MAN UNITED 2, SWANSEA CITY 0.
Manchester United’s Barclays Premier League win against Swansea City was completely overshadowed by events in the North East.
City’s splendid victory at Newcastle United in the lunchtime kick off leaves the Reds’ title destiny out of their own hands.
United require QPR to deny City victory next Sunday at the Etihad Stadium while they must also win their final fixture at Sunderland.
It appears a highly improbable scenario with City looking likely to be crowned champions by virtue of a superior goal difference unless there is a further twist in what has been an absorbing title race.
Who would have thought, for example, that United would blow an eight-point lead with only six matches remaining.
Sir Alex Ferguson still believes United can snatch the title from the grasp of their neighbours.
He said: “You have to think there is hope. QPR have got to go to City needing one point to survive. I just wish Sparky (Mark Hughes) was still playing for them.
“QPR are fighting for their lives so we must think we have a chance.”
Ferguson described it as a “professional” performance against Swansea given his players knew City had won earlier.
There was an eerie silence at Old Trafford before kick off as United fans aborbed what had happened at Newcastle.
And it took shell-shocked United until midway through the opening period before they carved out their first chance when the Swans’ Dutch keeper Michael Vorm made a double save to deny Patrice Evra and Wayne Rooney.
The breakthrough came in the28th minute when Antonio Valencia cut the ball back from the right for Michael Carrick whose shot was back heeled past Vorm by Paul Scholes from six yards.
Javier Hernandez, Rooney and Phil Jones all could have increased the lead before United scored a second in the 41st minute.
Rooney’s initial shot was blocked and the rebound fell invitingly to Ashley Young who curled a low shot into the far corner from the left side of the penalty area.
Swansea, who only had a couple of sniffs at goal in the opening period, were far more of a threat after the restart.
Gylfi Sigurdsson twice forced scrambled saves from David de Gea while Joe Allen’s shot took a deflection off Danny Graham and squirmed out of the keeper’s grasp to provide an anxious moment.
United also had their chances as Hernandez headed over from six yards when he ought to have found the target while Rooney pulled shot wide when he looked certain to score.