Stoke City 0-2 Manchester United: Match Observations
It was the two experienced heads that inspired victory at the Brittania Stadium. At a combined age of 69, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs both played their part.
From the off, Scholes was the driving force. Ryan Giggs came on a substitute and created both goals as Manchester United beat Stoke 2-0. It was always going to be a tough game, but the victory was convincing.
The hunger is still there to win another title. Four in a row it would be. And the fact that Chelsea were beaten 3-1 by Wigan will help. Paul Scholes, this season, has looked far better than he did last year.
And the mercurial Ryan Giggs’ made a huge impact when he was brought on in the 55th minute, and set up Dimitar Berbatov seven minutes later in which was a typical Manchester United move. Picking up a good pass from Darren Fletcher, he slipped in Berbatov who tapped home. He then swung a superb cross which fell into the path of John O’Shea, who headed past Thomas Sorensen. For O’Shea it was a great way to mark his 350th appearance.
Giggs came on for Nani, who didn’t impress to many people with his performance. Passes were poor from the Portuguese international and his positioning was awful. He did, however, combine with Rooney after the second half but Rooney’s bicycle kick at the end of a move ended up over the bar.
In the first half, the visitors where enjoying the possession, but it was frustrating that many chances were not created, or not taken advantage of. Valencia’s chance was an example. After catching Ryan Shawcross, a former United player, in possession, Valencia was in on goal but he shot wide. That really should have been scored. But after the two goals, United grew more and more comfortable.
Stoke raised alarm bells when Liam Lawrence threatened with a cross but there was no Stoke players at the end of the cross. They did not manage to get a chance as good as that, for the whole of the game. But Stoke did defend well, and Tony Pulis’ side must hold their heads up high, as the team has potential to do big things this year. They are taking the step into the right direction, and will be striving for a top ten finish this season.
And at the end of the day, a very good three points. Well earned, and the victory know means that Manchester United go top on goal difference. On Sunday, we have a piece on Ryan Giggs, so don’t miss that. Meanwhile, Man Utd will have a trip to Barnsley for the fourth round of the Carling Cup.