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Review: Stoke stall United’s perfect start to the season


United were held to a tie against the Potters as away curse for the Reds continue at the Bet365 stadium.

United failed to win against Stoke for five games now in as many games at the Bet365 stadium. The match finished with a scoreline of 2-2.

Setting the Scene

Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku continue their good run of form with goals in the either half but Manchester United were left frustrated after the draw.

Meanwhile, Stoke’s new signing Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting starred in the match with two goals against the Reds to keep Stoke City on track.

After Stoke’s loss in the opening match of the season against Everton, the Potters have come back on track with a home win against Arsenal and two consecutive draws.

Choupo-Moting’s brace ended United’s perfect start to the season but the draw restored them to the top of the Premier League table after their city rivals climbed to top after a comfortable win against Liverpool.

Jose Mourinho made three changes to the squad that won at Leicester two weeks ago. Matteo Darmian, Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera made the starting line-up.

First Half

Amid a noisy atmosphere at the Potters stadium, the hosts made a better start to the match compared to their opponents with a corner in the 4′ min Jese heading narrowly off-target.

United’s first attempt at the goal came in the 18′ min from Pogba whose clever effort deflected for a corner.

Soon after, Eric Baily’s pin-point pass saw Rashford race into the Potter’s area 5 minutes later with a low drive only to be blocked by Jack Butland, having tested him for the first time in the match.

However, Stoke bounced back to life after two long-range shots from Xherdan Shaqiri but De Gea comfortably blocked them with smart saves.

Choupo-Moting broke the deadlock after he scored for the hosts in the 43′ min from the cross by Mame Biram Diouf as Stoke moved ahead with a 1-0 scoreline due to Baily’s lazy defending.

But their happiness was short-lived after Rashford inadvertently scored for the visitors from the header of Paul Pogba just before the break.

Second Half

As the second half started, both the teams looked buoyant having found the back of the net in the first half. Both the teams looked more calm and composed in their play.

Although the hosts looked to regain the lead, Romelu Lukaku scored for Manchester United in the 57′ min to aid the visitors go into lead. Lukaku scored in the second attempt due to a superb pass from Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Lukaku scored his fourth goal of the season for the Reds.

However, United’s joy was momentary after Choupo-Moting headed in his and Stoke City’s second goal in the 63′ min.

David de Gea made a remarkable save by deflecting Jese’s close-range effort for a corner. But Moting scored from the corner ball despite De Gea’s best efforts.

With the clock ticking down, Jose Mourinho brought on Juan Mata and Anthony Martial with 18 minutes remaining for the match.

This effort from the Portuguese almost paid-off after Lukaku turned in a close-range shot from a wicked pass from Martial, but the Belgian’s effort was way high.

United almost stole a win in extra time but for Butland who forced a stunning save from his team-mate Kurt Zouma.


The match ended as a draw with 2-2 scoreline.

Nonetheless, Mourinho seemed upset with the scoreline as he rebuffed a handshake from the Potters boss Mark Hughes.

However, Hughes was quite happy with the result. He stated:

“I thought it was a magnificent performance today against arguably the best team up to this point in Manchester United and the threat they gave us.”

“I thought it was a better performance than the winning performance against Arsenal.”

Since the match is over, Manchester United players must focus on the Champions League match against Basel ahead of them.

United will be in action on Wednesday in the Champions League for the first time in two years.

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Amiya Saha
Avid follower of Manchester United FC. Have blind faith on the Red Devils at any point. Waiting to see Manchester United bring back the Ferguson era. Has a dream to watch Manchester United play at Old Trafford live.

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