Manchester United suffer their first league defeat against Stoke City since 1984 in a windy afternoon as Charlie Adam scores a brace.
With their new found spirit after the arrival of Juan Mata and a comfortable 2-0 victory against Cardiff on their back, it seemed like Manchester United can finally get their season going and challenge for the top four spot once again. But this disappointing loss against Stoke City has once again raised questions about this side. With Everton and Tottenham gaining points in their respective match and Liverpool looking favourites to pick up a win against West Brom on Sunday, Manchester United can be nine points away from the fourth spot in the league by the end of this game-week.
For Stoke City on the other hand, this is a massive win this sees them climb up to 11th in the league table – three points above the relegation zone. This was their first win in their last seven matches in the league. They will now hope take confidence from this result as they face a tough test against Southampton away from home in their next game.
The home side started the match brightly and the windy conditions played into their hands. Manchester United seemed to struggle to get their game going against the elements of the weather and their worries was doubled when Stoke City took the lead in the 38th minute of the game. Former Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam decided to shoot at goal from a freekick, which was approximately 40 yards from goal, and the his shot took a wicked deflection off Michael Carrick’s knee and left David De Gea stranded.
Manchester United came out with a lot more vigour and purpose in the second half and it took them only two minutes after the restart to restore parity. Juan Mata found Robin van Persie with a lovely pass and the Dutchman showed his class to finish past Asmir Begovic. At that point it seemed like United might finally take control of the match and go on to win it, but Stoke City responded back brilliantly.
David Moyes Post Match Reaction http://t.co/ICkKFpVQm5
— TheHardTackle (@TheHardTackle) February 2, 2014
Just five minutes after conceding this goal, Stoke City grabbed back the lead once again as Charlie Adam completed his brace with an absolute beauty of a strike. His left footed strike was a thing to behold and if the first goal had an element of luck in it, the second had class written all over it. Manchester United failed to break through Stoke City after this despite their efforts and David Moyes didn’t have too many options to change the game as he had to use of his substitutes to replace Jonny Evans and Phil Jones due to injuries. In the end United suffered their eighth defeat of the season and their first league loss against Stoke City since 1984.
Despite an insipid performance, David Moyes insisted that his played well and lost because they could take their chances.
“I don’t know what we have to do to win. We played well today.
“We lost to a wicked deflection from a free-kick and a worldy of a strike.
“The amount of opportunities and chances we created, we should have won the game.
“We only have ourselves to blame for not taking those chances, but I thought it was a good performance.
“We lost two centre-halves, which happens sometimes in football,” Moyes added.
“But I don’t think it changed the game as we kept going and doing the right things.
“Phil Jones looks like concussion, and has had a head scan, and Jonny Evans looks like he has a calf strain.” – The Manchester United manager said.