Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Manchester United 1-2 Swansea City: David Moyes feels the heat as his men crash out of FA Cup

Manchester United manager David Moyes shows is dejection as he leaves the pitch after their 2-1 defeat against Swansea City during the FA Cup Third Round match at Old Trafford, Manchester.
Manchester United manager David Moyes shows is dejection as he leaves the pitch after their 2-1 defeat against Swansea City during the FA Cup Third Round match at Old Trafford, Manchester.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05:  Wilfried Bony of Swansea City celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the FA Cup with Budweiser Third round match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on January 5, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05: Wilfried Bony of Swansea City celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the FA Cup with Budweiser Third round match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on January 5, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Swansea City's Wilfried Bony scores his side's second goal of the game during the FA Cup Third Round match at Old Trafford, Manchester.
Swansea City's Wilfried Bony scores his side's second goal of the game during the FA Cup Third Round match at Old Trafford, Manchester.

David Moyes' troubled debut campaign as Manchester United manager suffered yet another hammer blow as his mis-firing troops crashed out of the FA Cup at home to Swansea.

Wilfried Bony's last-minute header left Old Trafford stunned as 10-man United were dumped out of the competition at the third-round stage for only the second time in 30 years.

Though Moyes might claim the result was harsh, United did little to impose themselves on the contest once Javier Hernandez had levelled Wayne Routledge's early opener.

The dismissal of Fabio, just four minutes after his introduction as a second-half substitute, for a late tackle on Jose Canas, merely made a difficult situation even harder and Bony eventually rose to meet Routledge's cross to give Swansea their first ever win at this stadium.

Former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was in the stands to hear some admittedly half-hearted boos at the end for the Red Devils' fifth home defeat of the campaign.

They at least have a chance to make amends in just 48 hours when they visit Sunderland in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final, although it is clear that Moyes is facing huge problems which he has no chance of addressing in this month's transfer window.

United were supposed to be having a much-needed diversion from their Premier League tribulations. But from early on it seemed the first of their back-to-back cup matches was going to bring more misery.

Swansea's opener was a well-taken effort, with Routledge lifting the ball neatly over Anders Lindegaard before it dropped into the net.

But the ease with which Alejandro Pozuelo drove his pass through a massive gap between Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling to send Routledge clear for his first goal in three months was startling.

Moyes was possibly still mulling over the ease with which Swansea scored when his own side levelled three minutes later.

There could be little other explanation why the Scot was completely unmoved by Hernandez's close-range finish to a brute of a cross from Alexander Buttner.

Even so, given the force with which Moyes has been actively pursuing left-back options since he arrived and his continued insistence Patrice Evra is not heading for the exit door, it can only be presumed Buttner's time at United is limited. If so, at least he is going out in style.

Taking advantage of the space afforded to him by Shinji Kagawa's preference to drift in from the left-flank, Chico Flores was given a pretty uncomfortable time of it.

Buttner dropped one far-post cross agonisingly over Antonio Valencia and also curled a low free-kick towards goal that was gathered up by Gerhard Tremmel.

Valencia also screwed an effort over from Danny Welbeck's lay-off as a United outfit missing Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie through injury searched for a second.

A flurry of activity around the home box at the start of the second half brought Swansea no reward, with Pozuelo dragging a decent opportunity wide.

Bony sliced an effort off-target too, giving Lindegaard - making only his second appearance of the season - little to concern him.

Not that United were doing much to trouble their visitors either as their limitations were once again laid bare.

Despite winning a free-kick on the edge of the Swansea area, Moyes still carried through his threat to introduce Adnan Januzaj.

The 18-year-old was not involved as Tom Cleverley took the shot at goal, which went cannoning to safety off the wall.

Shortly afterwards, Buttner overhit a cross which ballooned beyond anyone who had a hope of reaching it.

The exit of Rio Ferdinand, who took a bang on the knee in a challenge with Bony, was not good news for the 35-year-old who had only just returned from a six-match absence.

A break in play to allow for Fabio's introduction merely added to the sense of a game going nowhere. The Brazilian's exit four minutes later, having been shown a straight red for a late challenge on Canas, prodded it into life.

Referee Mike Dean was within his rights to dismiss Fabio given his tackle was also over the top of the ball. But Canas' theatrical reaction did not help the United man.

And with his departure came yet another home defeat as Bony rose to nod home late on, delivering yet another shattering blow to the beleaguered Moyes.

David Moyes: Man United unlucky to go out of FA Cup

David Moyes felt his Manchester United side were unlucky to go out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage against Swansea.

Scrutiny of the Scot increased as Wilfried Bony scored a late winner to earn Swansea a 2-1 win and condemn United to a fifth home defeat of the season.

With each loss comes further questioning as to whether or not Moyes is the right man to sit in Sir Alex Ferguson's seat, but he insisted his 10-man side had deserved better.

"We are a bit unlucky to lose but we probably didn't do enough to win it," Moyes, whose men are also lagging badly in the Barclays Premier League title race, told BT Sport.

"We made some opportunities, not enough, and when you're down to 10 men you want to see it out and take a replay but we didn't quite get that far."

The red Moyes referred to was the dismissal of Fabio for a studs-up challenge, which came with the game at 1-1 after Wayne Routledge and Javier Hernandez had traded goals.

"I have no issues (with the card). The referee called it right," Moyes added.

"We played quite well at times, we got near the edge of the box quite regularly but didn't make the opportunity to score a goal or when we did get an opportunity take it. That was the disappointing thing, as we went behind and came back.

"We had certain periods of good control but we didn't get a goal or create enough chances."

Moyes is currently short of attacking options and is without both Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.

He does not know when to expect either man back, but insists he has to keep going.

"It'll be great when we get them back, the sooner we get them back the better. They're not ready yet," he said.

"If you lose games at any club, it's difficult. At Manchester United it's even bigger, but that's the job and we get on with it."

Bony was Swansea's match-winner with a powerful near-post header.

The Ivorian now has 13 goals in his first season with the Swans and he told BT Sport: "It's good, we won, we came here not to lose and it was perfect for us. That was our wish and thank God we did it.

"I tried to do my best and if I did it today, thank you God. I am enjoying life.

"It's now important for us to take it step by step and think about the next game."

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