Manchester United 3 Stoke 2
Manchester United 3 Stoke City 2, Old Trafford, English Premier League, October 26, 2013. Reigning Premier League Champions Manchester United managed to beat Stoke City in a hard-fought and very tight game. A goal each by Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, and Javier Hernandez respectively eventually saw United run out deserved 3-2 winners in the end.
After defeating Spanish La Liga team Real Sociedad by 1-0 at Old Trafford in the Champions League just three days earlier, Manchester United switched their attention to the English Premier League as they played hosts to Stoke City who had been held to a goalless draw by West Bromwich Albion the week before. United had comfortably beaten Stoke 2-0 at Britannia Stadium thanks to goals from Michael Carrick and Robin van Persie in the previous meeting between the two teams and were firm favourites to overcome The Potters at home. The Staffordshire side nevertheless went into an early lead when a clearance from Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans hit Peter Crouch and flew into the back of the net after just four minutes of play. Manchester United struck back two minutes ahead of the break as Robin van Persie equalised from close range, only for Marko Arnautovic to restore the lead for the visitors with a curling free-kick a couple of minutes later in the closely contested match. Then, with twelve minutes left of the clash, Wayne Rooney headed home well taken a corner by Van Persie before second half substitute Javier Hernandez produced a late winning goal for United when he nodded a Patrice Evra cross past away goalkeeper Asmir Begovick and into the net in the 80th minute of the tie. After the home victory over Stoke City, recently appointed Manchester United boss David Moyes praised the home supporters saying they had been terrific and had played a big part in getting the result. Manchester United Team: David de Gea, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra, Shinji Kagawa, Michael Carrick, Luis Nani, Tom Cleverley, Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney. Substitutes: Rafael da Silva, Antonio Valencia, Marouane Fellaini, Adnan Januzaj, Ashley Young, Javier Hernandez, Anders Lindegaard. Stoke City Team: Asmir Begovic, Robert Huth, Erik Pieters, Ryan Shawcross, Geoff Cameron, Steven N’Zonzi, Stephen Ireland, Wilson Palacios, Peter Crouch, Jon Walters, Marko Arnautovic. Substitutes: Andy Wilkinson, Charlie Adam, Marc Wilson, Oussama Assaidi, Glenn Whelan, Kenwyne Jones, Thomas Sorensen.