Sport Soccer

Sunday 18 March 2018

Manchester United v Stoke - story of the match

Joe Allen grabbed a late equaliser for Stoke
Joe Allen grabbed a late equaliser for Stoke

Joe Allen's close-range strike earned struggling Stoke a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford as Manchester United were made to pay for sloppy finishing.

Record signing Paul Pogba had enough chances to put the game to bed on his own but his wayward finishing, coupled with a fine performance from on-loan Derby goalkeeper Lee Grant, meant United had to wait 69 minutes for substitute Anthony Martial's brilliant opener.

Allen's point-blank effort was scruffier, coming after a David De Gea parry and a deflection off the crossbar, but no less meaningful.


"Rashford, Ibrahimovic, Martial. That's a pretty potent looking front 3." - Match of the Day host Gary Lineker.


Lee Grant. The 33-year-old Stoke goalkeeper was the outstanding performer in just his second ever top-flight appearance. First-half saves from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard frustrated United and he made another stop to deny Ibrahimovic with the score at 1-1. It may now be 17 league games without a clean sheet for Mark Hughes' men but no blame could lie at the veteran goalkeeper's door after this.


Although his skipper Wayne Rooney began on the bench, interim England manager Gareth Southgate will have paid close attention to Chris Smalling, Lingard and Marcus Rashford in the home side's starting XI. The trio were not particularly impressive, though, with Lingard and Rashford having little impact on the flanks. Rooney eventually arrived and inadvertently set up the United opener when his poor first touch allowed Geoff Cameron to nudge the ball to Martial.


During United's darkest times in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, Spanish goalkeeper De Gea had been the shining light at Old Trafford, producing a string of outstanding performances while those around him floundered. However, with United 1-0 up and seemingly heading for three points in the final 10 minutes here, De Gea's weak palming away of a deflected Glen Johnson shot led to a leveller for the visitors.


Manchester United

David De Gea: 5 (out of 10)

Antonio Valencia: 6

Eric Bailly: 7

Chris Smalling: 6

Daley Blind: 6

Ander Herrera: 6

Paul Pogba: 7

Marcus Rashford: 5

Juan Mata: 6

Jesse Lingard: 6

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 6


Wayne Rooney (on for Mata): 6

Anthony Martial (on for Lingard): 7

Memphis Depay (on for Herrera): 6


Lee Grant: 8

Erik Pieters: 6

Bruno Martins Indi: 6

Ryan Shawcross: 7

Glen Johnson: 6

Geoff Cameron: 7

Glenn Whelan: 7

Marko Arnautovic: 5

Joe Allen: 7

Xherdan Shaqiri: 6

Wilfried Bony: 5


Peter Crouch (on for Bony): 6

Jonathan Walters (on for Arnautovic): 6

Phil Bradsley (on for Shaqiri): 6


Liverpool v Manchester United (Premier League, October 17)

Stoke v Sunderland (Premier League, October 15)

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