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Sunday 17 December 2017

Monk raises glass after Swansea win

Garry Monk was delighted to complete the double over Manchester United
Garry Monk was delighted to complete the double over Manchester United

Garry Monk has revealed he will raise a glass to celebrate a slice of Swansea history.

Manchester United had never lost twice to Swansea in the same campaign but Monk's men claimed a historic league double when they repeated their 2-1 victory at Old Trafford on the opening day of the season in south Wales on Saturday.

And Swansea boss Monk admitted the achievement persuaded him to end his abstinence from alcohol.

"I probably haven't had a drink in eight or nine months but I will have a glass of red with the family after this," Monk said after outwitting United counterpart Louis Van Gaal for the second time.

"I am there to set the standard and I have not had the time for a drink.

"That's the business now - it's not like being a player.

"You have to get straight back on to the next bit."

Monk ripped up his usual formation to match United diamond's system but the portents did not look good when Ander Herrera fired the visitors into a 28th minute lead.

But Ki Sung-yueng levelled within two minutes and Bafetimbi Gomis' inadvertent winner when he got in the way of a Jonjo Shelvey pile-driver to provide a crucial deflection and signal only United's second defeat in 20 games in all competitions.

"I looked at United and saw the way they were likely to set up," Monk said explaining his change of system.

"I felt we couldn't let them get too much control in midfield so we changed it a little and I thought it worked really well in the first half.

"The problem is they have so much individual quality to create something out of nothing and it doesn't sometimes matter how you set up.

"We stuck to it and I felt at the right moment we got another goal and then changed to block it up."

While United boss Van Gaal was left to count the cost of defeat in the race for Champions League qualification and face up to Robin van Persie's potential spell on the sidelines following an injury which saw the Dutch striker leave Swansea on crutches, Monk insisted his players can now create even more history.

Swansea are within 10 points of matching their best Premier League points total of 47 from their debut 2011-12 campaign and, with 12 games of the season remaining, Monk feels eclipsing the mark will act as a source of motivation in the months to come.

"Obviously our motivation is to get to 40 points as soon as possible," Monk said.

"I know we will do that anyway, but get it done and then 47 is the best we have had.

"So that's the next one, let's make sure we beat it and we are remembered for this season."

Press Association

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