Michael Laudrup: Clinical finishing the difference
MICHAEL Laudrup reckoned better finishing was the key to Swansea City’s opening-day disappointment as Manchester United ran out 4-1 winners at the Liberty.
Swansea produced a decent performance and controlled the ball for much of the contest against the reigning champions.
But the brilliance of Robin van Persie inspired United to what was ultimately a comfortable win.
The Dutch international striker put the visitors in front with a stunning 32nd-minute goal, and Danny Welbeck doubled the lead inside two minutes.
Another moment of van Persie magic made it 3-0 on 72 minutes and, though substitute Wilfried Bony marked his Premier League debut with a neat finish, Welbeck sealed United’s victory with a stylish fourth in stoppage time.
“Our plan was to put Manchester United under pressure in the first half and then maybe in the second half we could go for the win,” Laudrup said.
“That went quite well until the 32nd minute, but suddenly you saw the difference.
“Maybe we could have done better for the second goal, but to concede two in two minutes against United is too much.
“It’s very difficult to come back then. We made changes and we created some chances, but then another fantastic finish meant it was game over.
“If there was one difference today, it was the finishing.
“When you see the scoreline you would think there was a huge difference between the sides.
“But when you see the game, the difference for me was the finishing. That’s why the big players play for the big teams – the two goals from van Persie were world class.
“It happened to us before when we played Tottenham last season. We dominated that game and then suddenly Gareth Bale changed things.”
Laudrup was disappointed but not downhearted as Swansea’s league campaign began with a heavy home reverse.
“I said to the players that you just have to move on after a game like this,” he added.
“Manchester United and Swansea are playing for two different things in the competition.
“It’s not against teams like them where we have to see where we are.”