The Red Devils were given a reality check today by a solid Stoke City side, and although the Red Devils managed to avoid a surprise defeat, they had to eventually content themselves with a draw but their performance was indeed not up to the level today, nearly giving us a glimpse of the old United we saw for the past seasons struggling to create meaningful actions in the opposition half.
The match had barely started that the Red Devils were caught twice at the back, with Choupo-Moting proving to be a real threat with his pace and physical presence. On the other hand, the Red Devils were too slow to attack, with Lukaku not being involved, while Rashford was running around like a headless chicken whenever he had the ball, not knowing what to do with it. De Gea had to produce some routine saves with Shaqiri testing him from long range. Stoke were eventually rewarded on the 43rd minute as Choupo-Moting found the net after Diouf found him for a close finish. United response came in added time rather comically thou. Following a corner kick, Matic deflected the ball to Pogba, who headed the ball at the back of Rashford’s head and into the net without the latter knowing much about it either but the goal stood and awarded to him. A lucky break indeed as the United players clearly lacked creativity for the first half.
United were expected to show something else in the second half but they were still having problems to build up. Eventually they got on the scoreline again when Allen lost the ball to Darmian, who fed the ball to Mkhitaryan and the latter to Lukaku. Although his initial effort was blocked by Butland, he managed to put the rebound in at the second asking. United were pinned back again thou on the 63rd minute as Choupo-Moting once again made his presence felt as he rose past Jones to head in Shaqiri’s corner kick. United were vulnerable at the back almost every time Stoke countered despite the only chage in the backline being Darmian. Despite changes brought about by Mourinho, the Red Devils failed to click together to get a win, and had to settle for the point.