A horrid start for Van Gaal at Old Trafford, and an amazing start for a Swansea side who has rebuilt without signing all players from Spain. The opening day of the Premier League was thrilling, and already we have storylines. We now know for sure that with the current Manchester United squad is not good enough to challenge for the Premier League, if even the top four, and Swansea– who didn’t even play the best they could– shown they have made the right choices in the transfer window. Here’s a look at which players did and did not perform well in the opening match day for both teams.
GK: David De Gea 6/10
Maybe could’ve done more for the second goal, but saying that would be harsh. Didn’t really have much to do.
RWB: Ashley Young 5/10
His performance shows you exactly why you can’t predict how a season will go based on the preseason. He was ineffective going forward and made several mistakes as a defender.
CB: Phil Jones 7/10
Jones played pretty well, and combined with Smalling was able to shackle Bony and Gomis when he came on. Not the best performance ever, but he’s improving.
CB: Chris Smalling 7/10
Smalling, like Jones, put in a solid performance with no mistakes.
CB: Tyler Blackett 6/10
The young defender at times looked like a deer in the headlights, and I was surprised he wasn’t subbed off the pitch. Fortunately for him and United, he didn’t make any costly errors.
LWB: Jesse Lingard 6.5/10
He was impressive until he had to come out because of an injury. Lingard is someone Van Gaal should consider using as a wing-back in the future, behind Luke Shaw.
CM: Darren Fletcher 6/10
He played several good balls and was for the most part defensively solid, but at times was caught out.
CM: Ander Herrera 6/10
Didn’t get off to a stellar start in the Premiership, but after he adjusts to England’s top flight he should become an outstanding player. But he wasn’t in this match.
AM: Juan Mata 6/10
United were hoping Mata would be able to be the key number 10 this season, yet he was overran in the midfield and couldn’t really get on the ball.
CF: Wayne Rooney 8/10
He was one of the only players on the pitch for United who played very well. He scored an acrobatic goal and hit the crossbar. United fans can take hope in that at least Rooney played great.
CF: Javier Hernandez 4/10
Did absolutely nothing in this match, and was subbed off early. After this performance, Chicharito should now be considered by all United fans to be surplus to requirements.
LM: Adnan Januzaj 7.5/10
Probably the second best player on the pitch for United, he came on for Lingard and was a constant threat down the flank. His ability with the ball at his feet is superb.
RM: Nani 5/10
The Portuguese winger played ok. Well, he didn’t do anything tremendously horrible. Or good either. Pretty much, he did nothing.
CM: Marouane Fellaini 5/10
Started out playing center mid when he came on but then used as a forward. If United are resorting to sending long balls to Fellaini in order to win games against Swansea, you know there’s something wrong.
GK: Lukasz Fabianski 8.5/10
Every time the ball was crossed in the air Swansea fans must have cringed from remembering Fabianski not being able to deal with crosses when playing for Arsenal, but this match he was superb at catching crosses and overall he played very well.
RB: Angel Rangel 7/10
Nothing outstanding, but put in a solid performance this match on the right hand side for Swansea.
CB: Jordi Amat 8/10
Another solid performance from another defender. Amat usually couldn’t get ahead of Chico Flores in the starting lineup, yet in this match he defended well and didn’t make errors or rash tackles that Flores was prone too.
CB: Ashley Williams 9/10
As always, he was a rock and a leader at the back. He made several crucial challenges and was Swansea’s best defender on the day.
Neil Taylor: 6.5/10
As with Jordi Amat, Swansea showed in this game that they have players in their squad who can replace starters that they lost. Neil Taylor stepped into Ben Davies’ role, and filled his shoes well. Not the best defender on the park, though, as he was replaced by Tiendalli towards the beginning of the second half.
RM: Nathan Dyer: 6/10
Played well when he was on the pitch, making key runs, but often times he couldn’t provide the killer touch.
Wayne Routledge: 5/10
Routledge was one of the two players on Swansea who didn’t have a good game, at times looked lively but for the majority of the match was invisible.
CM: Ki Sung-Yeung: 8.5/10
Possibly one of the most underrated midfielders in the Premier League, Ki started where he left off with Swansea as he scored a superbly placed goal.
CM: Jonjo Shelvey 5.5/10
Again, not at the level that many think he is at. Relatively invisible throughout the match, it was the likes of Ki, Sigurddson, Bony, Montero, etc. who provided Swansea with forward power. Shelvey is not the right choice to partner Ki in the midfield.
CM: Gylfi Sigurdsson: 9/10
Like Ki, started where he left off with Swansea. He assisted and scored a goal, a perfect start for the Icelandic midfielder.
CF: Wilfried Bony: 8/10
Held up the ball outstandingly well, and several times was adjudged for a foul when he had just outmuscled players. Provided a good outlet for a Swansea team which sat back for periods during the match.
LB: Dwight Tiendalli 7/10
Came on as a substitute, and played well in place of Neil Taylor.
LM: Jefferson Montero 8/10
Lively down the wing, was a key factor in the buildup play that led to Swansea’s second goal. He could replace either Routledge or Dyer in the starting line-up next game.
CF: Bafetembi Gomis 8/10
Very impressive, held the ball up well and also played well facing goal. Bony may soon face some competition to be leading the line for Swansea.