Manchester United beats Swansea 4-1
SWANSEA, Wales (AP) - Two goals each from Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck saw Manchester United beat Swansea 4-1 Saturday in David Moyes' first Premier League game as manager of the defending champion.
Wayne Rooney, who has reportedly told the club he wants to leave Old Trafford, came off the bench for the last 30 minutes of the match as United's Premier League title defense got off to an impressive start.
"Our job is to win the game and the players did it well,'' Moyes said. "We could have played better at times but I am more than happy with the result.''
Swansea began the game as the brighter side, with Michu forcing a good reaction save from United goalkeeper David De Gea midway through the first half, before heading the resulting corner wide.
But van Persie opened the scoring with an acrobatic strike in the 34th minute. He controlled a deflected, looping pass from Ryan Giggs before volleying past Michel Vorm in the Swansea goal. Welbeck scored his first of the game two minutes later, tapping in Antonio Valencia's drilled cross from close range.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup made two changes at halftime as he looked for a response from his team, bringing on striker Wilfried Bony for his Premier League debut and Pablo Hernandez for Leon Brittain and Wayne Routledge.
But it was the first substitution that Moyes made, after 61 minutes, which grabbed more attention as Rooney replaced Ryan Giggs in the midst of English media reports that he wants to leave United for rival Chelsea.
United began to push on for a third and Patrice Evra saw his header from a corner cleared off the line by Swansea debutant Jose Canas.
Van Persie eventually got the third, his second of the game on 74 minutes, cutting inside on his favored left foot and curling a powerful shot beyond Vorm and into the top corner from outside the penalty box.
Bony managed to get a goal 10 minutes from the end with a neat first-time strike on the edge of the area before Welbeck completed the scoring, receiving a through ball from Rooney and lifting the ball over Vorm and into the far corner of the net with a sublime chip.
And Welbeck drew praise from teammate van Persie for his skillful finish after the game.
"The fourth goal from Welbeck was unbelievable,'' van Persie said. "We're very happy, you don't want to lose the first game of the season and they are very hard to play against.''
Speaking of his well-taken first goal, van Persie said his first touch led him to finish it in the style he did.
"The first 15, 20 minutes, they were better than us but the goal changed the game. It was a great pass from Giggs and I had a touch but I felt it was a little heavy so I had to take it as high as possible.''
As for Rooney, manager Moyes was pleased with his contribution after coming on.
"I felt he could do a job coming on, he's not ready to start yet,'' said Moyes. "He made a great run for the third (goal) and then set up Welbeck.''
SI Now: Adrian Peterson thinks Johnny Football is NFL Ready
SI Now: Adrian Peterson on the Vikings' future at quarterback