Manchester United 3-2 Stoke: Five lessons we learned

by Sam Peoples

Crisis avoided. Manchester United needed to take the game to Stoke straight away but instead conceded four minutes in after Crouch poked in following a brilliant save from David de Gea. It was the worst possible start.

United struggled to create much in the way of goalscoring opportunities but Robin van Persie managed to equalise only for Stoke to immediately score again with a free-kick just before half time.

As the second half went on, it didn’t look like United were going to score but Rooney had other ideas when he made it 2-2 and only seconds later, Hernandez scored the third. Pandemonium.

A loss today would have really caused a swathe of pessimism to sweep across United fans and our turnaround will really send some belief back into the fans that this United is still more than capable of playing like we did under Ferguson.

A typical United performance. United loved to win games where we played poorly when Ferguson was in charge and Moyes’ side did exactly that today.

Up until Rooney’s equaliser, United didn’t look like they were going to score. There was a distinct lack of urgency and nobody seemed to want to battle for it but as soon as our second equaliser went in, a belief swept across the team. It was infectious. The team lifted and so did the crowd

Januzaj’s introduction completely changed the outlook of the game. Hernandez’s goal sent Moyes wild on the touchline and United celebrated like we had just won the league, that’s how much it meant to them.

Nothing beats a turnaround. Nothing beats winning against the odds.

Where’s the consistency? United were superb in midweek against Real Sociedad but today, we made Stoke look like world beaters at points. Jonny Evans and Phil Jones had been brilliant in the past two performances yet they were at sixes and sevens against Stoke.

Nani, Tom Cleverley and Chris Smalling were all guilty of playing poorly too. There was no individual who was at fault for what was a poor performance on the whole. Under Ferguson, United had some poor results but we traditionally bounced back from them. So far this season, we’ve been consistently poor despite moments of really positive football and that needs to be turned around.

Moyes gets it spot on with our tactics in Europe using a high pressing game – why doesn’t he try them in the league?

United may have won today but there were plenty of questions asked too.

Now we can really kick on. If there was one thing that was going to inject some real belief into the fans and team that we can compete this season, it was a dramatic turn around when it didn’t look likely.

Moyes would have foamed at the mouth during half time and all the players would have felt under real pressure to perform. That is exactly what they did. You saw what it meant to them in the celebration of Hernandez’s winner.

Our poor start has now made us underdogs for the title but if there is one thing that United thrive on, it is being in exactly that position.

Never boo your own players. When Luis Nani was substituted, the home fans booed him. What a stupid thing to do.

It doesn’t matter how bad our players have been, they are our players and they need the support.

Image: Twitter/Bwinmanutd

You may also like