Stoke City drew 1-1 with Manchester United on Thursday, as the Red Devils remain unbeaten in 10 games but were pushed hard at the Britannia Stadium to open up 2015.
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The Potters went ahead with 1 minute and 45 seconds on the clock as Ryan Shawcross hooked home from a corner to give Stoke the perfect start. However midway through the first half predatory striker Radamel Falcao beat his man at a corner to prod home an equalizer for United.
In the second half Stoke had the better chances with Peter Crouch hitting the post and had a clear handball in the box missed by referee Michael Oliver. Overall, the draw was a fair result as Stoke climb to 10th place on 26 points while United remain in third on 37 points.
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Stoke took the lead inside the first two minutes as a corner from the right was flicked on by Crouch and Shawcross hooked in from close range. 1-0 to the Potters, as United were caught napping early on.
Following that goal Stoke continued to harass United’s backline as Diouf battered his way pass Jonny Evans and was clean through on goal. However the former Manchester United striker shanked his effort horribly wide as Stoke squandered a glorious chance to go 2-0 up.
Falcao made Stoke pay for that miss, as he nipped in front of Marc Muniesa from a corner to slot home and make it 1-1 in the 26th minute. U.S. international Geoff Cameron sent a header just over the bar soon after as Stoke tried to restore their lead but the teams went in level at the break.
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In the second half a real moment of controversy arrived as Crouch’s header was clearly handballed by Chris Smalling in the box but referee Oliver waved away the PK calls as the home fans were left furious. In the 67th minute Robin van Persie was found by Juan Mata in the box but the Dutchman sent his shot just wide after a brilliant bit of control. Following that Crouch hit the post with a header and Cameron could not quite got on the end of the follow up as Stoke pushed hard for a winner.
United finished the stronger side but Stoke held on to secure a point, but it could have easily been a third-straight win for the Potters.
Stoke City: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Muniesa, Pieters, Nzonzi, Whelan, Arnautovic (Assaidi, 81′), Walters, Diouf, Crouch
Goal: Shawcross (2′)
Manchester United: De Gea, Young (Rafael, 75′), Jones, Smalling, Evans, Shaw (Januzaj, 64′), Carrick, Mata, Rooney, van Persie, Falcao (Herrera, 64′)
Goal: Falcao (26′)