Matches | Review

Stoke frustration continues for Manchester United

The Red Devils have now gone six years without a victory at Stoke City and failed to continue their perfect start of the season.

Lineups:

Manchester United: De Gea – Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Darmian – Matic, Pogba, Herrera – Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Lukaku.

Stoke City: Butland – Cameron, Zouma, Wimmer – Diouf, Fletcher, Allen, Pieters – Shaqiri, Jese, Choupo-Moting.

The match was a very open one, with both teams looking to get the victory. Stoke missed two chances in the first four minutes. Choupo-Moting and Jese both came close to open the score, but their shots went either over or wide of the goal.

After an initial five minutes of undecided football, with the ball rapidly moving from one end to the other, Manchester United started to dominate possession and to push Stoke back into their own half, although without any real threat to Butland’s goal.

In the 25th minute, Rashford missed a great chance. The English striker was found with a through pass by Eric Bailly and took a shot from the angle but Butland was able to save with his legs.

Only two minutes later, Stoke had their biggest chance of the game. Shaqiri tried his luck from 25m out, but De Gea managed to save a shot that was going into the bottom corner.

Although it was looking like the first half was going to end 0-0, Stoke had other plans. In the 43rd minute, United’s defence was caught sleeping. Fletcher played a ball to Diouf in the box, on the right, from where it was crossed in front of the goal. Choupo-Moting only had to push the ball in from the six yards box. It was the first goal conceded by Manchester United in this Premier League season.

But Stoke’s advantage only lasted for two minutes. A corner kick of the Red Devils was sent at the near post, from where Matic flicked it on. The ball found its way to Pogba, whose header hit Rashford and went into the back of the net.

Stoke came more determined from the changing rooms after the break and looked in control of the game for the start of the second half. But Manchester United were quick to cut their enthusiasm. In the 57th minute, Henrik Mkhitaryan sent another one of his majestic through balls to Romelu Lukaku who took a shot at goal. Butland managed to save the initial shot, but Lukaku was quicker to the rebound and pushed the ball in the net.

In the 63rd minute, David De Gea managed a fantastic save after a first time volley of his co-national, Jese. United’s goalkeeper had a great reflex to push Jese’s shot over the bar.

However, from the resulting corner, Stoke managed to equalise. Phil Jones lost his man, Choupo-Moting, and the Cameroonian striker headed the ball in from nearby to make the double.

Both teams had their chances to grab the three points until the end, with Manchester United being closer, but the match ended 2-2, a result that ruined the Red Devil’s flawless start of the season.