Sigurdsson free-kick earn Swansea point against Man Utd

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Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick gave Swansea a deserved point at Old Trafford
Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick gave Swansea a deserved point at Old Trafford

A wonderful Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick earned Swansea a precious point in their battle for Premier League survival and damaged Manchester United’s push for the top four.

Sigurdsson curled over the wall from about 20 yards to cancel out Wayne Rooney’s penalty and move the Swans to within two points of 17th-placed Hull.

United stay fifth, level on points with Manchester City, who play Middlesbrough on Sunday, and a point behind Liverpool after the same number of games.

The disappointment of the dropped points was compounded by the loss of both Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw to injuries, joining a list that already includes fellow defenders Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo.

But the result was probably fair on Swansea, who had every reason to claim that Marcus Rashford dived for the penalty that Rooney converted.
Super Sigurdsson saves Swans

Swansea dominated for much of the first half, enjoying the majority of possession as a sluggish United had to rely on David de Gea to make smart saves from Fernando Llorente and Jordan Ayew.

The visitors looked to have been deflated by the controversial penalty on the stroke of half-time, but were rejuvenated by the introduction of Leroy Fer on the hour mark.

They got what they deserved through the brilliance of Sigurdsson and after a bizarre build-up to a central free-kick just outside the United penalty area.

As the Icelander waited, Ander Herrera dropped from the United wall to goalline, only to be waved away by De Gea. Sigurdsson duly placed the ball exactly where Herrera had been standing.

Swansea could even have won it, another free-kick from Sigurdsson not converted by Llorente, who was unmarked inside the six-yard box.

Another draw hits United hopes

United, playing their ninth game in 30 days, were second best for the majority of the first half, only threatening through the pace of Anthony Martial.

Rashford was visibly frustrated before his telling contribution. Played through on the left of the six-yard box, he was going to ground before the challenge of Swansea keeper Lukasz Fabianski.

After Rooney coolly converted, United could have doubled their lead in the second half – the captain’s goal-bound effort from the edge of the six-yard box struck the back of Martial.

But after Bailly was forced from the field, the home side began to unravel, resulting in Sigurdsson’s equaliser.

Though Antonio Valencia forced Fabianski to save a driven shot, United were hanging on to their 10th home draw of the season.

That they set a new club record of 25 successive unbeaten games in a single top-flight season will be of no consolation.
What’s next?

United travel to Spain for Thursday’s Europa League semi-final first leg against Celta Vigo. Their next Premier League match is at Arsenal on Sunday.

Of their remaining three games, Swansea face perhaps their sternest test on Saturday, when Everton visit south Wales.

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