Charlie Adam, Mark hughes

Stoke City 2-1 Manchester United: Potters bag massive win, upset Red Devils (video)

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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.

(MORE: David Moyes tries to put positive spin on Manchester United loss; eight defeats and counting this 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.

(MORE: Latest Premier League Standings)

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.

LINEUPS

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)

Watch Live: Sunderland vs. Manchester United (Lineups, Stream)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26:  Anthony Martial of Manchester United and John O'Shea of Sunderland compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on September 26, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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Struggling Sunderland host top-four chasing Manchester United on Saturday (Watch live, 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online goal Live Extra) at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats haven’t won in their last four games and are four points of safety. Desperation sums up the mood for Sam Allardyce‘s side.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE VIA LIVE EXTRA

The same could be said for United as Louis Van Gaal‘s side continue to leak goals and they’re now six points off the top four with just 13 games to go. Speculation linking Jose Mourinho with a summer arrival at Old Trafford continues with LVG’s job seemingly on the line.

Sunderland’s survival hopes took an unexpected hit this week, as winger Adam Johnson had his contract terminated after he surprisingly pleading guilty to a child sex charge in court.

In team news Sunderland bring in DeAndre Yedlin for Billy Jones, while United bring in Morgan Schneiderlin for Marouane Fellaini.  

LINEUPS

Sunderland: Mannone, Yedlin, O’Shea, Kone, van Aanholt, Kirchhoff, Cattermole, M’Vila, Khazri, N’Doye, Defoe. Subs: Brown, Rodwell, Borini, Matthews, Pickford, Toivonen, Honeyman

Manchester United: De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson, Schneiderlin, Carrick, Lingard, Mata, Martial, Rooney. Subs: Romero, Love, Weir, Pereira, Herrera, Memphis, Keane.

Xavi backs Dybala, Verratti to succeed at Barcelona over Pogba

TURIN, ITALY - JANUARY 24:  Paulo Dybala (R) of Juventus FC celebrates after scoring the opening goal with team mate Paul Pogba during the Serie A match between Juventus FC and AS Roma at Juventus Arena on January 24, 2016 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
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With Paul Pogba linked with a possible summer move to Barcelona worth more than $100 million, one legend at Camp Nou believes Pogba may not be the right signing.

[ MORE: Top 5 PL storylines ]

After making more than 700 appearances for Barcelona, Xavi knows the club as well as anyone, and he prefers Pogba’s Juventus teammate Paulo Dybala for a move to the Catalan giants.

Xavi also praised the play of Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti, saying that while Pogba is a star player, Dybala and Verratti have “Barca DNA.”

There’s two players I really like, both of whom I think have Barca’s DNA. They are Marco Verratti and Paulo Dybala.

They are amazing and, thanks to their quality and style of play, would easily integrate into the [Barca] machine. I see them as future stars at the club.

[Pogba] is a great player. He’ll be a star for France as he is for Juve, but I see him with a different game to ours.

Both Pogba and Dybala are 22-years-old, while Verratti is 23. All three players have been among the elite young talents in the world, with Pogba earning the most praise of the group and always linked with a big-money move to Europe’s top clubs.

[ RELATED: Messi named La Liga Player of the Month for first time in career ]

Dybala is enjoying a breakout season at Juventus, currently with 13 goals and eight assists in Serie A play. In Paris, Verratti is part of a PSG side that hasn’t lost in 25 matches and holds a 24-point lead at the top of the table.

Vincent Kompany set to make Manchester City return this weekend

during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on January 18, 2015 in Manchester, England.
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Vincent Kompany is set to make his first appearance for Manchester City since Boxing Day as the defender has returned from injury.

City’s captain and center-back missed more than six weeks with a calf injury before Christmas, and then reaggravated the injury just minutes into his return at the end of December.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

However, Kompany has been back in training and manager Manuel Pellegrini said he is fit to play this weekend when City host Tottenham in a huge top-four matchup.

We’ll see what the starting XI is tomorrow – we’re not just thinking about one player and one game, we’re involved in a lot of competitions. Maybe we have a lot of criticism when we don’t play well but I’m happy with the squad over the whole season.

Every player must play a game when they’re 100%. Vincent has worked for three weeks with no problems. He played 45 minutes in a friendly game against the under-21s and I think he’s ready to play.

Kompany’s presence in the City back-line has been pivotal this season. In the eight Premier League games Kompany has started, City have kept seven clean sheets. In the 18 matches without the big Belgian in the starting lineup, City have kept just five.

[ RELATED: Diego Costa suffers broken nose in Chelsea training ]

With City just a point behind Tottenham, Kompany returns from injury just in time for one of the biggest matches of the season. Tasked with slowing down Harry Kane and Spurs’ high-flying attack, Kompany’s play could prove crucial to the Citizens getting a result.

Premier League Preview: Chelsea vs. Newcastle United

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  • CFC unbeaten under Hiddink (W5, D6)
  • Newcastle have just 6 away goals all season
  • Diego Costa: 6 goals in his last 7 PL matches

Chelsea look to extend their unbeaten streak under Guus Hiddink to 12 matches on Saturday when the Blues host relegation-threatened Newcastle (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

The Blues’ last loss came under Jose Mourinho in December.

[ WATCH LIVE: Stream every PL game via Live Extra ]

Chelsea are up to 13th on the table, currently riding a run of 11 matches unbeaten in all competitions. Guus Hiddink is yet to suffer a loss after taking over for his second stint at Stamford Bridge in December, although draws have kept Chelsea from climbing further up the table. Diego Costa has had the hot-hand with six goals in his last seven appearances, but the Spanish striker will be forced to play with a mask after suffering a broken nose in training.

[ MORE: Hiddink has “no fear” of playing youngsters in Zouma’s absence ]

For Newcastle, the Magpies sit 17th on the table just one point above the drop. Their away form has hurt the club all season, as Steve McClaren‘s men have scored a league-low six goals on the road this year. The Magpies are coming off of a win over West Brom, and supporters will be hoping the club’s new January signings continue to produce. Seydou Doumbia could make his Premier League debut on Saturday, which would be a massive boost to the attack.

What they’re saying

Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink: “The status of being unbeaten sounds good but realistically we would have wished to have more victories, especially at home. And we have an opportunity to do so against Newcastle. They improved their squad with substance, some good signings, and they are more competitive now.”

Newcastle boss Steve McClaren: “In our home games we are starting to get a consistency in our performance and the way we play. We need to start transferring that to our away games and picking up points away from home – we owe it to the fans.”

Prediction

Newcastle have just two wins in their last 18 league matches away from home, and I don’t see that trend changing this weekend. Chelsea have looked a new team with Guus Hiddink in charge, and they stay unbeaten under the Dutchman. Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle United.