Last Three Meetings: Two wins and a defeat against Stoke City

Manchester United welcome Mark Hughes’ Stoke City to Old Trafford on Sunday hoping to make it four wins from four in all competitions. The Reds put in a commanding performance last weekend against Premier League champions Leicester City before seeing off Zorya Luhansk in a dull affair in the Europa League midweek. If you throw into the mix the EFL Cup victory over Northampton earlier this month, it’s three wins on the bounce for Jose Mourinho’s men after a trio of straight defeats to Feyenoord, Manchester City, and Watford.

Hughes’ side have had an awful start to the current campaign and have only won one out of eight matches in all competitions this season, the second round win over League Two side Stevenage in the EFL Cup although they were later knocked out in the following round by Hull City. The Potters are 19th going into this weekend’s round of fixtures having failed to pick up a single win from their opening six league games. Let’s have a look at the last three meetings between the two sides.

Manchester United 3-0 Stoke City, Premier League – 2nd February 2016

Louis van Gaal’s side went into this one on the back of a dreadful record of not scoring in the first half at Old Trafford for eleven straight matches, a run of eight hours and 40 minutes but that all changed when United blew Stoke City away and raced into a 2-0 half-time lead.

Jesse Lingard opened the scoring on 14 minutes as the 23-year-old stooped low to head home Cameron Borthwick-Jackson’s drilled cross. Frenchman Anthony Martial doubled United’s lead seven minutes later with the goal of the evening. It was a swift counter attack that the Old Trafford faithful were accustomed to under Sir Alex Ferguson. It started with Michael Carrick on the edge of the United area and ended with Wayne Rooney spraying the ball out to Martial on the left before the 20-year-old effortlessly found the top right corner. Martial then turned provider for Rooney after the restart to give United three goals and three points.

Stoke City 2-0 Manchester United, Premier League – 26th December 2015

Is there a worse place to visit when you’ve lost three games on the bounce than Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium (now known as the Bet365 Stadium)? If there is, I can’t think of many. It was already a bleak December for Louis van Gaal who had lost to Wolfsburg, Bournemouth and Norwich City in the space of 11 days.

The big talking point prior to kick-off was the omission of United captain Wayne Rooney, who started on the bench. Things soon got worse for United who were behind inside 20 minutes with a goal that could have easily been avoided. Memphis Depay attempted a diving header back towards David De Gea allowing Glen Johnson to nip in and square it to teammate Bojan to make it 1-0 to the hosts. The Potters doubled their lead seven minutes later through Marko Arnautovic’s long-range strike and that’s how it finished meaning the Reds were winless in seven games in all competitions.

Stoke City 1-1 Manchester United, Premier League – 1st January 2015

The Reds travelled to a stereotypically blustery Britannia Stadium on New Year Days during the 2014/15 season and were unbeaten in their last nine games in all competitions, however, their bad start to the campaign meant they sat 10 points behind Chelsea and Manchester City before a ball was kicked.

Ex-Red Ryan Shawcross put the home side ahead inside two minutes when he connected with Peter Crouch’s knockdown from a Marko Arnautovic corner. Another former United player almost made it 2-0 however Mame Biram Diouf fired wide with a clear sight of goal. High-profile loanee signing Radamel Falcao levelled proceedings on 25 minutes as he connected with Michael Carrick’s near-post flick-on. Stoke felt they should have been awarded at least one spot-kick during the game however it finished all square.

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