Football

Published: Sunday January 12, 2014 MYT 4:42:04 AM
Updated: Sunday January 12, 2014 MYT 4:42:04 AM

Moyes can smile at last as United sink Swansea

Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic (L) and Darren Fletcher (R) challenge Swansea City's Wilfried Bony during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England January 11, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic (L) and Darren Fletcher (R) challenge Swansea City's Wilfried Bony during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England January 11, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble

(Reuters) - Manchester United returned to winning ways after three straight defeats with a 2-0 Premier League home victory over Swansea City on Saturday, avenging last week's FA Cup loss to the Welsh club.

Without strikers Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, United laboured before halftime but Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck scored early in the second period to calm any jitters and put a smile back on the face of manager David Moyes.

United remained in seventh place with 37 points from 21 games, nine points behind leaders Chelsea, but victory at least improved the mood at Old Trafford, even if the performance was not memorable.

"In the end we got the result we deserved," Moyes, who was charged with misconduct by the FA on Friday for comments he made about officials after Tuesday's League Cup semi-final, first leg defeat at Sunderland, told Sky Sports.

"At halftime I said we had to work a bit harder and make more chances and they (the players) went about their jobs very well."

Michael Laudrup's injury-hit Swansea dominated possession with their patient passing style but apart from a Jonjo Shelvey shot easily held by David de Gea they created few chances.

United also struggled, however, with the game looking eerily similar to last Sunday's FA Cup third round tie at Old Trafford that Swansea won 2-1 with a late Wilfried Bony goal.

There was to be no repeat on Saturday though as United, with teenager Adnan Januzaj switched from a central role to the wing at halftime, took the lead two minutes after the interval.

Valencia was on hand to tuck away a rebound after Shinji Kagawa's header was parried by Swansea keeper Gerhard Tremmel.

"Not many have dropped for us in the box lately and sometimes you need that bit of luck," Moyes said.

Welbeck glanced in Patrice Evra's shot on the hour to give United daylight and they should have added more goals late on.

If Moyes was a relieved man after another week of intense scrutiny he was not showing it, however.

Asked how big the victory was, the Scot simply said: "Same size as any other one. All you can get is three points."

United visit Chelsea next week when they hope to have Rooney available after a "warm weather" break to heal a groin problem.

(Writing by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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