Friday, 25 December 2015

Stoke City Vs Man Utd


26 December 2015 | Britannia Stadium | Attendance: 27,426
| Scorers: Bojan 19', Arnautovic 26'

Goals from Bojan Krkic and Marko Arnautovic inflicted
a Boxing Day defeat on Manchester United, meaning the
Reds are now without a win in seven matches across all
Louis van Gaal described the fixture at the Britannia
Stadium as a must-win ahead of kick-off but the Reds
were disappointingly outplayed by a flourishing Potters
team managed by Mark Hughes, the former United
striker whose second season at the Britannia Stadium is
going from strength-to-strength.
Wayne Rooney spoke admirably about galvanising the
squad on Friday and admitted this match could become
a defining moment in the season, yet the captain
watched the first half from the substitute’s bench after
Louis van Gaal started Ander Herrera ahead of the
captain for “tactical reasons”. The Spaniard registered
the first shot at goal, too, with a 20-yard drive that was
saved by Jack Butland.
In typically windy conditions, with strong gales blowing
through the exposed corners of the stadium, the
opening exchanges were scrappy and the weather
played a small part in Stoke taking the lead on 19
minutes. Memphis, faced by a bouncing ball, tried to
head back to David De Gea but failed to must enough
power, allowing Glen Johnson to intercept and set up
Bojan for a simple finish from inside the box.
United fell further behind seven minutes later, but the
Reds could have done little to prevent it as Bojan’s free-
kick cannoned off the wall and bounced into the path of
Marko Arnautovic, who hit a rocket-fuelled shot that
soared past De Gea from the edge of the area. The
Austrian was especially dangerous throughout the first
half and could have scored again when shooting wide
on 35 minutes, which was the last opportunity of the
half despite some late pressure from those in black
Possession: Stoke 46% United 54%
Shots at goal: Stoke 8 United 6
Shots on target: Stoke 2 United 3
Corners: Stoke 1 United 7
Van Gaal introduced Rooney for Memphis at half-time
and the skipper was visibly cajoling his team-mates at
the start of the second period, urging them to fight back
in difficult circumstances. The 30-year-old played with
fire in his belly and flew into several challenges -
catching the attention of the referee - yet scoring
chances were at a premium as the game uneventfully
rolled past the hour-mark.
The first real opportunity of the half was created by
Rooney as he dribbled away from two markers inside
the area to find Fellaini but the Belgian’s close-range
shot was well-saved by Butland, the in-form England
international who has impressed so much this
Erik Pieters, who signed a new long-term contract on
Boxing Day morning, almost floated a 40-yard free-kick
into the top corner on 76 minutes as the hosts searched
for a third goal, with Bojan forcing a save from De Gea
moments later. Former United striker Mame Biram Diouf
also caused problems with his movement and fellow
substitute Charlie Adam went close with another
bending free-kick.
Van Gaal made his second change on 83 minutes by
replacing Herrera with Andreas Pereira and the Brazilian
was booked just seconds after coming on, before
Anthony Martial and Juan Mata both saw shots saved
by Butland as the Reds pushed forward in search of a
consolation strike that never came. It's United’s fourth
consecutive defeat this month and the next match,
against Chelsea, is of great importance.
Possession: Stoke 42% United 58%
Shots at goal : Stoke 13 United 11
Shots on target: Stoke 3 United 6
Corners: Stoke 1 United 12
Stoke: Butland, Johnson, Shawcross, Wollscheid,
Pieters, Whelan (van Ginkel 46), Cameron (Adam 75),
Shaqiri (Diouf 65), Afellay, Arnautovic, Bojan.
Subs not used: Haugaard, Joselu, Wilson, Walters.
Booked: Bojan
United: De Gea, Young, Smalling, Jones, Blind, Carrick,
Herrera (Pereira 82), Mata, Fellaini, Memphis (Rooney
46), Martial.
Subs not used: Romero, Borthwick-Jackson, McNair,
Varela, Schneiderlin.
Booked: Young, Pereira


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