Watch out: Manchester United are tearing it up. The Red Devils secured their fourth-successive win in the Premier League on Tuesday as goals from Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata secured victory against Stoke City at Old Trafford.
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Louis van Gaal’s side dominated most of the match but Fellaini’s opener was canceled out by a stunning strike from Steven N’Zonzi just before half time. Mata scored the game-winner in the 59th minute as his free kick missed everyone and nestled into the far corner of the net to keep United in fourth spot on 25 points, just two points behind Manchester City.
Stoke are in 13th spot on 15 points as David De Gea saved superbly from Mame Diouf in injury time and Stoke’s former United forward also saw an effort blocked on the line by Ashley Young with almost the last kick of the match. Untied survived for the win, just.
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United took the lead midway through the first half as Ander Herrera dinked in a lovely ball from the left which Fellaini headed home after being unmarked at the back post. That was his first PL goal at Old Trafford and United then pushed for a second but Stoke held firm.
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Just before half time Stoke were level as Bojan ran at United’s defense and the ball broke to N’Zonzi who smashed it into the top corner. 1-1. Fellaini almost grabbed his and United’s second before the break but his close-range effort was smothered by Asmir Begovic and the sides went in level at the break.
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United pushed to go ahead after the break and Mata finally put them ahead as his free kick from the right flank was whipped in with his left foot and just missed Marcos Rojo’s head and went into the far corner. 2-1 to United.
Youngster James Wilson made a superb surging run from the halfway line but put his shot just wide of the post and the United academy product was replaced by Radamel Falcao with just over 10 minutes to go. Fellaini almost got his second of the match as he arrived late at the back post but Phil Bardsley hooked clear for Stoke. The Potters pushed for an equalizer late on, as Diouf twice came close to netting a dramatic late equalizer but the Red Devils hung on for a fourth successive win.
Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Young, Herrera (Fletcher, 86′), Fellaini, Carrick, Mata (Januzaj, 90+2′), Van Persie, Wilson (Falcao, 78′)
Goals: Fellaini (21′), Mata (59′)
Stoke City: Begovic, Bardsley, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters, Cameron, Nzonzi, Ireland (Arnautovic, 82′), Bojan, Assaidi (Crouch, 77′), Diouf
Goal: Nzonzi (39′)