Manchester United were visitors at Britannia Stadium at Stoke looking forward to maintaining their unbeaten run in all competitions and with a late minute free kick, Wayne Rooney perfectly managed to do that. The target, however, was another with Liverpool losing to Swansea so we could move closer in the standings. As the teams were revealed, the only surprise was Martial as he didn’t even make the bench and his absence was obvious.
With a system that seemed a clear 4-3-3, United had a poor game today, probably missing Carrick to give the chance Herrera and Pogba to go upfront easily. It must be said that Fellaini did have a good game as he was unlucky not to score with his head. Manchester United despite not shining was dominating all over the place as De Gea didn’t have much to do.
Rather than a great build up play from Stoke City, United seemed to have forgotten to defend as Smalling was the man to clear that chance but a last touch from Mata saw the ball going past David De Gea. The Spaniard on the other side missed two clear unforgivable chances that would have changed the way the game went. Point was that nothing was working for United. Mkhitaryan, usually boosted with energy seemed to have his mind somewhere else, not moving, making the game a bit frustrating.
It seemed one of those games of last season, where United wouldn’t do good enough to score, losing the tracks to the top four making it even harder for the team to achieve the goals that has been set. Showing the reasons why United are not title contenders this season, the players were trying to keep the run of the game going with a furious Mourinho on the sidelines. The changes he made were doing poor except Rashford who added pace to a side that wasn’t running fast enough to make Mark Hughes’ side struggle.
A great Ander Herrera was keeping Stoke away from the United half while the two fullbacks seemed to have forgotten to push. The game was getting near end and the team and fans were getting used to the fact that the game was gone, but Wayne Rooney had something else in mind. A beautiful free kick left Lee Hart stunned, as the goalie couldn’t do anything. Full Time, United keep their unbeaten run alive, yet not performing in high standards to comfortably win the game. Congratulations to Wayne Rooney who is now, all-time leading scorer of Manchester United.
As United draw, here are the player ratings for today’s game: