Result: Stoke City 1-1 Manchester United

Result: Stoke 1-1 Man United
© PA Photos
Manchester United return to the top of the Premier League with a 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium.

Manchester United returned to the top of the Premier League on goal difference with a 1-1 draw away at Stoke City this evening.

The reigning Champions, who were already without Wayne Rooney because of a hamstring strain, lost Javier Hernandez to injury after just seven minutes.

However, it was the visitors who would still break the deadlock after 27 minutes. Portuguese winger Nani exchanged passes with Darren Fletcher before firing into the bottom corner of the net from 20 yards out.

Stoke's response was immediate but David de Gea was on hand to tip Andy Wilkinson's long range effort onto the crossbar.

Striker Jonathan Walters also worked De Gea before the break, but the Spanish goalkeeper palmed his effort away from goal.

The home side's pressure finally told after 52 minutes. Matthew Etherington sent over a corner which was met by Peter Crouch and the England international headed in his first goal for Stoke.

United believed that they should have been awarded a penalty in the 69th minute when Ryan Shawcross handled Patrice Evra's shot, but the referee's assistant had already flagged for offside against substitute Michael Owen.

Another substitute, Ryan Giggs, had the chance to win the match for United in stoppage time, but he lifted his effort over the bar from four yards out.

Next up for United is a home match against Norwich City on Saturday, while Stoke travel to Swansea City a day later.

Wayne Rooney
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