Live Commentary: Manchester United 4-2 Stoke City - as it happened

Live Commentary: Manchester United 4-2 Stoke City - as it happened
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Sports Mole brings you live text commentary of the Premier League encounter between Manchester United and Stoke City.

Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the Premier League clash between Manchester United and Stoke City.

Sir Alex Ferguson has guided the Red Devils into second place after seven games, despite losing both home and away already this season.

United trail Chelsea by four points and will be striving to keep pace with leaders, who feature in the day's early kickoff against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

Meanwhile, Tony Pulis's men have failed to register a win at Old Trafford in their last 12 trips. In that time, they have lost 11 and drawn one.

The Potters are also without a victory in their last 13 away games.

You can follow all the action as it unfolds with us below. Please note that kickoff is at 3pm.

FULL TIMEManchester United 4-2 Stoke City

90 mins +2The stands are emptying now. We have one minute of injury time remaining.

90 minsMichael Owen is now on the pitch for Stoke. he was greeted by a polite round of applause from the Old Trafford faithful. He replaced Michael Kightly.

90 minsApologies for the interruption in our coverage, although you haven't missed much. We've had a few technical problems but we're back up and running now. It's still 4-2 to United.

66 minsThat's Rooney's 200th club goal since bursting onto the scene with that winning goal for Everton against Arsenal, which was 10 years ago this week.

66 minsThe Stoke defence failed to deal with Van Persie's corner and Rooney was on hand to slam in from close range. Is that a hat-trick?


64 minsIt's a dangerous cross and Huth does well to head behind for a corner.

64 minsRooney stands over a freekick, which he will deliver into the box from the left.

62 minsUnited are vulnerable to defensive lapses. Ferdinand just had an uneasy touch and gifted the ball to Kightly. This time he was unable to make inroads.

58 minsKightly ram-raided his way into United's area and fired past De Gea with his left foot. The Spaniard got a hand on it but could only push it onto the post. Kightly was about to be substituted, but that looks like it's not happening now!


55 minsCHANCE! Valencia sends a cross in and Welbeck nearly gets on the end of it, but it's just out of his reach.

54 minsVan Persie and Rooney are playing quite deep at the moment, as Welbeck stays up top. The sting has been taken out of this game with that third goal and United are dominating the midfield. Stoke were caught cold after the break and are struggling to get anything going now. It's been all United this second half.

53 minsFerdinand made a rare foray forward just now. He found Valencia in the final third but the Ecuadorian's shot bobbled into Begovic's arms.

48 minsSAVE! There was a mini-scramble in the Stoke area and Rooney found a yard of space to clip in a cross for Evans. He was just yards out but Begovic flew across his line and made a brilliant save. Evans should have burst the net.

47 minsRooney was the provider this time, whipping the ball in with his right. Welbeck stole a march on the defender and guided his header past Begovic. All three United forwards have got their name on the scoresheet now.


SECOND HALFBut the second half is now underway at Old Trafford.

4.03pmOr alternatively, you can follow West Brom and Manchester City with Jack Prescott here.

4.02pmYou can follow the action from Anfield with Mark Langshaw by clicking here.

4pmElsewhere, Liverpool lead Reading 1-0 at Anfield.

Fulham 0-0 Aston Villa

West Ham 0-0 Southampton

Swansea 0-0

West Brom 0-0 Manchester City

3.53pmClick here to read Sports Mole's Half-Time Report.

HALF TIMEThe referee brings the first half to a close. Stoke made the better start but United have grown in confidence and now lead 2-1.

45 mins +1Another rash tackle by Scholes. He's walking the disciplinary tightrope.

45 minsRooney floated the ball out to Valencia on the right and the Ecuadorian shimmied right to left before fizzing in a low cross, which Van Persie was on hand to turn past Begovic. He was unmarked at the front post and you'd imagine that Tony Pulis will not be very happy with that.


42 minsThere's always been that one thing missing from Scholes's game. He is - or has been - a world class midfielder for many years but tackling just isn't his thing. What he calls tackling others might call attempted murder.

41 minsScholes goes into the book for a rash challenge. Not like him. Ahem.

38 minsCHANCE! Scholes galloped into the Stoke area unchallenged and played a neat one-two with Van Persie, but his shot was blocked. Perhaps should have troubled Begovic there.

37 minsUnited have settled down a bit now and are keeping possession in midfield. Their defence isn;t being put under as much strain at the moment, but there are definite signs of frailty that Stoke may be able to capitialise upon.

