Stoke Sinks Man United

Stoke City triumphed over Manchester United on Saturday in the English Premier League, coming away with a 2-0 victory.  The absence of Wayne Rooney was felt on the pitch, as United appeared sluggish and unfocused.  Stoke took control of the pitch early on, with strategic passing, awareness over their space, as well as the pace of the game.

Memphis handed the hosts a belated Christmas gift in the 20th minute, when a weak headed backpass to David De Gea allowed Glen Johnson in on the right, passing to Bojan Krkic who toe poked it in, taking the lead.  Five minutes after the opening goal, the home side leaped further ahead, after Bojan took a free-kick in the box, bouncing off the wall, where Marko Arnautovic blasted a swerver into the net, putting them ahead 2-0.

The visiting side rushed their attack, but lacked control and form to make the goals up.  Rooney replaced Memphis in the second stanza, and immediately heightened the energy of the Red Devils, but despite pushing forward, they were still rushed in attack.  The Potters were slack in their play, since they did not enter their rivals’ half on attack in the first 15 minutes.

Mark Hughes’ men came alive after the 65th minute, and Arnautovic was able to produce counter-attacks.  The visitors’ energy fizzed out in the final 10 minutes, which gave the combination of Mame Diouf, Bojan, and Arnautovic a number of shots at goal, but none came to fruition.  At the end of the 90 minutes, despite the efforts of the men from Old Trafford, it was the men in Red and White who walked away with a 2-0 victory, putting them in the top half of the League.