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February 1, 2014
• Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Referee: N. Swarbrick
• Attendance: 26547
M. Carrick 38' (own goal)
C. Adam 52'
R. van Persie 47'
That's it from me, Greg Taylor, thanks for being with us, have a great Saturday evening.
David Moyes must be ruing his luck, two injuries to his central defenders, a deflected free kick and a wonder strike. But Utd had their chances, Cleverley should have equalised in injury time but blasted over from four yards. Welbeck, Evra and Cleverley were particularly poor and you have to wonder how these players are still at Man Utd.
FULL TIME: That's it, Stoke have beaten Man Utd for the first time in 30 years and get a vital three points in their fight against relegation.
90' + 6'
Stoke almost get a third on the break. Assaidi drills it across the six yard box with Ireland waiting but Carrick intercepts. Crouch then has a go from 25 yards out but De Gea gets down to it well.
90' + 4'
Utd have a throw on the far side, Mata rolls it inside to Rooney who gets it back and crosses but it's a Utd corner.
90' + 2'
CHANCE! Well I did say it earlier, but Cleverley again shows his class, or lack of it. Great free kick from Rooney, Begovic makes a great save but it falls to Cleverley just four yards out but he sticks it over. Dreadful.
Yellow Card Geoff Cameron
There will be seven minutes of injury time. Can Utd score, or will the Potters be celebrating tonight. Utd have a free kick in a dangerous position.
It'll be interesting to see how much added time there is. My guess is more than six minutes. Adam is at it again, he shoots from distance but it pea rolls to De Gea and Utd go in search of a goal again.
CHANCE! Great cross from Smalling from the right, Cameron misses it and Young, instead of taking a touch, heads it wide from 4 yards out. Miserable play by the former Villa man.
CHANCE! Great play by Hernandez, Rafael picks him out down the right, the Mexican skips past Cameron and cuts the ball back but unbelievably no Utd player is there to score.
Yellow Card Michael Carrick
Free kick for Utd on the left, another chance for Mata to prove his worth from the dead ball. It's not bad but no Utd player can get a decisive touch and Adam gets it away.
Mata casually rolls it wide, Evra feeds Welbeck in the box but the young Englishman's control lets him down again and Stoke counter.
Robin van Persie
Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
Utd need a goal now if they're going to win this. And who better than Hernandez to get it? He replaces Van Persie. Mata takes a corner but Adam heads it away, Carrick spreads it wide, and here come Utd again.
GREAT SAVE! Stoke go back to their roots and launch a long throw into the box, Evra again heads it straight back to Stoke, it falls to Assaidi who hits a brilliant volley on target but De Gea tips it over. Stoke could have had five!
Great one touch football by Stoke. Ireland feeds Assaidi who gets Smalling in a twist but instead of releasing it he fluffs his shot and De Gea can easily collect the ball. Should have finished Utd off there.
FACT: The Potters' last league win against the Red Devils was 2-1 at home on Boxing Day 1984. Can they break that record this afternoon?
Another chance gone begging for Utd. Lovely skill by Rafael on the half way line, he feeds Mata who slips a perfect through ball to Welbeck but he can't control it and Stoke have a goal kick. Welbeck was probably surprised to see such a clever pass for once.
Odemwingie gets down the right, crosses toward Crouch but Smalling is there to head over and out for a corner. Evra and Young have been terrible this afternoon. Evra just isn't getting tight to his man and Young has offered nothing down the left. Stoke have been excellent since Utd's equaliser.
Moyes is certainly going for it today. Hernandez is now warming up. Maybe he fancies a 4-1-5 formation?
More drama. Rafael goes around Adam, he feels he is tripped by Adam, but the referee waves play on. The Brazilian is fuming and squares up to Adam. The referee tells them to put their handbags back under their arms and get on with the game. Proper Premier League fixture this.
End to end stuff. Evra is brought down clumsily in the box, the refree ignores it but the ball falls to Mata inside the six yard box but he can't get a shot away and Stoke counter and muster a chance themselves. Ireland crosses towards Arnautovic who brings it down brilliantly but bends his effort just wide.
Stoke are on top here. Crouch spins in the area but his shot is easily saved by De Gea. Mata and Rooney bring it away for Utd but Young doesn't move toward the ball and Stoke win it back.
The game has gone a little flat with the stoppage in play for Walters. But he can't keep going after picking up a knock so former Man City player Ireland will come on to replace him.
Yellow Card Jonathan Walters
As soon as Walters is back on his feet, he goes in two footed on Smalling and catches the Utd defender. Walters is booked for his troubles.