34 minsCHANCE! Van Persie plays a beautiful ball over the top for Rooney, who kills it with one touch and rolls it back to Welbeck. The shot was skied into Row Z though. Promising for United.

33 minsVan Persie tries to whip in another cross from the left but there's no one in the box and Begovic claims it comfortably.

31 minsStoke have another chance to punt the ball into the area. Adam does so but it's too long and goes out for a goal kick.

28 minsVan Persie whipped in a vicious left-footed cross that landed right on Rooney's head. He didn't have to check his stride as he powered in his first league goal of the season (for his own team). Begovic was a mere bystander.


25 minsCHANCE! Walters advanced towards United's area and linked up nicely with Crouch and Kightly to create an opening. He had a great chance to fire past De Gea with his left, but the Spaniard saved well. Should be 2-0 Stoke. They look a real threat going forward and United's defence is creaking.

21 minsUnited are having an absolute 'mare at the back. Adam sent in another cross from the left that caused a bit of panic, but was eventually cleared. Carrick then dawdled on the ball and was nearly caught in possession in his own area.

19 minsThe atmosphere seems flat within Old Trafford at the moment.

18 minsSHOT! Valencia rolls the ball back to Evra, who is advancing into the penalty area and strikes at goal with a fierce left-footed effort... but it was always rising.

17 minsTo be fair to Stoke, they're going for it! Walters breaks down the right and delivers a ball to Crouch, but his header doesn't trouble De Gea.

17 minsIt's an almost-perfect scenario for Pulis now. He set his team up to be hard to beat and snatch a goal. They now have a lead to defend, but surely must go for another.

15 minsRooney still hasn't scored a Premier League goal for his team this season.

12 minsAdam swung the ball in with his left and it looked as if Shawcross had powered the header in, but it was Rooney who inadvertently applied the finish! Great start for the visitors!


11 minsScholes concedes a freekick and Adam has the swing the ball into the box.

10 minsWilson slings a ball into the box for Crouch but Ferdinand wins the header. No surprise tactics from the Potters today. It's their usual (and normally effective) gameplan.

8 minsValencia tries to jink his way inside the box and gets a decent cross in, but it's cleared by the Stoke defence.

6 minsSHOT! Crouch flicks a long ball on to Walters, who tees up Adam on his right foot. However, the former Liverpool man fires high and wide.

5 minsAdam delivers a cross from the left that De Gea punches away. It was a dangerous one though, and no doubt Crouch will be hoping for plenty more of that this afternoon.

3 minsOFFSIDE! Scholes tries to loft the ball through to Van Persie, but he is offside. Replays show that the Dutchman was actually onside, but Begovic came out to clear the threat anyway.

1 minSHOT! Scholes has an early effort but it's wayward.

KICKOFFManchester United get the game underway.

2.58pmRio Ferdinand has shown his backing to Jason Roberts by not wearing a 'Kick It Out' t-shirt before today's match. That is despite Sir Alex Ferguson saying it sends out the wrong message.

2.56pmThe teams are making their way on to the pitch. We're just moments from kickoff at Old Trafford.

2.49pmTony Pulis will have no doubt made plans for all of United's front men today, but none more so than Robin van Persie. The Dutchman has netted six goals in five matches against the Potters. Javier Hernandez also has a good record in this fixture with four in four. He must be content with a place on the bench, though.

2.38pmThere's some news from elsewhere in the Premier League: Chelsea have extended their lead over United to seven points thanks to a 4-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. It was a thrilling contest in which both teams held the lead. However, a double by Juan Mata helped the Blues come back from 2-1 down, before Daniel Sturridge wrapped up the points in injury time. You can read all about it by clicking here.

2.32pmTony Pulis opts for just the one striker in Peter Crouch. Jonathan Walters will drop back to help the midfield.

STOKE CITY:Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson; Walters, Whitehead, Nzonzi, Adam, Kightly; Crouch

2.30pmSir Alex has gone for a very attacking lineup, with Rooney, Van Persie and Welbeck all given starting roles.

MANCHESTER UNITED:De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Scholes, Carrick; Welbeck, Rooney, Van Persie

2.28pmHere is Manchester United's team for today's game...

2.21pmGood afternoon readers of Sports Mole. Welcome to our live coverage of Stoke City's trip to Old Trafford, where they have not won in 12 attempts.

Sir Alex Ferguson
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