Swansea 1 Manchester United 1: Reds frustrated as Michu's goal gives Swans share of the points
16:13 GMT, 23 December 2012
Manchester United missed the chance to extend their lead in the title race to six points as Michu came out on top in the battle of the Barclays Premier League's top scorers at the Liberty Stadium.
Patrice Evra had given United the lead in the 16th minute as he headed home from a Robin van Persie corner.
But Swansea continued their good record against the top-flight big guns as Michu finished from close range to move clear of Van Persie with his 13th league goal of the season.
Flat out: Michu makes it 1-1 as goalkeeper David de Gea lies on the ground
Swansea: Vorm, Tiendalli, Chico, Williams, Davies, Dyer, Britton (Ki 62), Agustien (Shechter 88), De Guzman (Moore 71), Routledge, Michu.
Subs not used: Tremmel, Graham, Monk, Richards.
Goal: Michu 29
Booked: De Guzman, Williams
Man Utd: De Gea, Jones, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Valencia (Hernandez 62), Carrick, Cleverley (Scholes 86), Young, Rooney (Giggs 78), van Persie.
Subs not used: Lindegaard, Welbeck, Fletcher, Buttner.
Goal: Evra 16
Booked: Jones, Rooney, Van Persie, Scholes
Referee: Michael Oliver
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United will hold a four-point lead over Manchester City at Christmas but will be left to rue a series of missed chances during the final half hour when they piled the pressure on their hosts.
Swansea felt they had shown United too much respect during this fixture last season but, after a slow start, they showed little sign of being overawed as they took the game to the visitors.
Dwight Tiendalli flashed a threatening ball across the six-yard box before Kemy Agustien freed Michu with a superb long ball, but the Spaniard sliced high and wide.
David De Gea easily saved weak efforts from Wayne Routledge and Michu, but United halted the hosts' building momentum as they took the lead.
Wayne Rooney had already warmed Michel Vorm's hands with a stinging drive before Evra put the visitors ahead, arriving to glance a header in off the far post from a Van Persie corner.
But Swansea recovered well from the blow and Jonathan de Guzman had the ball in the net two minutes later, but the effort was ruled out for Michu blocking off Jonny Evans as the midfielder advanced.
All square: Michu scores the equiliser for Swansea
Levelling up: Michu celebrates making it 1-1 just before the half hour mark
The Liberty Stadium faithful were further angered when Phil Jones was given only a yellow card for a clumsy lunge on Ben Davies, although replays suggested referee Michael Oliver had got the decision right.
But it was United who felt they had been victims of an injustice as Michu levelled on the half hour mark.
Evra was caught out by De Guzman's clever run and when De Gea could only parry the Dutchman's angled shot, Michu was on hand to tap in.
Not going to plan: Wayne Rooney , Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick look on after Swansea level the scores
Sir Alex Ferguson was visibly angered that Van Persie was not awarded a free-kick after he and Chico Flores went to ground following the Spaniard's challenge seconds before the equaliser, and the United boss made his feelings known to referee Oliver at the break.
The goal added an extra bite to Swansea's play and they had the better of the remainder of the opening half.
De Guzman and Routledge were becoming increasingly influential for the hosts and the former should have done better after working his way into the United box on the byline, only to shoot straight at De Gea with several team-mates well placed.
High riser: Patrice Evra heads United into the lead
Head boy: Patrice Evra watches his header go in the back of the net
Goal rush: Evra celebrates scoring his third goal of the season
But United offered a remainder of their quality in first half stoppage time when Evra easily got past Nathan Dyer and intelligently pulled the ball back to Rooney, but the England forward fired directly at Vorm.
The second half started at a furious pace and there were chances for both sides.
Michu again headed over and De Gea had to stand firm to repel Routledge's close-range strike.
Body on the line: Ashley Williams gets across to block Wayne Rooney's shot
At the other end Ashley Williams made two superb blocks to stop goalbound efforts from Rooney and Ashley Young after Swansea twice surrendered possession cheaply.
United were finally exerting some authority and Van Persie came close to putting them back in front as he cleverly diverted a Rooney cross goalwards, only to see his effort cannon away off the bar.
Substitute Javier Hernandez wasted another presentable chance as he failed to control Van Persie's astute pass and Vorm gratefully held the Mexican's deflected strike.
Looking for his man: Ashley Young prepares to cross the ball
Off target: Williams again gets in the way, this time to stop Van Persie
Protecting the ball: Nathan Dyer fends off the challenge of Evra
Worse was to follow for United when Rooney dispossessed Chico Flores but allowed the defender to get back and intercept a slack pass which should have given Hernandez an easy finish, much to the fury of his manager.
Tempers flared as United frustrations grew. Van Persie was struck on the head by a Williams clearance after being brought down on the edge of the box leading to some pushing and shoving and a booking apiece for the central protagonists.
Head case: Williams lashes the ball against the neck of floored United striker Van Persie
Pulled apart: Williams and Van Persie had to be separated by their team-mates
Ref rage: An angry Sir Alex Ferguson complains to fourth official Lee Probert after the incident
Swansea were by now under incessant pressure.
Vorm tipped a Carrick header against the bar while Van Persie and Young were denied by blocks from Williams and Davies, although there was a suspicion of handball about the latter, as Swansea held out.