English Premiership

Manchester United destroy Swansea

Paul Pogba (Getty Images)
Paul Pogba (Getty Images)

Manchester United were ­frustrated for long periods during yesterday’s Premier League clash with Swansea City, but showed ruthless efficiency to destroy the Swans 4-0 at Liberty Stadium, in an encounter in which the woodwork was struck more than once.

Despite fielding the same line-up that crushed West Ham United on the opening day, it was City who nearly hit the front in the first five minutes after Paul Pogba’s poor ball was intercepted by Jordan Ayew.

After breaking down the left flank, the Ghana international hit a curling effort from an acute angle, which glanced off the crossbar.

Yet, United would hit back in the ninth minute when the crossbar was rattled at the other end of the park, as Phil Jones headed Juan Mata’s cross from the right on to the woodwork.

The Red Devils were camped inside City’s half for much of the opening half an hour, as the home side struggled to get out.

Pogba was lucky to escape a red card during this period as he fouled Tom Carroll, and moments later clumsily bundled over Martin Olsson but was spared by referee Jonathan Moss.

In the 36th minute Marcus Rashford wasted the best chance of the game when he burst through on goal after a long ball was flicked on by mistake in his direction by Alfie Mawson, but the striker’s attempted dink over ­Fabianski was caught with ease.

Yet, United got their goal just before the break when a corner curled in from the left was headed by Pogba. Swans’ number one made a brilliant save on to the underside of the bar, but Eric Bailly was on hand to tap home his first United goal in the 45th minute.

After the interval, there was very little goalmouth action for either outfit with City’s best period coming from a series of corners close to the 70-minute mark, in which defender Federico Fernández put a free header over the bar, while Tammy Abraham’s leg play was clumsy in a subsequent set-piece.

Yet, the visitors made the game safe with a ruthless quick-fire triple inside five minutes through Romelu Lukaku, a cultured finish from Pogba and a composed strike by Anthony Martial.

In the 80th minute a superb reverse pass from Henrikh Mkhitaryan found Lukaku, who finished his only real chance of the match.

Two minutes later Pogba was on the scoresheet after he made a trademark barnstorming run forward into the inside right channel of City’s box, and Mkhitaryan rolled in the France superstar, who dinked a sublime effort over the ’keeper.

Martial was then found by Pogba, cut inside and curled in a low effort.

The result means United top the league after winning back-to-back games, and scoring eight goals.