Stoke City have recorded a vital win over Manchester United, and in thoroughly impressive fashion. They were excellent defensively in the latter part of the game and looked dangerous on the counter, recording more shots on target than their adversaries. United never looked much like challenging their goal at the end, and Stoke held on to win 2-1, recording their first-ever win over the Red Devils in the Premier League.
While Stoke had earned their win by the end, their first goal was extremely lucky. Charlie Adam scored it in the 38th minute with a free kick from just outside the box on a wicked deflection, giving David de Gea no chance to make a save.
That goal was sandwiched between two extremely unlucky injuries for United, both of which were to central defenders. Jonny Evans came off for Rafael in the 11th minute and Phil Jones sustained a head injury just a minute after the goal. Jones' injury appeared to be serious, as he was given oxygen and was down on the pitch for nearly five minutes. With two defenders out, Michael Carrick moved to central defense and Wayne Rooney had to play midfield.
Manchester United looked to be on the comeback trail early in the second half, with Robin van Persie scoring just two minutes after halftime. A bad clearance by Stoke fell to Juan Mata, who set up his center forward with a brilliant through ball.
Incredibly, United were level for just five minutes. Adam completed a brace in the 52nd minute, and his second goal wasn't lucky at all. He hit an absolute stunner into the top corner from 20 yards, beating de Gea at his far post.
Not long after that, the injury bug started to bite Stoke as well, with Jonathan Walters coming out for Stephen Ireland in the 60th minute and Marko Arnautović exiting for Oussama Assaidi in the 72nd. The latter sub was a positive one for Stoke, as Assaidi was their most consistent threat on the counter at the end of the game and a constant outlet for them to relieve pressure.
David Moyes introduced Javier Hernandez in a late bid to find a goal, but he never got a chance to score one. Stoke sat deep, packed the midfield and denied United clear chances as they held on to win.
Stoke: Begovic, Pieters, Wilson, Shawcross, Cameron, Whelan (Palacios 83'), Adam, Walters (Ireland 60'), Odemwingie, Arnautovic (Assaidi 72'), Crouch
Goals: Adam (38', 52')
Manchester United: De Gea, Evra, Jones (Welbeck 45'), Evans (Rafael 11'), Smalling, Carrick, Cleverley, Young, Mata, Rooney, van Persie (Hernandez 78')
Goals: van Persie (47')