Rooney goes into the book for a cynical tackle on Arnautovic and Stoke have a free kick. From that delivery Walters goes for a diving header but Rafael accidentally catches him on the head. Walters is ok to continue.
Yellow Card Wayne Rooney
Cleverley is the next Utd player to receive some medical attention. Adam accidentally catches him as he jumps over the Englishman's tackle. Stoke really pressing now.
Assist Marko Arnautovic
Goal Charlie Adam
GOAL! Stunner, absolute belter of a goal by Charlie Adam. Long ball to the back post, Walters nods it to the edge of the area, Arnautovic fluffs his lines but Adam certainly doesn't, he hits a first time rising shot into the top right hand corner from 30 yards. De Gea couldn't get anywhere near it, Stoke lead 2-1.
Utd look fired up. They have the wind with them this half. Young, for some reason, takes a free kick but it deflects out for a Utd corner. Young again seems to think he's better at dead ball deliveries than Rooney and Mata and takes the corner. Terrible delivery and Begovic catches the ball.
Assist Juan Mata
Goal Robin van Persie
GOAL! Immediate response from Utd! Carrick plays a long ball toward the Stoke defence, they don't deal with it, it falls to Mata who plays a delightful through ball to van Persie who calmly bends the ball round Begovic from 10 yards out. Great goal.
Utd get us going in the second half, with both Spurs and Everton losing as well, Moyes will be desperate his side can turn this around to close in on the top four. Can Stoke hold on and grab a huge win?
The players are back out on the pitch, we'll be underway shortly.
So despite all the excitement before kick off, Utd have lost two centre backs with both Jones and Evans going off injured and find themselves trailing 1-0 here at the Britannia. What can they do in the second half? I'm sure Moyes will expect a reaction in the second half.
HALF TIME: So there's the whistle for half time. Stoke lead thanks to a deflected Charlie Adam free kick. But it was a meedless thing to do by Michael Carrick. I'm sure David De Gea will be having a word with him at the break.
45' + 5'
Van Persie finds space in the box and drills a low cross across the face of the six yard box but Shawcross cuts it out and clears the danger.
45' + 2'
De Gea catches the corner and lumps it down field to Rafael but Begovic comes out and claims it.
There will be six minutes of stoppage time. A deep ball over the top by Whelan toward Odemwingie forces Evra to nod it out for a Stoke corner.
So Welbeck replaces the injured Jones which means Rooney will drop into central midfield and Carrick will play at the back. A promising afternoon has just imploded for David Moyes.
A small injury time out as Jones is down injured. Looking back at the goal, Carrick really has been a bit silly. Adam's shot is going straight into De Gea's path but Carrick inexplicably flicks a leg at it. Not good for Jones, he landed awkwardly and it looks like a serious knee injury.
CHANCE! Utd almost immediately equalise when Cleverley gets a sight of goal from the edge of the area but Begovic parries it and Young's subsequent cross is straight to the head of Shawcross who boots it away.
Own Goal Michael Carrick
Another free kick for Utd, Rooney this time, but again it's a poor delivery. Stoke break but Adam is fouled and it will be the Scot who will take the free kick from all of 40 yards out.
Utd free kick, once again Mata to take. He lofts it into the far post toward the on rushing Evra but Pieters heads it clear. Utd on top but Stoke are still in this.
FACT: Stoke don't have a particularly good record against the Red Devils. Manchester United are unbeaten in their last dozen league games against Stoke, winning all but one of those matches including Utd's 3-2 home win in September. Grim reading for Mr. Hughes.
Utd break at pace but Cleverley over hits a pass to Young and Stoke have a goal kick. With Mata, Rooney and van Persie looking so good on the ball, it only further illustrates how out of his depth Cleverley is. Pieters has a pop from 30 yards, I'm being kind when I say it was a shot. He hasn't scored a goal for six years.
CLOSE! Good delivery by Yong from the corner. Jones heads it back into the danger area and van Persie is first to react, but his header is tipped over for another Utd corner.
For all their possession the Red Devils are yet to hit the target. van Persie is desperate for the ball as Mata and Rooney ping it about on the edge of the Stoke area. They look better, but not as fluid as say, Man City. Walters escapes Evra down the right but his cross goes straight to De Gea.
Utd players look hungry today, they all want the ball. Rafael slips past Arnautovic down the right but is fouled and Utd have a free kick. Mata is about to take it. Poor delivery, straight to Begovic.
Mark Hughes as usual is moaning and blaming the officials for some injustice. He feels Stoke deserved a free kick on the half way line for a foul on Walters by Evra but the referee dismisses it. Meanwhile Stoke break, Walters crosses to Crouch but the wind is causing problems and it floats over the tree, that is Mr. Crouch.
