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Stoke City vs. Manchester United: Final score 0-2, United dump Potters out of cup

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Mike Hewitt

It was a game so perverse, so inherently backward, that Ashley Young scored. It was barely football for much of the first hour. But Manchester United won't care. They came away from a visit to the Britannia Stadium with a 2-0 win over Stoke City and a place in the Capital One Cup semifinal. It's difficult to complain about that.

The following is a detailed list of things that happened in the first half:

  • It rained
  • It rained some more
  • It rained so hard that Mark Clattenburg ran away
  • It kept raining but Clattenburg was coaxed back out.

The second half was somewhat better, although that was thanks to Young and is therefore inherently suspect. After an hour of doing absolutely nothing, the former Aston Villa star suddenly burst into life, playing a one-two with Javier Hernandez and absolutely wellying the ball past Tomas Sorenson in the Stoke goal. Yes, it was waist height, and yes, it was within saving range, but assuming Sorensen had no intention of having a limb amputated, it's difficult to blame him for not covering the shot.

A goal was just what the match needed. Stoke actually went on the attack, actually causing United's defence a few problems. That, however, meant the visitors had space to break into, and it wasn't long before they took advantage of it. One doesn't normally expect Patrice Evra to produce brilliant goals, especially with his right foot, but that's exactly what he did when he took a cutback from Young and curled into the top corner to kill off the tie with twelve minutes to go.

Okay yeah this game was bad. At least the goals were cool.

Stoke City starting lineup (4-5-1): Thomas Sorensen; Erik Pieters, Ryan Shawcross (Charlie Adam 76'), Marc Wilson; Oussama Assaidi (Marko Arnautovic 62'), Glenn Whelan, Stephen Ireland, Wilson Palcios, Jonathan Walters; Peter Crouch.

Manchester United starting lineup (4-3-3): David de Gea; Patrice Evra, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Rafael; Phil Jones, Anderson (Javier Hernandez 58'), Tom Cleverley; Ashley Young, Danny 'Welbz' Welbeck (Darren Fletcher 82'), Antonio Valencia.

Goals: Young 61', Evra 78'.