Manchester United was handed its first loss of the Premier League season by Swansea, rallying with two goals in five minutes in the second half to win 2-1 on Sunday.
Andre Ayew headed in Swansea’s equalizer in the 61st minute as United’s defense was breached for the first time this season, then set up Bafetimbi Gomis for the winning goal in the 66th that should have been kept out by goalkeeper Sergio Romero. The striker scored for the fourth straight game this season.
Juan Mata put United ahead in the 49th minute with a far-post finish from close range but Louis van Gaal’s team paid for not taking full advantage of dominant spells in both halves, again demonstrating its need for another striker before the transfer window closes on Tuesday.
”We controlled the game for 85 minutes but we lost in five minutes,” Van Gaal said, ”and that cannot happen.”
United, which has lost 2-1 to Swansea in their last three league meetings, dropped to fifth in the standings and five points behind Manchester City. City has a maximum 12 points.
This was another sobering experience for United against a side that has added power and efficiency in its attacking play to complement its renowned passing game.
Swansea’s players didn’t let their heads drop despite being dominated for the first 20 minutes and then conceding within four minutes from the restart.
Left back Luke Shaw was allowed to run unchallenged down his flank and sent in a cross that was missed by Wayne Rooney and crept through to Mata, who beat Ashley Williams to the ball to score from close range at the back post.
Ayew inspired Swansea’s comeback.
First, he timed his run forward to perfection on a counterattack that started when Rooney lost possession near Swansea’s penalty area. Gylfi Sigurdsson crossed from the right and an unmarked Ayew planted a downward header just inside the post.
Swansea’s second goal was a sweeping move that ended with Ayew finding Gomis with a deft, lofted pass with the outside of his left foot. Gomis got in behind Chris Smalling and beat goalkeeper Sergio Romero with a low shot that crept under the Argentina international.
”We went deep into ourselves to win this game,” Ayew said.
Swansea climbed to fourth place on eight points, and remained unbeaten.