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Stoke City 1-1 Manchester United: Match Report (Stoke City Fan Perspective)

Sunday 22nd January 2017
Manchester United travelled to the Bet365 Stadium on a 16 game unbeaten run. While Stoke came into the fixture on the back of two successive Premier League wins.
Stoke City (4-2-3-1): Grant; Pieters, Martins Indi, Shawcross, Johnson; Adam, Whelan; Arnautovic, Allen, Shaqiri; Crouch

Manchester United (4-3-3): De Gea; Blind, Jones, Smalling, Valencia; Pogba, Herrera, Fellaini, Mkhitaryan, Ibrahimovic, Mata

Stoke got the game started but Manchester United made the first attempt from Ander Herrera but the shot was blocked. A couple of minutes later in the eighth minute, two more shots were blocked with efforts from Chris Smalling and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

In the 19th minute, Marko Anautovic played the ball along the Manchester United box to find Stoke left-back Erik Pieters. Pieters played the ball further across the box only for Juan Mata to put the ball past his own keeper.

Man United replied with repeated attacks. A Marouane Fellaini header was comfortably saved by Stoke City keeper Lee Grant. In the 31st minute, Ibrahimovic found a pass to Mata, set-up with an open goal only to hit the shot just over the bar.

Bruno Martins Indi blocked an Ibrahimovic shot leading to a corner. The end result was headed way over the bar by Smalling. Fellaini then hit a scuffed volley into the ground bouncing up and Grant was able to tip over the crossbar. Moments later a Man United corner dropped to Paul Pogba. He hit the volley only for the Stoke goalkeeper to deny the Red Devils yet again.
At half-time, Stoke felt the luckiest side and happy to be in the lead. Manchester United, however, felt hard done by and maybe a little bit frustrated after having most of the possession.

In the second half, Manchester United came out as they finished the first half. They were controlling the flow of the game. More notably, Pogba was "Bossing" the midfield with some neat pieces and creative movement.

In the 52nd minute, the ball fell to Peter Crouch (Who is searching for his 100th Premier League goal). Crouch attempted a volleyed shot from well out but the ball dipped wide of the goal. Stoke started to edge back into the game. A misjudged header by Chris Smalling set up Xerdan Shaqiri from 20 yards out only for David De Gea to save with ease.

After coming on as a substitute, the ball fell kindly to Marcus Rashford. Just inside the Stoke City box, Rashford's attempt was hit just off target. A couple of minutes later Pogba played a nice one-two pass with Wayne Rooney (also coming off the bench) only for Pogba to shoot wide.

United continued to pile on the pressure with an attacking formation. Rooney missed a header in the 80th minute. Lingard hit the bar in the 87th minute from 20 yards out. United started to become more and more anxious.

Joe Allen conceded a free kick in the 94th minute just outside the Stoke box on United's left side. Wayne Rooney stepped up to take it. The shot flew over the far corner and over Lee Grant's head to hit the back of the net. An absolute world class goal showing what capabilities the Englishman has in his locker.

This made the score 1-1 but it wasn't just the score that was important. Everybody watching the game just witnessed history, be it a Stoke City fan, Manchester United fan or from the neutral. Everybody at the Bet365 stadium just witnessed Wayne Rooney scoring his 250th goal for Manchester United and breaking Sir Bobby Charlton's record of 249.

The match ended 1-1 and Stoke will feel as though they lost the game but they had just got a draw against an in-form side. United will feel slightly disappointed but happy to get the late equaliser.

MoTM: Lee Grant
Despite Wayne Rooney breaking the record for top goal scorer for Man United, Lee Grant produced numerous amount of saves to deny United a victory. An outstanding performance from the Stoke City goalkeeper.

Attendance: 27,423
Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.

Total articles: 316

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