Jose Mourinho
The Potters ended the three match winning Streak of United in the Premier League at home. United dropped two vital points today which had left the league quite open for all the top teams. The match was full of excitement and the scoreline of 2-2 indicating it much clearly.
Mourinho decided to play Darmian ahead of Blind for today’s game because of the midweek Champions League fixture. He also opted to start Ander Herrera ahead of Mata against Stoke. On the other hand, Stoke fielded their E-Chupo Moting from the start in place of
Berahino.
In the first half, two of Shaqiri’s good strikes were denied by De Gea. Then finally in 42nd minute Chupo-Moting had broken the deadlock when Diouf provided a beautiful cross towards him and Chupo- Moting met it perfectly to give Stoke the very important lead in the match.
United responded quickly when Pogba headed the Mkhitaryan’s corner which was deflected by his teammate Rasford’s head towards the goal just at the end of the first half and the game was in well balance after the first half with a scoreline of 1-1.
Martins Indi had replaced Cameron at the beginning of the second half for Stoke. At the 52nd minute Mkhitaryan had provided a nice through ball towards Romelu Lukaku but the first shot of Lukaku was saved by Butland. The ball was reflected back from the keeper’s hand to the feet of Lukaku again who now had committed no mistake to pull it into the net.
With this goal United took the lead for the first time in the match. But the lead did not last long as in the 62nd minute Chupo-Moting again met a cross of Shaqiri perfectly to equalise the scoreline for Stoke. Mourinho took off Rashford and Herrera to give a chance to Martial and Mata to provide them the lead in the 71st minute of the match.
Lingard also came in place of  Mkhitaryan in the 83rd minute for United. Stoke City also subbed off Jese to let Berahino to give them the edge of the match. United did all to get the third goal and take the lead again but it went all in vain as Stoke’s defense had been really firm in the last half an hour of the match.In this period of time a delightful cross was provided by Valencia towards Lukaku who was left free in the box but the striker did not pull it towards the net and at the end Stoke was able to maintain the scoreline of 2-2 quite comfortably.
With this draw, United are still on top of the league table with 10 points in 4 matches with City who also have same points but United are ahead of them in terms of goal difference. Stoke will be happy to earn this draw against mighty United side as with this vital 1 point they are currently placed at 10th in the table with 5 points.
What Does This Mean Now?
Though the Red Devils have let go of a slight advantage with the draw against Stoke, they are still on top of the points table at the moment and will want to remain there. The international break disrupted the momentum of quite a few teams including the club’s fierce rivals Liverpool. It will be interesting to see how Mourinho can now get his team back in form.