Wednesday 20 June 2018

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Manchester United v Stoke - story of the match

Latest soccer news
Latest soccer news

Manchester United maintained their 100 per cent start to 2018 with a comfortable 3-0 victory over a Stoke side watched by their incoming boss Paul Lambert.

Antonio Valencia, Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku got the goals as United responded to leaders Manchester City's first Premier League loss with a third win of the calendar year to cut the gap to Pep Guardiola's men to 12 points.

Jose Mourinho's attention will now turn to transfers, with City understood to have stood aside in the pursuit of United target Alexis Sanchez on Monday night, while Potters boss Lambert will focus on elevating Stoke out of the bottom three when he starts work on Tuesday.

Tweet of the match

"That is a stunning goal from Martial, brilliantly seen by the excellent Pogba."

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker on United's second goal

Star man - Paul Pogba

Another slick performance from the France international, who teed up the first two goals and produced many other eye-catching passes. Compatriot Martial also impressed.

Business imminent for United?

There was plenty of talk in the build-up about potential transfer activity for United - and that only increased on Monday evening. During the game t he Red Devils' chances of signing Sanchez looked to be boosted, with it being understood that Manchester City had ended their interest in signing the Chilean. A nd just prior to kick-off Henrikh Mkhitaryan, reportedly a possible makeweight in the Sanchez deal, appeared close the United exit door. The Armenian did not feature in the hosts' matchday squad and Mourinho said doubts over the midfielder's future had influenced the decision to leave him out.

Watching brief for Lambert

There was a major piece of news involving Stoke earlier on Monday as they announced Lambert's appointment. The Scot was in the stands at Old Trafford - first-team coach Eddie Niedzwiecki overseeing things from the dug-out - and observed a mixed bag of a display from the Potters. Certainly, there were encouraging moments, with the visitors having a number of chances to score. But those opportunities were not seized upon, and in the end, it was a comfortable victory for United. Stoke are 18th, have conceded 50 goals in 23 league games and Lambert looks to have a considerable job on his hands.

Ratings

Manchester United: David De Gea 7 (out of 10), Antonio Valencia 7, Phil Jones 7, Chris Smalling 6, Luke Shaw 6, Nemanja Matic 6, Paul Pogba 8, Juan Mata 6, Jesse Lingard 6, Anthony Martial 8, Romelu Lukaku 7. Substitutes: Marouane Fellaini (for Lingard, 80 mins) 6, Marcus Rashford (for Martial, 80) 6, Scott McTominay (for Mata, 83) 6.

Stoke: Jack Butland 6, Moritz Bauer 6, Kurt Zouma 6, Bruno Martins Indi 6, Josh Tymon 5, Darren Fletcher 6, Joe Allen 6, Xherdan Shaqiri 6, Stephen Ireland 6, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting 5, Peter Crouch 5. Substitutes: Kevin Wimmer (for Tymon, 46) 5, Ramadan Sobhi (for Choupo-Moting, 61) 5, Mame Diouf (for Crouch, 70) 5.

Who's up next?

Burnley v Manchester United (Premier League, January 20)

Stoke v Huddersfield (Premier League, January 20)

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