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Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL: United's top four hopes suffer after Swansea draw

EPL: United's top four hopes suffer after Swansea draw

April 30, 2017 19:56 IST

IMAGE: Swansea's players celebrate after Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a goal against Manchester United. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Manchester United's hopes of a top four finish suffered a blow on Sunday as relegation-threatened Swansea City came back for a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

The result left United in fifth place behind Manchester City on goal difference. City occupy the final Champions League qualification spot and could leapfrog third-placed Liverpool later on Sunday if they beat Middlesbrough.

It was United's 10th home draw - the highest number in the Premier League this season - and the team's injury woes continued to mount with defenders Luke Shaw and Eric Bailly both taken off during the game.

"We lost players and we lost points, so yes today was a bad day," said manager Jose Mourinho.

"We are tired and exhausted. You cannot isolate the performance out of the context. This is the ninth match of April, it is not human. We have a squad of 22 that is reduced to 13 or 14 players. The players are very tired," he added.

United are hoping to make the Champions League by winning the Europa League. They face Celta Vigo in Spain in the first-leg of their semi-final

on Thursday.

For Swansea though, the point could prove to be precious as they bid to get out of the bottom three - they are now two points behind 17th placed Hull City with three games remaining for both clubs.

Wayne Rooney put United ahead from the penalty spot on the stroke of halftime after Marcus Rashford was ruled to have been brought down by Swansea keeper Lukasz Fabianski.

Swansea protested the decision arguing that the 19-year-old England forward had dived but Rooney kept his cool to drive in.

It was Rooney though who gave away a freekick on the edge of the area which allowed Gylfi Sigurdsson to curl in a magnificent effort in the 79th minute.

Questions will be asked, however, of the decision to move Ander Herrera from his position on the goal-line, into the wall, with Sigurdsson's shot going exactly in the spot where the Spaniard had been stood.

United's injury list already included top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, record signing Paul Pogba and key defender Marcos Rojo, as well as defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling and Mourinho was understandably concerned.

"I don't know about the injuries. I think Luke Shaw's must be a big injury, because to leave the pitch after 10 minutes I am expecting a very big injury.

"At the moment, we can walk from the bed to the toilet and break a leg," he said.

Source:
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