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Stoke City 2-2 Manchester United; Mkhitaryan should only play centrally and other talking points

Anirudh Menon
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Top 5 / Top 10
27.27K   //    10 Sep 2017, 10:01 IST

Stoke City v Manchester United - Premier League
And no, a refused handshake is NOT a talking point

Goals Scored: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting 43', 64'; Marcus Rashford 46', Romelu Lukaku 57'

Chupo-Moting opened the scoring after some brilliant Stoke City counter-attacking led by Darren Fletcher and Mame Biram Diouf before Manchester United equalised just a couple of minutes later through a Paul Pogba header (from a Nemanja Matic flick on in a corner) bounced off Rashford's head and into the goal. Romelu Lukaku then put United ahead by putting the ball past the goalie in his second attempt whilst one-on-one before Chupo Moting scored his second by ghosting in at the far post during a Stoke corner.

Here's what we learned from an entertaining affair at the bet365 Stadium:

#5. International break affects Manchester United's momentum; individual errors cost them three points


S
Some mistakes were made!

The international break couldn't have come at a worse time for Manchester United, and so it proved as the Red Devils struggled to find the kind of form that had seen them smash in 10 and concede 0 in their first three matches of the season.

Mourinho confirmed that he shared this line of thinking by saying: “It was a difficult match for different reasons. My players, after the international break, are not the same. They weren’t performing at their normal level but we were in the game, we fought hard and we were closer to winning than losing."

In fact, even when talking about the Phil Jones mistake that allowed Eric Chupo-Moting a free header for the Stoke equaliser, he said after stating that Jones has been great for United and that he doesn't need him [Mourinho] to talk about the mistake - "Mistakes are part of the game, he's playing well for us, he's probably tired [after] two consecutive matches with the national team..."

Phil Jones mistake wasn't an isolated one. His partner Eric Bailly was culpable for not tracking the same nemesis' run as Chupo-Moting ran into the box to score the game's opener while Matteo Darmian, Antonio Valencia (with his rather poor crossing), Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku all made silly individual mistakes at different points in the game to break up United's flow.

P.S. Individual mistakes may have marred United's game but one moment of quality stood out in sharp relief: Let's close the book on save of the season already shall we?

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Anirudh Menon
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Believes Sport makes the world a better place :)
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