Stoke City sealed a much-needed 2-1 win against Manchester United at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, as the Red Devils slipped up yet again.
Two goals from Charlie Adam gave Stoke all three points as one long-range strike in either half downed Man United, who were briefly on level terms after Robin van Persie’s well-taken equalizer.
However that was as good as it got for United, as the latest loss in a serious of faltering performances saw David Moyes’ side second-best for much of the clash at a blustery Britannia Stadium.
The victory was Stoke’s first win in seven games and former Man United legend Mark Hughes saw his side stop the rot, after three-straight defeats. The Potters needed this, their first -ever win against United in the Premier League, big-time.
With the victory Stoke climbed out of the relegation zone and up to 11th, with 25 points from 24 games. While United stay in seventh on 40 points after their eighth defeat of the season.
Manchester United were comfortable but struggled to carve out any clear cut chances in the opening 20 minutes.
Johnny Evans was forced off injured as United had to reshuffle their defensive line with Rafael coming off the bench.
In the 27th minute Robin van Persie saw his close-range header deflected over the bar, as United began to turn the screw and put Stoke’s defense under pressure.
Stoke, to their credit, tried to force the issue in the difficult conditions and were soon 1-0 up. In the 38th minute Adam drilled a free kick from 25-yards out and his effort deflected off Michael Carrick’s knee and into the net.
But there was a lengthy break in play after that goal, as United midfielder Phil Jones clashed heads with Jonathan Walters and had to be stretchered off. That forced yet another reshuffle as Carrick had to go and play center back as Danny Welbeck came on.
Stoke went in 1-0 up at the break, as United had plenty of work to do after the break.
But within a minute of the restart the Red Devils were level as Juan Mata played Van Persie through and the Dutch international curled home a beauty to make it 1-1.
However Stoke regained their lead within five minutes as Adam scored an absolute screamer with his left foot, to grab his second of the game and seventh of the season. The ball dropped to the Scottish international perfectly and Adam sent a rasping shot past David De Gea to put the Potters back in front.
Another head injury then stopped play, as Stoke’s Walters had to go off after another nasty clash of heads. Bodies were flying all over the place as both sides were desperate for the points, for very different reasons.
United kept surging forward to try and bag an equalizer, as Patrice Evra was stopped by a sharp stop at his near post by Begovic. But Stoke were still going forward and wanted to seal the win, with substitute Oussama Assaidi rifled a volley just over the bar.
Late on Rooney looked set to score from 10-yards out but Stoke blocked his effort then his free-kick was tipped onto the post, as the Potters held on for a memorable victory.
Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Odemwingie, Whelan (Palacios, 83), Adam, Arnautovic (Assaidi, 72), Walters (Ireland, 60); Crouch
Goals: Adam (38 & 51)
Manchester United: De Gea; Jones (Welbeck 45), Smalling, Evans (Rafael, 11), Evra; Carrick, Cleverley; Young, Rooney, Mata; van Persie (Hernandez, 78)
Goal: Van Persie (46)