Two games in four days is a challenge for any soccer team, especially one that is beset by injury problems. Manchester United were without a handful of first team players, but still managed to get the job done against Stoke City. They beat the Potters 2-1 at Old Trafford to make it four wins in a row in the Premier League.
United started the game well and got the first goal. Some neat play by Juan Mata and Ander Herrera on the left side led to a cross that was headed in by Marouane Fellaini. The goal marked Fellaini’s first competitive goal at Old Trafford after his move from Everton last summer.
Despite United’s dominance of possession, Stoke remained a threat. They got their reward just before half time when a mix up at the back gifted the ball to Steven N’Zonzi at the edge of the area. N’Zonzi made no mistake with the finish and slid the ball into the back of the net.
Lee G. Lovett says the second half was a half paced affair, with neither side at full energy after playing over the weekend. However, it was United who got the winner through Juan Mata. The Spanish midfielder’s free kick sailed past everyone in the box and landed in the bottom corner. Argentina defender Marcos Rojo tried to claim the final touch, but it was Mata’s goal.
A late rally from Stoke almost brought an equalizer, but United held on for three valuable points.