No I was not referring to Manchester City. This post is about Stoke City’s visit to the European Capital of Trophies (Old Trafford) where Manchester United play their home games. I have not seen a pack of supporters challenge home fans as much as the Stoke City fans do when it comes to chanting. You would think they are the ones at home when they play against teams away from their zone. Stoke City is also one of the teams I fear most in the Premier League and I would rather we played Arsenal 4 times a season than play Stoke City at all. They just make life difficult for my boys but when we beat them we beat them good.
In the last 6 games against Stoke City, Manchester United have lost once, drawn 4 times and won just one game showing how stubborn the Potters are when it comes to facing the Red Devils. One reason I dreaded facing them at this stage of the season is that they have sacked their manager Mark Hughes and this is when the players will want to prove a point before a new manager or coach comes in. Anything short of victory is unacceptable for the Red Devils and going by Chelsea’s draw against Leicester City on Saturday it is a chance to at aleast put a 3 point gap between us and the Blues. I hate it when Chelsea is that close.
A decent line up by the United manager if you asked me and I was hoping Lukaku was going to be amongst the goal scorers and for my Fantasy football’s sake I was hoping Jesse Lingard would score or at least assist a goal and David De Gea would keep a clean sheet. The first half was quite explosive though the Red Devils took the lead in the 9th minute through Antonio Valencia who just returned to the squad after picking up an injury at the tail end of last year. Paul Pogba was instrumental to United taking the lead. Stoke however lost a barrage of chances with the main culprits being returnee Stephen Ireland and Xherdan Shaqiri. Paul Pogba stepped up again laying a fantastic pass to Anthony Martial who made it 2-0 in favour of United in the 38th minute. It was a beautiful first half, lovely end to end football and David De Gea was awesome for Man Utd making a couple of key saves.
The second kicked off with United being the most confident of the two sides though missing a flurry of chances until the 72nd minute where Romelu Lukaku was able to increase the lead. It seems the Dubai weather was what was needed to calm the nerves of the Red Devils. Final score was 3 nil.
So Lukaku scored, De Gea did not concede but Lingard was not able to come up with a goal or assist. I would pick 3 league points over anything the fantasy league has to offer at this point. Paul Pogba was man of the match by miles.
I am quite happy with how game week 23 panned out. Chelsea drew, Arsenal and Manchester City lost and my beloved Man Utd won. So Liverpool did the whole English Premier League a favour by pegging City’s unbeaten run at 22. Arsenal fans must be happy their 49 game unbeaten run is safe but hey Celtic went 68 games unbeaten. Now that’s a record *picks race*
Thanks for reading. Enjoy the rest of your week.