the ball low and hard when one on one with Lukasz Fabianski, the Mancunian tamely flicked the ball towards the goalkeeper as Swansea manager Paul Clement raged at the defensive error which led to the opening.
United were on top, with Nemanja Matic again peerless, but it took until the 44th minute to take the lead. A Daley Blind cross was met by the head of the unchallenged Pogba. Fabianski kept the ball out, but couldn’t put it out of danger. As captain Federico Fernandez pondered and the Polish goalkeeper was floored, Bailly reacted quicker to score for the first time since joining from Villarreal 14 months ago.
Clement has promised to improve his team with the £45 million (Dh194m) Swansea will receive from the sale of Gylfi Sigurdsson to Everton, but as the sun came out, United started the second half the brighter side, winning two corners. Tammy Abraham, the teenage Chelsea striker on loan and playing only his second Premier League game, found few opportunities before he headed a Tom Carroll cross over on the hour-mark. That came two minutes after his teammate Leroy Fer half-volleyed an attempt, with both efforts leading to goalkeeper De Gea and his manager Jose Mourinho admonishing United’s defenders.
A curling Pogba free kick after 75 minutes - like most of his free kicks - flew just over the bar. The Frenchman is getting closer to finding his range. Marouanne Fellaini came on as United sought to close the game out, with Anthony Martial replacing Rashford, but the substitutes sparked United. Lukaku’s goal on 80 minutes broke Swansea’s dogged resistance. A minute later a delightful chip from Pogba made it three, with the creative feet of Henrikh Mkhitaryan again involved. Swansea collapsed, United were ruthless and Martial sealed the win on 84 minutes, Pogba setting up his compatriot to run at the dishevelled Swansea defence.
"It was a tough game, especially in the first half. We had passion, we did what we had to do. The second half became much easier because they played with more defenders and that left space," said Armenian playmaker Mkhitaryan.
"Team spirit. We also have a little luck with the chances we are creating."
The jubilant United fans sang "Mourinho’s red and white army", "We’ll Never Die" and "Something Good". With six points, eight goals scored and none conceded, United are looking every bit as good as the song claims.
Updated: August 19, 2017 05:59 PM