Chicarito Puts Manchester United Ahead Against Stoke City

With just under a half-hour played, Manchester United are a goal up against Stoke City at Old Trafford courtesy of a neat back-heel finish by Javier Hernández.  If Sir Alex Ferguson's side can maintain this advantage, they will go three points clear of cross-town rivals Manchester City, who face Arsenal tomorrow.

The hosts began on the front foot, closing down Stoke in midfield and barely giving their visitors a touch in the early minutes.  United's pressing tailed off a bit after ten minutes, but Stoke haven't created any chances and have rarely put more than one or two men in front of the ball, even while in possession.

United haven't had many clear chances either, but Dimitar Berbatov should have done better when he was put through on Asmir Begovic's near post, but his shot dribbled wide of goal.  Ryan Giggs had a decent opportunity from a fee kick about three yards outside of the box on the right, but he blazed the free-kick over the bar.  The breakthrough for United arrived on twenty-seven minutes, as Nani crossed from the right and Hernández tapped the ball in at the near post with his heel.  The home side have looked far the more threatening since scoring, and Stoke have shown nothing to suggest that they will trouble Tomasz Kuszczak.

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