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United stay on top as they brush Stoke aside

How does he do it? Whether it’s with his face, the back of his head or the stunning way Chicharito took his goal against Stoke City, he always seems to improvise a way to find the net! It’s pure instinct, a thing that some players are born with and cannot be coached. Despite scoring their first goal at Old Trafford since 1980, the visitors still went back home empty handed while United are assured of staying on top of the table irrespective of the outcome of the Arsenal v Manchester City clash at the Emirates on Wednesday night.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson stated before Christmas that if  United were still in pole position on January 5 “We’ve have done well”. Apart from conceding a late equaliser at Birmingham, United obtained full points from their other three fixtures over the hectic holiday period, stretched their Premier League unbeaten run to twenty five matches and are looking good for another title. It has to be difficult for Sir Alex to ask for much more than that.

Manchester United  2  v Stoke City  1 – Javier Hernandez and Nani were on target as Manchester United survived a Stoke fightback to go three points clear at the top of the Premier League. The Red Devils dominated the opening period and Dimitar Berbatov went close before Hernandez slotted home from close range on 27 minutes from Nani's cross. Ryan Giggs put a free kick just over as United failed to extend the lead before half time and were then made to pay as Dean Whitehead pulled the Potters level five minutes after the re start when heading home Tuncay Sanli's cross.

But Nani won it with a sublime finish from the edge of the box on 62 minutes after playing a one two with Hernandez. The deserved win made it 20 games unbeaten in the league this season for United, who opened up a lead of three points over Manchester City and five on Arsenal ahead of their meeting at the Emirates Stadium on

Wednesday. Full Report – Dean Whitehead headed home Stoke City's first League goal at Old Trafford for more than 30 years . . but it couldn't prevent their brave performance ending in defeat. The £5 million midfielder glanced home a Tuncay cross with his head in the 51st minute to give the Potters genuine hope of getting a result against leaders Manchester United.

They were sunk in the end, however, by a stunning strike from Nani on the hour after Javier Hernandez had claimed the goal that put United in front in the 27th minute. But although the final outcome was a familiar one for the Potters, this was a far cry from the heavy defeats which they had suffered in their previous two Barclays Premier League visits to Old Trafford and they were still in with a shout going into the closing stages. Full Report – Chicharito and Nani twice combined to devastating effect to give United a vital, hard-fought victory over Stoke City at Old Trafford. The Mexican striker back heeled home the Portuguese winger’s cross to open the scoring and, after Dean Whitehead had nodded the visitors level, the United pair swapped roles as Chicharito teed up Nani to blast home a left footed winner. The victory, which assures United of top spot regardless of the outcome of Wednesday’s meeting between Arsenal and Manchester City, was a fitting reward for a sweat soaked denouement to the hectic festive period.

Stoke battled throughout and had briefly looked like taking a share of the spoils back to the midlands after drawing exploiting United’s sloppy start to the second half. That 10 minute lull aside, the Reds controlled the flow of the game – despite dramatic alterations to the spine of the side which won narrowly at West Brom last Saturday. Full Report

Manchester United – Kuszczak, Rafael, Smalling, Vidic,  Evra, Nani, Fletcher, Gibson (Carrick 78), Giggs, Berbatov, Hernandez (Owen 78) GOALS – Hernandez (26m), Nani (62m)

Stoke City – Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Collins, Tuncay, Delap (Walters 68), Whitehead, Wilson, Etherington (Pennant 68), Jones (Fuller 75) GOAL – Whitehead (49m)


No Responses to “United stay on top as they brush Stoke aside”

  1. Redscot says:

    It was a slippery win, no doubt and much pleasure can be gained from this.
    As I have always thought and felt it its a team built to win the the 19th premier league title. To knock them off their “Fucking perch” Sir Alexs aim and it is to be admired.No bastard likes the the Scouse, thats historical!
    There are new kids on the block. Like Barcelona.
    If any United fan can seriously imagine we can beat them , explain to me how?
    Challenge in hand to hope for a draw at the Emirates and we will win the league the Premiership.
    With this team not a cat in hells chance of winning the champions league.

  2. Frank Scicluna says:

    Allright mate, let’s agree to disagree. Cups are frequently won by the luck of the draw. If United can get past Marseilles which is quite doable, it will depend on favourable quarter and semi final match ups. Should United make their way into a Wembley final, I don’t care who the opponent is, they will win it.

  3. Redscot says:

    Hello Boss and a happy new year to you Frank.
    I agree boss we should not fear anyone, and hope for luck in the draw.
    I am sure you recall last season Champions league exit.
    Bayern were beaten twice in their group stage and got through on away goals against Florientina yet put us out easily, with cheating, but nonethe less we excited the competition.
    I think our team needs serious investment not to worry about luck?

  4. Tom says:

    Ha ha – “brush Stoke aside”. Every impartial report I’ve read says you were rubbish again and scraped the win again. Fair enough, ‘winning ugly’ is the mark of champions blah blah blah, but you’re playing so bad you’re going to be found out soon.

  5. Frank Scicluna says:

    Am I wrong or is it after 2am in Scotland? Don’t you go to bed mate? Do you really think that Bayern “put us out easily” last season? I thought that we were extremely unlucky with both their second goal and Rooney’s injury in the dying seconds in Munich then the away goal defeat at Old Trafford. Had we got through that we could have easily found ourselves in the third successive final where anything can happen. I repeat that I’m confident of winning the CL – IF we can get into the final. But if I had to choose one or the other, my preference is still title number 19.

  6. Frank Scicluna says:

    “Every impartial report I’ve read” so you never even watched the game Tom! Here are some stats from the ‘impartial’ Soccernet mate. Possession – United 65%, Stoke 35%, Shots on goal – United 19, Stoke 5. Corner Kicks – United 6, Stoke 1. Yes, Stoke City defended well for much of the game but were always outclassed. Are United going to be found out soon? The so called experts have been predicting that for the last 20 games of this season – and they’re still waiting!

  7. Bill says:

    only a united fan could call Barcelona “new kids on the block”.

  8. Redscot says:

    @ frank yes I do go to bed eventually, But i love United so a I am eager keen to digest and learn.
    What I meant really within my post Boss, we could have been out of the tie that night in Bayern if it were not for Edwin he kept us in the tie that night mate.
    I realise we were cheated bye Bayern at Old Trafford, bye imaginary card waving of Rubbery and wots his name that scored the winner!
    I still stand bye my post mate, we were defeated bye a team that got through there group stage on goal difference, beaten twice in doing so, got through to meet us bye beating Lyon on away goals rule.
    Anyways God Bless, and if you think we can the big cup for the “Best manager ever in the Premiership”.Thats Belief.



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