Premier League
StokeStoke City2Man UtdManchester United0

Stoke City 2-0 Manchester United

By Neil JohnstonBBC Sport
Stoke City's Bojan Krkic celebrates scoring against Manchester United
Defeat by Stoke means Manchester United are without a win in seven games

Stoke City condemned Manchester United to a fourth straight defeat to increase the pressure on manager Louis van Gaal.

Bojan Krkic broke the deadlock after a poor header back to David de Gea from Memphis Depay allowed Glen Johnson to play it back to the Spanish forward.

Stoke went 2-0 ahead through Marko Arnautovic's 25-yard finish after Bojan's free-kick had hit the wall.

Van Gaal dropped captain Wayne Rooney, who came on as a half-time substitute, and United struggled to create chances.

Stoke were superior throughout and could have won by more.

Arnautovic missed a great chance to add to United's misery when clean through, while Potters keeper Jack Butland denied Marouane Fellaini, Anthony Martial and Juan Mata.

Rooney decision backfires badly on Van Gaal

Wayne Rooney touched the ball three times in Stoke's penalty area after coming on at the start of the second half

Van Gaal was already under pressure before kick-off after a poor run of form but the manner of United's defeat at the Britannia Stadium - together with the manager's decision to leave out England skipper Rooney - is bound to raise more questions about the Dutchman's future.

United rarely looked like getting back into the game after falling behind and showed little desire and leadership as they found themselves outmuscled and outfought by an impressive Stoke side.

They were already 2-0 behind after an awful first-half display when Rooney, starting on the bench in a league match for the first time since 28 January 2014, was introduced at the start of the second period.

They improved after the break, but Stoke, managed by former United forward Mark Hughes, deserved their victory.

Can't score, can't defend

United's lack of goals- seven in the past nine league games - has been well documented yet their latest downfall was caused by alarming mistakes at the back.

Depay's intended header back to his keeper De Gea was far too short and Bojan made the visitors pay with a close-range finish in the 19th minute after Johnson seized on the error to set up the former Barcelona player.

It was 2-0 seven minutes later when Bojan's free-kick rebounded off the wall and Arnautovic, who was quickest to react, produced a sublime finish from outside the area.

United had hardly tested Butland when Austria international Arnautovic got the better of Phil Jones after a delightful pass from Bojan only to fire wide when clean through.

Stoke City fans during the home game against Manchester United
A Stoke City fan wearing a Jose Mourinho face mask and holding a P45 certificate with Louis van Gaal's name on it

Another giant toppled at the Britannia

The Britannia Stadium is fast becoming a graveyard for the Premier League's bigger clubs.

Manchester City and Chelsea have both lost at the venue this season and victory over United was celebrated with just as much enthusiasm by the home fans.

Make no mistake, the home side were worthy winners, with Bojan, Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri causing Jones and Chris Smalling huge problems with their pace.

How far can Hughes take the Potters? They started 2015 with a 1-1 draw over United at the Britannia. They're ending the calendar year within sight of a European place.

Man of the match - Bojan Krkic

Stoke City forward Bojan Krkic
There were several candidates in Stoke shirts but the Spaniard was a thorn in United's defence from start to finish - a real team player who showed desire on and off the ball. He now has two goals in two games.

What the managers said

Stoke's intensity pleases Potters boss Mark Hughes

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes: "I thought we were excellent in the first half. We looked to be positive and tried to get in behind their back four.

"They may have got some momentum but we saw it out quite comfortably.

"We wanted to be on the front foot and force errors and that's what happened.

"We have got players who can take chances but they might have taken more this season."

Players feeling pressure - Louis van Gaal

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal: "We have lost the game in the first 45 minutes because we didn't dare to play our football.

"I thought it was the right decision [to leave out Wayne Rooney] otherwise I would not have done it.

"I have received it [backing of club] all the time but we have lost today so there is a new situation. I feel the support of my players and my board. The fans will be disappointed but that is logical after four defeats."


Former Everton winger Kevin Kilbane, speaking on Final Score: "I can't see Louis van Gaal staying beyond this now. On Tuesday he walked out of his press conference, and there has been an awful lot of pressure on him this week.

"That performance was as bad you will ever see from a Manchester United side."

Rio Ferdinand on twitter
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand posted this message during the game

The stats you need to know

  • Marko Arnautovic has now scored more Premier League goals this season (six) than his previous two combined (five).
  • The last time Manchester United lost four competitive games in a row was between May and August 2001.
  • United have lost four straight competitive matches in a single season for the first time since November 1961.
  • United lost a Premier League game on Boxing Day for the first time since 2002 (1-3 at Middlesbrough) and only for the second time overall in the top flight (P22 W18 D2 L2).
  • Louis van Gaal's side have averaged just 1.22 goals per game in the league this season (22 goals in 18 games) - United's lowest average in a league campaign since 1989-90 (1.21).
  • Stoke have kept a clean sheet in eight of their past 11 Premier League games.

What next?

Both teams have little time before they are back in action. While Stoke make the journey to face Everton (15:00 GMT) on Monday, United entertain Chelsea (17:30 GMT) at Old Trafford.



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Butland
  • 8Johnson
  • 17Shawcross
  • 26Wollscheid
  • 3Pieters
  • 20CameronSubstituted forAdamat 75'minutes
  • 6WhelanSubstituted forVan Ginkelat 45'minutes
  • 22ShaqiriSubstituted forDioufat 65'minutes
  • 14Afellay
  • 10Arnautovic
  • 27BojanBooked at 49mins


  • 11Joselu
  • 12Wilson
  • 15Van Ginkel
  • 16Adam
  • 18Diouf
  • 19Walters
  • 29Haugaard

Man Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1de Gea
  • 18YoungBooked at 25mins
  • 4Jones
  • 12Smalling
  • 17Blind
  • 16Carrick
  • 21HerreraSubstituted forPereiraat 82'minutesBooked at 83mins
  • 8Mata
  • 27Fellaini
  • 7DepaySubstituted forRooneyat 45'minutes
  • 9Martial


  • 10Rooney
  • 20Romero
  • 28Schneiderlin
  • 30Varela
  • 33McNair
  • 43Borthwick-Jackson
  • 44Pereira
Kevin Friend

Match Stats

Home TeamStokeAway TeamMan Utd
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Stoke City 2, Manchester United 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Stoke City 2, Manchester United 0.

  3. Post update

    Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Marco Van Ginkel (Stoke City).

  5. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Jack Butland.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Juan Mata (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Wayne Rooney.

  7. Post update

    Chris Smalling (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City).

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Bojan (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Charlie Adam.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Jack Butland.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Anthony Martial (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Andreas Pereira.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Charlie Adam (Stoke City) left footed shot from more than 35 yards is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

  13. Booking

    Andreas Pereira (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Andreas Pereira (Manchester United).

  15. Post update

    Ibrahim Afellay (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United. Andreas Pereira replaces Ander Herrera.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Charlie Adam (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Chris Smalling (Manchester United).

  19. Post update

    Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Phil Jones (Manchester United).