Match Report: Stoke City ends Manchester United flawless start to the Season in 2-2 draw

By | September 9, 2017
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Maxim Choupo-Moting scored twice as Stoke ended Manchester United’s perfect start to the season.

Choupo-Moting bagged his first goals for Stoke since his free transfer from Schalke in the summer to end United’s 100 per cent record.

United’s defending for both goals was suspect and Phil Jones lost Choupo-Moting at the back post for Stoke’s second goal.

However United do remain top of the Premier League on goal difference from Manchester City.

Stoke’s defending was also poor and they went to sleep as Marcus Rashford levelled on the stroke of half-time before Romelu Lukaku put them ahead with his fourth Premier League goal in four games.

United have made further progress under Mourinho this season, but this display at Stoke shows they still have work to do. When United played well, Stoke struggled to live with them.

But defensively they were suspect and Mourinho will not be happy with their defending for both Stoke goals. Mame Biram Diouf was given far too much time and space on the right to cross for Maxim Choupo-Moting to steal into the box to score.

Stoke’s second will give Phil Jones nightmares and he completely lost the Cameroon forward at the back post as he nodded home the simplest of equalisers. Yes, Stoke are generating the fear factor again at the bet365, but United know they only have themselves to blame for not maintaining their 100 per cent record.

Moses was given a new lease of life when Antonio Conte switched him to wing-back last season as Chelsea won the title. Hughes looks like he is working a similar trick with Diouf since moving him to right wing-back this season.

Diouf has pace and a great engine to get up and down his flank and is a threat in the final third. He popped up on the left for Stoke’s goal and played in a great ball for Maxim Choupo-Moting to score. Although wing-back may not be his preferred role, Diouf is knuckling down to make a success of it.

Despite Pogba’s goal in the Europa League Final, he struggled to justify his £89.3million world record transfer fee last season. This season he seems much more settled at Old Trafford.

The arrivals of Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic have helped him and he is more influential now. The France star was all over the pitch for United and one minute he would be winning the ball in front of his back four and the next, popping up in the box.

He had a big hand in United’s equaliser and he stole in to head home with Marcus Rashford getting the final touch.

Stoke marred a fine display with a couple of lapses which cost them victory. Just after scoring, they went to sleep at a corner to allow Marcus Rashford to equalise from close range.

That was in first-half stoppage time and instead of going in 1-0 up, they went in level to change the momentum of the game.

They were playing well in the second half, only to lose possession when Joe Allen was robbed by Matteo Darmian and the Stoke defence was caught napping as Henrikh Mkhitaryan played in Romelu Lukaku to put United ahead.

Stoke did not deserve this for their whole-hearted display, but the Premier League is unforgiving if teams switch off, if even for a split-second.

Some Stokies were critical because the club didn’t splash the cash in the summer like some of their rivals.

But Hughes knows you don’t have to spend big to sign quality and landed Choupo-Moting on a free from Schalke. He had been tracking the forward for some time and was confident he could score in the Premier League, despite just three goals for Schalke last season.

And he repaid Hughes’ faith by scoring both against United. His first was a well-taken effort from Diouf’s cross before he lost Phil Jones at the back post to nod home Stoke’s equaliser. The Cameroon international was a real threat for Stoke and looks like he can give their forward line the boost it needs.

 

 

 

 

 

Credits: The Mirror

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