Laudrup: Finishing the difference

17th August 2013

Michael Laudrup said Manchester United's quality in the final third was the difference between the two sides as Swansea went down to a 4-1 defeat at the Liberty Stadium.

The Swans started brightly and put the visitors under pressure before two goals in two minutes from Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck put United in control.

Van Persie added a third shortly after the hour mark to put the game beyond Swansea's reach and despite Wilfried Bony pulling one back for the hosts, Welbeck netted his second in stoppage time to cap a fine afternoon for David Moyes in his first league game in charge.

But despite the heavy scoreline, Laudrup admitted that there wasn't too much between the two sides - pointing to United's superior finishing as the difference.

"Our plan was to put them under pressure," he said. "We knew it would be a long game and it worked well for the first half hour as they only had one shot on target.

"But then you see that difference - and the first goal was a great finish. But to concede two goals in two minutes against a team like Manchester United makes it very difficult after that.

"We created some chances after that but the third goal meant it was game over. The main difference was the finishing, and losing the two goals like we did was a huge blow.

"It's always difficult to play the big teams, but I would rather play them at the start of the season. There is always that doubt, but the difference in today's game was the finishing."

The Swans now turn their attention to Thursday's Europa League clash against FC Petrolul Ploiesti, with Laudrup's side looking to make a giant step towards the group stages of the competition.

They then face a tough trip to Tottenham next Sunday, and the Swans boss insists his side will be looking to bounce back straight away.

"I said to the players that we just have to move on," said Laudrup. "We are playing for different things within this league and its not against teams like Manchester United that we need to see where we are.

"We know look ahead to Thursday's game in the Europa League and get back on track."

Meanwhile, it was the perfect start to life in the Manchester United dugout for David Moyes.

The Scot took charge of his first league game and was delighted with the way his players acquitted themselves to get their season off to a flying start.

"I'm pleased to get the first game out the way, and it's the first of many," said Moyes. "I thought we could play better at times, but we were incisive and I'm really pleased with the result.

"This will be a hard place for any team to get a result because Swansea are a good team and they have assembled a really good team here."