Man United Disappoint As Begovic & Adams Shine

READS: 1,841
Updated: February 1, 2014
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Stoke City emerged the victors in today’s match at the Britannia Stadium. Peter Odemwingie’s debut was marked with injury for both teams, as first half injuries to Man United center backs Jonny Evans and Phil Jones were mirrored by injuries to Stoke’s Jonathan Walters and Marko Arnoutovic in the second half.

Stoke City defended well, dominated possession, and got a lucky first goal. Debatably off target, a Charlie Adam free kick bounced off of Michael Carrick and wrong footed De Gea to start the scoring. Back and forth play was defined by a dogged defensive determination from Stoke, not allowing Man United many open shots. Wayne Rooney’s early volley was arguably the best chance of the half for the Red Devils.

In what was undoubtedly a poor performance by David Moyes’ United squad, the attacking trio of Van Persie, Rooney, and Mata failed to make much of an impression on the Potters’ defense.

Mata was almost nonexistent at times in the game, and his brilliant through ball for RVP’s goal was the definite exception to the rule today. Ashley Young dominated the left at times and gave away the ball left and right at others. By the 60th minute, Wayne Rooney was playing so far back that he was the holding midfielder.

A timid approach to the penalty box saw United shying away from taking shots and instead trying to force the matter with badly timed passes to men that might or might not be open. Although the United players played hard, they failed to play with any of the classy passing and runs on and off the ball that used to characterize them under Sir Alex Ferguson.

The only good thing to take away for United fans is the performances of Chris Smalling and Rafael da Silva. After having to move into central defense, Smalling put up a brick wall, not letting anything by and almost singlehandedly marshalling what was left of a United defense.


Amazing stops, tackles, interceptions, and especially his block of a quick break shot that by all means should have been a goal defined his impassioned display today—too bad for United that he couldn’t guard all 11 men at once.

Rafael impressed after coming on for Phil Jones, who suffered a bad concussion in an aerial challenge with Jon Walters. Marauding runs up the right flank and great passing and dribbling let him make a huge impact on the game.


Emphasizing United’s attacking failures, he at times looked like the most threatening player on the squad, somehow always managing to track back in order to break up play.

The third problem United had to face, after injuries and an inability to strike, was a referee crew who looked like Stoke fans at times.

Failing to call a penalty for a challenge from behind with no intention of getting the ball and seemingly refusing to give United a free kick unless it was a mandatory foul, these referees overlooked hip checks, dragging down players from behind, and tripping.

Unless of course Manchester United were the offending party. Not to take credit away from Stoke, for a weakened Red Devil Team, playing 11 on 12 was just too much to overcome.

Asmir Begovic demonstrated again with his incredible save of Wayne Rooney’s near perfect free kick why he is one of the most underrated goalies in the world. An almost perfect performance, he let in a goal that truthfully, I’m not sure if two goalkeepers could have stopped.

At the other end, David de Gea did well also, but was wrong footed by a deflection off Carrick and just couldn’t get to a world-class long-range strike by Adam.
The ramifications of this game are clear.

Stoke City moved from the relegation zone all the way up to 11th, after great performances by West Ham and Sunderland forced them to deliver.

Building confidence, this Stoke team is starting to believe that, even though they’ve sputtered a bit, they can knock off any team when on their top form. Manchester United, on the other hand, fall to their 8th defeat in 24 premier league games under David Moyes.

He “thought we had bad luck today,” and thought that his team “played well, created opportunities.” In his opinion, “there wasn’t an awful lot I can say that we didn’t do well, except we didn’t finish it off.”

Bad luck, injuries, a failure to strike; whatever you want to call it, David Moyes is going to have to start producing wins soon, or his job will be in question.

Regardless, it is clear that at this point in the season his focus is salvaging what is left and preparing for next year. If he continues to develop young players such as Januzaj in the squad and Zaha and Powell out on loans, that combined with Rooney, Mata, and van Persie developing a partnership in what can be a striking trio, Manchester United has a chance of being a top class team next year.


Follow @dasher246 on Twitter



Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

One Comment

  1. James

    April 22, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    I agree with this story.
    I support David de Gea.
    I’m an Man Utd fan,I love David de Gea
    Thank you for information sharing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *