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Manchester United draw 2-2 away to Stoke City

Manchester United have dropped points for the first time this season, tying Stoke City 2-2 at the Bet365 stadium.

Manchester United travelled to Stoke with the hopes of maintaining their perfect start to the Premier League season. Stoke themselves have had a decent start, beating Arsenal but dropping points against Everton and West Brom.

United made 2 changes to the usual starting lineup, with Darmian and Herrera coming in for Blind and Mata. Blind was stellar for Holland during the international break, but had to play 180 minutes, so the fresher Darmian was selected. Herrera for Mata is a defensive change as Mourinho wanted to shore up the midfield for a tough away match.

The game started off fast, with both teams getting chances on the counter. United started to control possession, slowing down the tempo of the match. Rashford tried to get in behind the Stoke back 3.

 

Stoke began to gain confidence as the game went on. On two occasions, Shaqiri found space at the top of the box, but both of his long shots were saved comfortably by De Gea.

Right before half-time, United fell asleep at the back and Stoke punished them for it. Fletcher pinged a ball out wide to Diouf who whipped it right back into the middle. Choupo-Moting got in front of Bailly and finished off the move to give Stoke a 1-0 lead. It was the first goal United had conceded this season.

United’s response could not have been better. Soon after, a corner was flicked on to the back post by Matic. Pogba headed it off of the back of Rashford’s head, and the ball found its way into the back of the net. It was a massive goal at the time, tying the game up and giving United momentum going into the second half.

 

However, Stoke started the half on the front foot. The home side kept the ball well, but couldn’t pick out the final pass.

United took advantage of Stoke’s futility. Darmian intercepted a ball in midfield, and found Mkhitaryan on the break. Micky put Lukaku through on goal, but the Belgians attempt was saved well by Butland. Thankfully, the ball fell right back into Lukaku’s path, and he made no mistake with his second chance.

David De Gea then reminded everyone watching that he is the best GK in the world, punching away a Jese header with one hand.

Sadly, De Gea couldn’t prevent what happened next. From the following corner, Stoke whipped in a good cross. Phil Jones fell over his own feet, leaving Choupo-Moting wide open at the back post. He made no mistake, and tied the game at 2-2.

Mourinho subbed on Mata and Martial to try and win the game.

Martial whipped in a beautiful cross, but the ball bounced right before getting to Lukaku, and the Belgian hit it over the bar.

 

Mourinho used his final sub to bring on Lingard in place of Micky.

A corner was headed out to the top of the box by Stoke, and fell to Darmian, but the defender decided to kick it to the moon.

United looked to have grabbed a late winner from a corner, but Butland did very well to claw it off the goal line.

The final whistle blew soon after, giving United a point on the day. The draw meant that the Reds went back to 1st place ahead of rivals Man City on goal difference.

United’s next match is at home to FC Basel on Tuesday in the Champions League.

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