Tuesday, January 4, 2011

English Premier League - Manchester United vs Stoke City - Review

Manchester United sit pretty at the top of the Premier League after a victory against Stoke. The 2-1 victory puts the devils ahead by three points, still with another game in hand. Goals from Hernandez and Nani sealed the victory but a Stoke equaliser by Whitehead put the victory in doubt.

United went into the clash with many of their stars out including Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and keeper Van Der Sar. It was Stoke who came out attacking, trying especially to get their first win over the Red Devils in the Premier League. The early exchanges saw Etherington and Gibson go close at both ends.

However it was United who took the lead in the 27th minute. Berbatov linked up with Nani and the Portugese man found Hernandez. The Mexican signing added to his EPL tally scoring with a wonderful backflick to leave the Stoke keeper Begovic, mesmorised.

Nani continued to look dangerous on the wing, although he was unsuccessful in adding to the United tally. Late in the first half another united play almost saw the Nani and Hernandez combination find the net again, although Hernandez blasted his shot over the bar.

1-0 was the halftime score and the second half looked as though Stoke might find an equaliser, as Manchester failed to completely dominate them. Stoke came out attacking once again in the second half. The persistance paid off. A ball from Tuncay found Whitehead an the Stoke man headed the ball unchallenged into the back of the net, squaring up the game.

The equaliser woke United from their poor run of play, immediately the Devils launched an attack led by Berbatov. But it wouldn't be until the 62nd minute when Nani showed his brilliance. After some fancy footwork to create space the winger curled the ball on his left foot, to beat Begovic, and score probably the best goal of the Premier League matchday.

Despite the change in formation from Stoke, United pressed on through Gibson. Manchester continued to hold possession for the remainder of the game. Owen went close in the final minutes, but it wasn't to matter as United once again ran out winners against Stoke.

United still hold on to top spot in the League, and look to be favourites to clinch another Premier League title, making them the most successful club in England. The the clubs trying to catch United will have to ensure they keep the pressure up, as United also have a game in hand.

Final Score -  Manchester United 2    -     Stoke City 1
                       Hernandez 27                     Whitehead 50

Man of the Match - Nani (Manchester United)