Manchester United extended their winning run to four straight Premier League games after beating Stoke 2-1. Goals from Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata settled it for the Red Devils, who suffered a scare when Steven Nzonzi pulled the Potters level before half-time but managed to overcome it to consolidate their position in the top four.
There will have been murmurs of surprise around Old Trafford when the teams were announced as United captain Wayne Rooney's name was omitted from the team-sheet due to an injury sustained against Hull. Teenage striker James Wilson came into the side ahead of Radamel Falcao, still on the road to recovery after missing over a month through injury.
United took the lead via a lovely cross from Ander Herrera, headed home by Fellaini for his first goal at Old Trafford. Herrera had missed a sitter from around eight yards out early on after a mistake by Asmir Begovic was capitalised upon by Robin van Persie, but the Spaniard made up for it with an exemplary cross for Fellaini.
Stoke's equaliser came when Nzonzi's low shot powered past David de Gea after poor marking in midfield from the home side. Juan Mata's second half curled free-kick won the day though, and United stay 4th in the table, while Stoke drop to 13th.
- Manchester United have kept only 2 clean sheets in their last 10 Premier League games.
- Only Wayne Rooney (5) has scored more league goals this season for United than Juan Mata (4).
- The Red Devils have won 4 consecutive Premier League games for just the second time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired (also 4 wins in December 2013).
- Stoke have now lost their last 12 away games against Manchester United in all competitions.
- Marouane Fellaini’s 2 league goals for Manchester United this season have come in evening kick-offs.
- Stoke scored with their only shot of the first half against Manchester United.
- United have won 6 and lost 0 of their last 7 home league games.
- The Potters have lost 4 of their last 5 away from home in the league (W1).
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