Stoke stall United’s winning run

Premier League

Stoke City 2-2 Manchester United

Manchester United dropped their first points of the season as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Stoke City.

United had appeared on course to snatch victory in an entertaining match but were denied when home striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting headed home his second of the game soon after the hour to ensure that honours ended even.

In the opening seconds of the game, Stoke’s Jese flicked the ball to Choupo-Moting, sending him clear down the flank, only for United players to get back and crowd him out.

Moments later, Romelu Lukaku had the chance to give the visitors the lead after Marcus Rashford had squared him but was unable to get a shot away, before the action switched back to the other end with Jese sending a pass right across goal.

The game calmed down after that hectic opening, with United failing to make the most of some promising set piece opportunities and Choupo-Moting trying his luck from almost 40 yards but sending the ambitious effort off target.

As the half-hour approached, Eric Bailly advanced to play a superb pass to Rashford, who cut in from the right and fired low only for home Jack Butland to block.

Soon afterwards, Xherdan Shaqiri forced United’s David De Gea into action with a well-struck effort and Rashford was foiled again when Butland tipped away another shot.

Shaqiri fired in another effort, this time from 25 yards, as Stoke stepped up the pace, but De Gea was equal to it.

Back came the visitors and Antonio Valencia was played into space down the right but opted to shoot from a difficult angle rather than crossing and the chance was gone.

Paul Pogba takes on Kurt Zouma.

And with two minutes remaining until the break, United conceded their first Premier League goal of the season when Darren Fletcher played a fine pass out to Mame Biram Diouf on the right and his cross was thumped home by Choupo-Moting from six yards.

But the Stoke lead was short-lived, United levelling within two minutes as Paul Pogba’s header from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s cross went in off Rashford.

The second half began at a similar pace to the first, with Paul Pogba firing a 25-yard effort too close to Butland and Joe Allen playing Jese into a dangerous position only for United players to crowd him out before he could get a shot in.

But after 57 minutes United went in front when Allen lost the ball after some good work from Jese and the visitors broke, with Mkhitaryan playing in Lukaku whose first shot was blocked by Butland before his follow-up arrowed high into the net.

Stoke, though, hit back and were level within six minutes after it had appeared that a moment of brilliance from David De Gea would deny them.

De Gea made an outstanding save to deny Jese from close range but, from the corner, Phil Jones failed to connect with a defensive header and was punished by Choupo-Moting who steered the cross into the corner.

Pogba was denied by a good Butland save as he shot from an angle, and soon afterwards Valencia hammered a low effort wide of the post.

With 13 minutes remaining Stoke came close as Shaqiri sent a low cross-shot into the side-netting before, three minutes later, Anthony Martial’s bouncing cross was steered over the bar by the stretching Lukaku.

United won a dangerous free-kick when Allen fouled Juan Mata on the right-hand side of the area but the Stoke wall held firm, and Butland made a fine reaction stop from Jones’ late header and Pogba hooked a half-chance over in the final seconds.

Today’s other Premier League results:

  • Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool
  • Arsenal 3-0 AFC Bournemouth
  • Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 West Bromwich Albion
  • Everton 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur
  • Leicester City 1-2 Chelsea
  • Southampton 0-2 Watford

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