Manchester United beat Swansea 2-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday, March 31. Here’s what we learned from the Premier League match.
Manchester United took advantage of Swansea early on Saturday, scoring twice in the opening 20 minutes before seeing out the win. Jose Mourinho’s side performed well and look like they’ll finish comfortably in second place, but it was a poor performance from a Swans side looking to avoid relegation. Here’s what we learned.
Lukaku joins elite company
Anybody that has watched Manchester United this season will know how important Romelu Lukaku has been to the team. The Belgian striker has been a key cog in United’s attack all season, and currently leads the team in goals (26), with 15 of those coming in the Premier League.
With his goal, Lukaku joined a very exclusive club by scoring his 100th goal in the Premier League.
Lukaku joins the likes of Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen, Sergio Aguero, and is the fifth youngest player to reach the mark.
The goal was textbook Lukaku, as he finished off a nice passing play between Alexis Sanchez and Jesse Lingard.
Lukaku has been under a lot of pressure this season as Mourinho’s only real option up front, but he’s responded well, despite a brief lull in form over the winter months. This record is further testament to his ability to score goals, regardless of who he’s playing for.
United can play with urgency
Mourinho has been criticized all season long for not allowing his attacking players to truly thrive. With a squad that contains the likes of Lukaku, Sanchez, Lingard, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, the Red Devils should certainly be entertaining. That they often aren’t is an indictment of Mourinho’s approach.
That being said, United turned on the style on Saturday. The Red Devils scored both goals within the first 20 minutes of the match, and continued to hem Swansea into their own half for most of the game.
They ended the game with 66.6 percent possession and allowed only two shots on target all game, both of which were kept out by the typical world-class goalkeeping of David de Gea. De Gea and Sanchez both had fantastic games with the Spanish goalkeeper recording his 20th clean sheet of the season and yes, finally, after all these games …
Sanchez scored his first goal for the club following his transfer from Arsenal. There’s still a long way to go for Sanchez to prove he made the right decision in picking United over Manchester City, but this can only help.
Swansea aren’t out of danger yet
Swansea finished the match in 15th place, only three points above the relegation zone with seven matches to play. The good news is they face West Brom, Stoke, Bournemouth and Everton — two teams in the relegation zone and two teams with nothing to play for at this stage of the season.
The bad news is they also play Manchester City and Chelsea. Carlos Carvalhal has done an excellent job since taking over from Paul Clement, and the Swans are in a strong position heading into the final stages of the season, but they can’t afford more tame defeats like this.
Their upcoming matches, away to West Brom and at home to Everton, will likely determine whether they can cruise through to the end off the season or if they’ll have to sweat it out heading into their final match against Stoke.