Some promising interchanges between Utd's front three but they're yet to get a shot on target. De Gea clears a ball way down the field and it goes straight through to Begovic. De Gea has been a spectator so far.
Mata releases van Persie down the right, he cuts in and shoots but it's blocked and Utd have another corner. You feel a goal is coming.
Great atmosphere here. The Stoke fans are creating a great soundtrack to get their players fired up for this. Evra's cross is blocked and Utd have a corner. Mata weaves down the left and hangs up a cross for Smalling but the young defender can't get a touch. Stoke under mounting pressure here.
CHANCE! Evra gets round the back and drills in a low cross, Rooney hits it first time but it goes just wide. He should have scored that. Previous to that Evra put in another cross for van Persie who seemed to be fouled by Wilson but the referee waved play on. Lucky boy there.
Can Hughes do what other former player, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer couldn’t and take some points off Utd? Stoke have a tough couple of games coming up so Hughes will be desperate to get something out this match. Their next four games include away visits to Southampton and Manchester City coupled with a home fixture against Arsenal. Who'd be a manager ey?
Stoke gaining territory like a Rugby Union side and they've won a corner. Good delivery by Adam and Odemwingie meets it but heads wide. Should have done better with that.
No clear cut chance for either side yet, though Mata has a shot charged down on the edge of the box. The Spaniard is playing on the right today. Rafael is about to come on for Evans who seems to have a hamstring injury, Smalling will slip in as centre half with Rafael at right back.
Stoke quite impressive so far. Lovely one-touch passing in midfield between Adam and Walters releases Arnautovic but Carrick is there to slide for the ball and win it back for Utd.
Rooney spots Begovic slightly off his line and has a pop from about 50 yards but the Stoke keeper is back and ready to calmly catch the ball. van Persie not happy with his strike partner there, complaining that he was in space. He has a point, the Dutchman.
Some good work by Smalling down the right, he gets by Arnautovic and plays a one-two with Rooney but Cameron intercepts it and Stoke regain possession. Stoke have a goal kick.
Whelan plays a long ball up to Walters, he almost slips by Evans but the Irishman reads it and cuts it out. Positive start from the Potters.
We're underway and Stoke kick off!
The players are out on the pitch, we'll be underway shortly.
So how will Stoke fair today? Well they did beat Chelsea 3-2 in December but have only mustered one league win since then. They were lacklustre against Chelsea in the FA Cup last weekend and recent defeats to Crystal Palace and Sunderland has left them just three points above the relegation zone.
The arrival of Juan Mata has given the whole team, and manager a real lift. There is belief again that they can get into the top four and they'd expect to come away with three points here today. It will be interesting to see how he links up with van Persie, Rooney and Januzaj this afternoon. If it works we can expect Utd to climb the table fairly quickly.
So Man Utd fans and David Moyes finally have what they've been waiting for, Rooney, van Persie and Mata all starting together. I'm sure Mark Hughes is delighted at the prospect of stopping that triumvirate.
The introduction of Odemwingie on the wing is an interesting one for Stoke, and will hopefully provide Stoke with some much needed pace and threat from the wing. But still no starting spot for young striker Guidetti, despite Stoke's lack of goals this season.
MAN UTD SUBS: Lindegaard, Rafael, Hernandez, Welbeck, Fletcher, Valencia, Januzaj
MAN UTD STARTING XI: De Gea; Smalling, Jones, Evans, Evra; Young, Cleverley, Carrick; Rooney, Mata, van Persie
STOKE SUBS: Sorensen, Muniesa, Palacios, Guidetti, Assaidi, Shotton, Ireland
STOKE STARTING XI: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Odemwingie, Whelan, Adam, Arnautovic, Walters; Crouch
Before we go any further, let's have a look at how both sides are lining up, starting with the home side.
David Moyes will be buoyed by Tuesday's 2-0 home victory over Cardiff and will be even happier to welcome back forward Wayne Rooney to the starting lineup after returning from a groin injury in midweek. In defence Nemanja Vidic is still banned, Rio Ferdinand isn't fully fit and Michael Carrick is still carrying an ankle injury.
TEAM NEWS: Peter Odemwingie, who joined from Cardiff City on Tuesday, may be given his home debut as Stoke go in search of a crucial home win. But Mark Hughes will be without midfielder Steven Nzonzi, who is banned after getting sent off against Sunderland.
Hello and welcome to this afternoon's LIVE play-by-play commentary of the Premier League meeting between Stoke City and Man Utd here at the Britannia. My name is Greg Taylor and I'll be guiding you through all the action.
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