Swansea ruin Van Gaal’s Premier League bow – AP

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Manchester United's Dutch manager Louis Van Gaal leaves the field after the English Premier League defeat to Swansea City at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England on August 16, 2014 (AFP Photo:Paul Ellis)
Manchester United's Dutch manager Louis Van Gaal leaves the field after the English Premier League defeat to Swansea City at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England on August 16, 2014 (AFP Photo:Paul Ellis)

 Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United reign got off to a false start on Saturday as Swansea City won 2-1 in the season’s opening Premier League game at Old Trafford.

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Van Gaal was taking charge of his first competitive game as United manager, but his new side exhibited many of the same failings from last season — when they finished seventh — as they slumped to a surprise defeat.

South Korea midfielder Ki Sung-yueng exploited inattentive marking to give Swansea a 28th-minute lead with a left-foot shot from the edge of the box.

United’s new captain Wayne Rooney equalised early in the second period, but Gylfi Sigurdsson condemned the hosts to a first opening-day home defeat since 1972 with a close-range finish in the 72nd minute.

It gave Swansea back-to-back wins at Old Trafford, following their shock FA Cup success in January, and was a reversal of United’s 4-1 win at the Liberty Stadium on the first day of last season.

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“It is very disappointing that we have lost our first home match,” said Van Gaal, who took over at United after leading his native Holland to the World Cup semi-finals.

“We were very nervous in the first half, made the wrong choices, and that is a pity. In the second half, we never played as a team. Therefore, I’m responsible.”

Injuries obliged Van Gaal to give competitive debuts to Tyler Blackett, 20, and 21-year-old Jesse Lingard, who took their places in the 3-4-1-2 formation that had served United well in their unbeaten pre-season campaign.

Lingard’s day was to last only 24 minutes, however, as he was forced off after appearing to jar his knee in a challenge with visiting captain Ashley Williams.

United bossed possession in the first half, but Swansea struck from their first sight of goal, with Ki stroking home a lay-off from Sigurdsson.

The Dutchman introduced Nani in place of striker Javier Hernandez at half-time, with the hosts switching to a 4-2-3-1 system, and United responded immediately.

Juan Mata’s right-wing corner was flicked on by Phil Jones and Rooney hooked home a spectacular close-range volley at the back post.

Rooney came close to putting United ahead with a free-kick that hit the outside of the post in the 66th minute.

READ MORE … http://news.yahoo.com/swansea-ruin-van-gaals-premier-league-bow-140750559–sow.html

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