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Manchester United surrendered their 100% win record in the Premier League this season after a resolute Stoke City held them to a thrilling 2-2 draw at the Britannia Stadium. The result did not affect United’s position in the league table though, as they are ahead of second-placed Manchester City in terms of goal difference.
The game started with Jese Rodriguez flicking the ball into the path of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and the Cameroonian forward immediately started tormenting the United defenders which continued throughout the game. Seconds later, Marcus Rashford squared a delightful ball for Romelu Lukaku but the Belgian failed to convert the pass into a goal.
After a frantic opening few minutes, the game settled down into a rhythm, with United failing to make the most of their set-piece opportunities. Both David de Gea and Jack Butland were called into action though, as they warded off attempts from Xherdan Shaqiri and Marcus Rashford respectively.
Two minutes before the break, former Red Devil Darren Fletcher played a beautiful pass to another former United man, Mame Biram Diouf on the right, whose pinpoint cross into the box was swept into the goal by Choupo-Moting. The away side went into the half-time, trailing by a goal.
However, the Potters’ lead was short-lived as two minutes after the break, a Paul Pogba header from a Henrikh Mkhitaryan corner went into the net via a deflection from Marcus Rashford. With the scores tied at 1-1, the game settled into an ebb and flow motion once again, as neither side could seemingly break the deadlock.
However, in the 57th minute, Joe Allen lost the ball in midfield which led to Mkhitaryan playing in Lukaku, whose first shot was blocked by Butland before his follow-up arrowed high into the net.
The lead didn’t last for long though. De Gea made a spectacular save from point-blank range to deny Jese, but he could do nothing to prevent Choupo-Moting from scoring his second, as the former Schalke player managed to break free from Phil Jones’ attention and nod the ball home from a corner. The game was now tied at 2-2.
After conceding the goal, the Old Trafford outfit went into overdrive mode to find the winner but efforts from Pogba, Antonio Valencia and Lukaku were all either missed or blocked. Right towards the end, Jack Butland made a brilliant last-gasp save to prevent the ball from crossing the line, after a late header from Phil Jones almost made it’s way past the goalie.
The game ended at 2-2, much to the ire of the United fans on Twitter, who thought they had enough chances to nick it.
— Owen (@Pilup_) September 9, 2017
Luke Shaw needs to return as quickly as possible, and hopefully he can sustain a period of playing time. Man United need another option.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) September 9, 2017
Hate Stoke City so much.
— Wicky (@Wicknes007) September 9, 2017
— Abhranil Roy (@Rooneyism101) September 9, 2017
Looks like Manchester United may regret not getting better fullbacks and wide players. There is a big problem at left-back.
— United Peoples TV (@UnitedPeoplesTV) September 9, 2017
No Marouane. No party.
— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) September 9, 2017