Swansea's Manning all smiles after going viral

Ryan Manning joined Swansea from Queens Park Rangers in October 2020
Ryan Manning joined Swansea from Queens Park Rangers in October 2020

The incident which left Ryan Manning appealing for the return of his shin has been viewed more than 11 million times on social media.

For those who have not seen it, the scene was Kenilworth Road earlier this month, where Swansea City trailed 3-0 to Luton Town having conceded three times in 16 first-half minutes.

Russell Martin’s team were on the ropes, and another blow – this one literal, rather than metaphorical – was delivered as Manning attempted to slow down the taking of a Luton free-kick.

After Manning nudged the ball away, Hatters midfielder Henri Lansbury instead kicked the Republic of Ireland international with such force that the video went viral.

The referee, Tony Harrington, deemed Lansbury’s challenge worthy only of a yellow card, the same punishment meted out to Manning for kicking the ball away.

“Everyone was a bit baffled as to what was going on,” Manning says.

“Luckily enough it didn’t hurt me, somehow.”

The story might have been different had Luton pressed home their advantage, but Swansea fought back to claim a 3-3 draw which felt more like a victory.

Manning saw the funny side of the Lansbury challenge, taking to social mediaexternal-link to ask anyone who found “a shin floating about Luton” to let him know.

“I kept refreshing my phone after it – 17,000 likes now – I went viral,” Manning, 25, says with a smile.

While the near unanimous verdict of those watching was that Lansbury had been very lucky to avoid a red card, the former Aston Villa player saw fit to complain about the yellow.

Luton’s Wales defender Tom Lockyer, meanwhile, had plenty to say to Manning as he lay on the turf.

“He came over and had a go – and I know Locks, I used play golf with him when I lived in London,” Manning adds.

“He messaged me afterwards, saying ‘sorry about that, it was all in the heat of the moment – it was actually quite harsh’.

“The main thing was I still had my shin and was able to carry on.”

Luton was a third Championship draw in a row for Swansea, who built on the lift brought by their unlikely second-half revival as they beat Huddersfield Town last Saturday.

Joel Piroe’s goal secured a first home league victory for Martin, the former MK Dons boss charged with changing Swansea’s style when he took over in early August.

Manning, usually a full-back or wingback, has operated in central defence for much of this season, with Martin wanting good footballers even in his back three.

It is one of many changes made by Martin, and Manning believes Swansea’s players are happy to adapt.

“It’s different to most styles but the management here are unbelievable at getting it across to us,” he says.

“The manager alludes to it at times – every other team in the league would love to be playing that style of football.

“You come out of a game and you’ve had 60 or 70% possession, you can’t complain. We are all embracing and enjoying it.”


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