Robin Van Persie was a big casualty for Manchester United as they crashed to a 2-1 defeat at the Liberty Stadium against Swansea City, who completed their double over United, and he was seen leaving the stadium on crutches and with a protective boot on his right ankle.
United ended up losing only their second game since November 2014 but could now end the weekend in 5th place and manager Louis Van Gaal will now be sweating over the fitness of Van Persie.
The Dutch striker limped off late on during the game having only just earned a recall for United after United’s 3-1 win over Preston North End in the FA Cup.
He was joined in the team by Paddy McNair and Phil Jones as Radamel Falcao, Antonio Valencia, and Chris Smalling made way.
By comparison, Swansea manager Garry Monk matched up with United the Liberty Stadium by switching his side to a diamond to counter United’s midfield but it was the Reds who drew first blood.
Ander Herrera, who had prevented Bafetimbi Gomis an early goal with a last ditch goal line clearance, had given United a first half lead with a low show after 38 minutes after a pass from Angel Di Maria but Swansea levelled matters just two minutes later when Ki Sung Yeung’s flick went in from Jonjo Shelvey’s cross.
The South Korean had scored at Old Trafford on the opening day of the season but his second goal against United this season was only his fifth goal overall but his equaliser was well deserved for the Swans.
United had dominated possession in the game but produced only three shots on target during the entire game and paid for their profligacy when Swansea scored in the 73rd minute.
Shelvey’s shot took a deflection off Gomis and looped in past David De Gea in the United goal.
United tried to hit back by switching to a more direct approach but were hampered by the late loss of Van Persie.
The defeat for United, coupled with Arsenal’s win a Crystal Palace, has dropped them to fourth place in the Barclays Premier League and they could yet drop out of the Champions League qualification places if Southampton avoid defeat at home to Liverpool on Sunday.