Hernandez hands Swansea first home Premiership defeat this season

Swansea 0 Manchester United 1


Manchester United remain five points adrift of Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City after Javier Hernandez's early goal gave them victory over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.

The Mexico international struck in the 11th minute, sliding home his fifth goal of the season from Ryan Giggs' pass after Angel Rangel had carelessly given the ball away on the edge of his own box, to give United their first win at Swansea at the ninth attempt.

Scott Sinclair missed Swansea's best chance when he miscued with an empty goal at his mercy, but, despite some bright attacking moments, the Welsh side struggled to create against a well-organised United rearguard as they suffered a first home defeat of the campaign.

Swansea's brightest moments had come during the early stages of the contest, with wingers Nathan Dyer and Sinclair proving their primary attacking threat with several raids down their respective flanks.

But all the promise of an energetic home start was undone when Rangel's lazy pass gave the ball away to Giggs and the Welshman had little trouble finding Hernandez, who beat Michel Vorm from close range.

The goal briefly rocked the hosts back on their heels but a wonderful jinking run from Dyer, which saw the winger beat Wayne Rooney, Giggs and Patrice Evra along the way, soon had the home crowd on their feet.

And Swansea should have been level after 22 minutes as a deflected shot from Wayne Routledge found Sinclair with the goal at his mercy, but the ex-Chelsea man badly missed his kick and the ball deflected to safety off his standing leg.

Despite those bright moments Swansea were finding it difficult to get into their usual passing rhythm as United pressed high up the field and penned them in.

The champions' increasing comfort saw Rooney, who excelled playing just off Hernandez, flash a long-range drive wide, while Giggs curled a free-kick narrowly off target.

Hernandez should have doubled the lead to reflect the visitors' superiority right on half-time, but he opted to square the ball after Rooney's wonderful control and weighted pass had put him in on goal.

With United in such a position of control Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers summoned precocious midfield talent Joe Allen, who was nursing a calf problem, from the bench in place of Routledge in an effort to change the pattern of the game.

And Allen had an instant impact as he teed up Sinclair for a shot that David De Gea tipped round his post.

But United remained dangerous and Hernandez again failed to capitalise on more magic from Rooney as he miscontrolled his strike partner's superb ball towards the six-yard box.

But Swansea had started the second half with more verve and vigour and it took a brave defensive block from Nemanja Vidic to prevent Ashley Williams getting on the end of Garry Monk's goalbound header.

Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand blocked on-target efforts from Danny Graham and Williams as the hosts continued to push forward in search of a leveller.

But having weathered that brief storm United took a stranglehold on possession, with Carrick's assuredness on the ball taking the sting out of Swansea's attacking ambitions.

Rooney had a chance to cap a fine individual display late on but chipped over the bar after getting a lucky ricochet from a Williams block, before Phil Jones clipped the post and Nani fired wide as time ran out.

PA

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker