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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
14 April 2013
• Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Referee: J. Moss
• Attendance: 27191
M. Carrick 4'
R. van Persie 66'
Thank you for joining me this afternoon, it was a pleasure as always. I’ve been Chris Teale, see you soon.
90' + 3'
FULL-TIME, and Manchester United take a 2-0 victory after a professional and comfortable performance. Robin Van Persie was delighted to end his goal drought thanks to his second-half penalty, and the Red Devils were rarely challenged by a Stoke side that are slipping further into the relegation mire. They offered slightly more in the second half, although still could not breach a stout Manchester United defence. The fans at the Britannia aren’t happy at all, and their poor recent form could cost them dearly.
Three minutes will be added on at the end of the game.
Desperation from Whelan, who hammers a shot over the bar from well outside the box.
Yellow Card Cameron Jerome
Oh dear. That's a yellow for the substitute Cameron Jerome after a clumsy tackle on Vidic.
The wind really is high out there, as Van Persie tries to take a corner but is interrupted by the ball being blown away.
Well then. De Gea has a few problems with a free kick that he thinks might be drifting into the net, palming it away for a corner.
Charlie Adam tries again but only succeeds in fouling Carrick a few yards outside the penalty area. This game is now entering its final stages.
Valiant effort there from Evra to keep the ball in, but it fails. Here comes Michael Owen, is it perhaps too late for him to have an impact? Time will tell.
The away side, meanwhile, are happy to keep the ball for as long as possible and wind down the clock.
Charlie Adam has got deeper and deeper as this half has gone on. He's trying to see more of the ball, although that leaves Kenwyne Jones hopelessly isolated up front on his own. Stoke need another striker on.
Was that a foul on Kenwyne Jones? He's having a good wrestle with Vidic in the penalty area but nothing is given.
Hope for Stoke? Shotton takes the ball down well and fires in a shot that de Gea saves well low to his left.
That is now an incredibly tall order for the home side, who have had their chances but are still unable to put them away.
Penalty Goal Robin van Persie
GOAL!!! Van Persie buries the penalty low into the bottom corner! Manchester United lead 2-0, and the Dutchman is relieved.
Penalty Manchester United! Robin Van Persie jinks around in the box and is brought down by Andy Wilkinson. That was a clear one.
Stoke come maraudng forward again but Phil Jones does incredibly well to avert any danger.
Yellow Card Antonio Valencia
That's the first booking of the afternoon and it goes to Valencia for petulantly stopping Adam from taking a quick free kick.
Stoke have definitely looked better in the second half, although Kenwyne Jones lets them down a little after some poor control by Shinji Kagawa by blasting his shot well over the bar.
Adam lets fly from well outside the box with his left foot, but de Gea is equal to the task and catches the ball comfortably.
Solid tackle there from Walters, but it's only a throw. Both sides are still looking to assert their authority right now and feel their way into this second half.
That was a good chance for Walters there, who is leaning back as he hits a knock-down well over the bar.
Then, up the other end we go, and Van Persie has a glorious chance to score after a great pass from Hernandez. Unfortunately, his finish is poor and hits the side-netting.
That's more like it from Adam, who swings a cross in towards Jones but sees it headed clear.
Nearly a good pass there from Adam, although he put too much pace on it and de Gea can catch it comfortably. This wind is not making things easy for either side.
That's a cracking run from Evra but he's stopped well by a sliding Shotton.
Here we are for the second half. Manchester United kick it off.
45' + 3'
HALF-TIME, and Manchester United lead 1-0 thanks to Michael Carrick’s early goal. The away side have looked relatively untroubled with Stoke offering little going forward and will therefore be hopeful of wrapping up the win in windy conditions. The Potters really need to find some attacking momentum otherwise they will slip further into the relegation dogfight. It’s looked a little bit too easy for the away side at times out there.
45' + 1'
Interesting from Vidic, who slices the ball behind his own goal for a corner.
Stoke come pouring forward and are almost through, but their opponents' defence holds firm. Three minutes will be added on at the end of the half.
From the resulting free kick, Rooney bends the ball around the wall but also past the post. Begovic also had that one covered.
The tackles are starting to fly in a little bit now as well, as Ryan Shawcross fouls Hernandez. If the Stoke captain is booked, he faces a suspension.
Stoke love their long throws. However, Manchester United have kept them out stoutly throughout this first half.
Valencia now concedes a free kick after a poor challenge on Walters. To be fair to the referee, he's done a good job so far of keeping control without resorting to showing any cards.
Now, Wilkinson is given a very attractive bandage and may well have to change his shirt as well. He's a tough guy, so will be fine to continue.
Oh dear. Hernandez and Walters get into a heated debate after the Mexican leaves a boot in on Wilkinson and draws blood. Ouch.
That could have been a brilliant pass from Ryan Shotton to Whelan on the counter attack. Alas, it went out for a throw.
That was physical. Stoke lump the ball forward and Adam ends up on the floor under what he suggests was a heavy challenge. The referee disagrees, however.
Another good spell of pressure for the away side, but Stoke manage to scramble the ball away once again.
That was ambitious from Van Persie, who tries a lob from almost the halfway line but sees it go well wide. Begovic was off his line, but that would have been some goal.
Another corner there for the away side, which is taken by Rooney but headed wide by Carrick at the near post.
Huth then gets a talking-to from the referee after a clumsy tackle on Hernandez around the centre circle.
The free kick is a good one, as Glenn Whelan's cross in is headed just wide by Robert Huth.
That's better from the Potters, who force a free kick after Charlie Adam is fouled by Nemanja Vidic.
The Stoke players are already starting to look a little frustrated with each other. That's what poor form does to a side.
Decent spell this for Manchester United, as Antonio Valencia tries to thread a ball through but sees it hacked clear.
The away side have slowed the game right down as they keep the ball with ease, to the disgust of the home fans. Then, Wayne Rooney fires in a shot that Asmir Begovic palms away to safety.
Kenwyne Jones does not look impressed after having a defender climb all over his back. He stays on his knees for a good few seconds demanding a free kick that is not forthcoming.
Another corner for Manchester United and it's a clever one as Robin Van Persie finds Patrice Evra, but the Frenchman's shot goes well over the bar.
It's quite an atmosphere now at the Britannia Stadium, especially as the away fans have now found their voice after that early strike.
Goal Michael Carrick
GOAL!!! Manchester United lead!! That corner causes absolute havoc in the Stoke penalty area and Michael Carrick manages to just about stab the ball home from about eight yards out! An early lead for the away side.
Good possession there from the away side, who force a corner off Jonathan Walters, their first.
Good cross in there from the Stoke left by Andy Wilkinson, but David de Gea catches it comfortably.
Here we go! Stoke get the first half underway.
We’re close to the start now, as both teams make their way onto the pitch.
The home side make three changes, with Andy Wilkinson, Glenn Whelan and Charlie Adam coming in for Marc Wilson, Dean Whitehead and Matthew Etherington. Former Red Devils striker Michael Owen is among the substitutes. Speaking of the away side, they’re clearly going for the kill in this game with all their attacking triumvirate starting this one. They make four changes from the team that lost to Manchester City, bringing in Nemanja Vidic, Antonio Valencia, Shinji Kagawa and Chicharito.
Now, here’s Manchester United: De Gea, Vidic, Evra, Jones, Ferdinand, Kagawa, Carrick, Valencia, Rooney, Hernandez, van Persie. Subs: Lindegaard, Evans, Giggs, Smalling, Welbeck, Cleverley, Buttner.
How are the teams looking? First, here’s Stoke: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilkinson; Shotton, Whelan, Nzonzi, Adam, Walters; Jones. Subs: Sorensen, Palacios, Owen, Whitehead, Kightly, Crouch, Jerome.
Meanwhile, Manchester United are so close to their 20th league title they can almost taste it, although the party was put on hold by their city rivals last time out as they lost 2-1 thanks to goals from James Milner and Sergio Aguero. However, with a 12 point lead, the Red Devils surely can’t let this one slip and can gain something of a psychological advantage over Manchester City with a win here this afternoon, given the second-placed side are at Wembley for their FA Cup semi-final.
Stoke had been virtually impregnable at home in the Premier League but have struggled since January at the Britannia Stadium, winning just once at their own ground while losing three and drawing two. Their poor form has also crept into their away form as well, and now the Potters find themselves in a rather precarious position, just three points off the relegation places. The lack of goals has been a real concern for manager Tony Pulis, and his side really need to find a few more points to make sure they stay out of the danger zone.
Good afternoon, and welcome to this LIVE! text commentary on the Premier League clash between Stoke and Manchester United from the Britannia Stadium. My name is Chris Teale, and I’m glad you could join me for this one.
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