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Manchester United v Stoke – as it happened

by Aidan Elder | October 20, 2012

Tottenham and Chelsea served up a lunchtime treat and now it’s time for Manchester United and Stoke to do the same. No pressure.

I’ll be here to bring you all the latest updates via the medium of grumpy text commentary and if I have the time and span of attention, I’ll keep you up to date with all the other scorelines in the 3pm games. If you’ve got your own thoughts on the match, you can leave them in the comments section below and we can shoot the breeze.

FULL TIMES
Manchester United 4 – 2 Stoke
Fulham 1 – 0 Aston Villa
Liverpool 1 – 0 Reading
Swansea 2 – 1 Wigan
West Ham 4 – 1 Southampton
West Brom 1 – 2 Manchester City (Milner sent off)

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4.54pm: FULL TIME! There’s enough time for City to make one more goal line clearance, but they hang on to claim three points that were looking unlikely about half an hour ago.

4.52pm: GOAL! MANCHESTER CITY! 10 man City get a late goal against Wesrt Brom. It was definitely Dzeko this time. Seconds earler, Hart pulled off a great save to stop the Baggies.

4.51pm: FULL TIME! Nervy Liverpool hold on at home to Reading.
FULL TIME! United get the better of Stoke.
FULL TIME! West Ham hammer Southampton.
FULL TIME! Fulham beat Aston Villa.
FULL TIME! Swansea hold on against Wigan.

4.48pm: Man of the Match time at Old Trafford and Brian Little gives the nod to Robin van Persie.

4.43pm: GOAL! WEST HAM! Game set and match for the Hammers as Modibo Maiga puts it beyond doubt with a tidy finish from about 10 yards out.

4.41pm: GOAL! FULHAM! Chris Baird puts the Cottagers ahead at home to Villa.

4.39pm: GOAL! MANCHESTER CITY! City equlaise and I’m not sure who scored. One thing is for sure however, it wasn’t Ben Foster’s finest moment – although there are quite few moments vying for that dishonour. Dzeko is being credited with the goal.

4.38pm: Michael Owen creates a half chance from a corner, but Robin van Persie gets enough on it to take it clear of the goal.

4.34pm: SUB! Fergie continues to empty the bench with Chicharito coming on for Danny Welbeck.

4.31pm: SUBS! Michael Owen makes a not very emotional return to Old Trafford. He replaces Michael Kightly. Fergie also makes a switch with Valencia getting the hook and Nani coming on.

4.28pm: GOAL! WEST HAM! Noble gets his second of the game to put the Hammers 3-1 up. It was a neatly taken penalty after Andy Carroll was fouled (I think).

4.26pm: GOALS! WIGAN AND WEST BROM! The Liberty Stadium is the place to be for goals as Emerson Boyce gets Wigan back into it. Shane Long has put West Brom ahead at home to the champions, getting on the end of a crap shot from a team-mate.

4.24pm: GOAL! SWANSEA! Michu puts the Welsh club 2-0 up.

4.22pm: GOALS! SWANSEA AND MANCHESTER UNITED! The Swans take the lead at home to Wigan thanks to a Pablo Hernandez goal and Wayne Rooney claims his third goal of the game (two of which he’ll be happy with) to restore United’s two goal lead at Old Trafford.

4.20pm: GOAL! SOUTHAMPTON! Lallana makes it 2-1 at Upton Park.

4.18pm: Manchester City butcher a great chance to take the lead against West Brom. Yaya Toure probably deserves most of the blame, but it was a team effort.

4.16pm: GOAL! STOKE! Maybe it’s not all over at Old Trafford. Michael Kightly scores for the Potters to bring them within a goal.

4.15pm: Liverpool are under more pressure. Jones saves a long range effort from McAnuff.

4.13pm: At Ascot, Frankel has retained his unbeaten run with a win (and a goodbye?) in the Champion Stakes. Apart from being a couple of minutes older, the football hasn’t changed.

4.10pm: Alex McCarthy of Reading makes a good save to deny Suarez at Anfield whilst the Royals nearly go straight down the other end and equalise through McCleary. Brad Jones makes the save, but it’s nervy stuff at the back from Liverpool.

4.06pm: Great save from Begovic to stop Jonny Evans making it four with a close range header. It looks like a short-term reprieve because it’s a much more focused United that have emerged after half-time.

4.03pm: GOALS! Manchester United and West Ham x 2! Danny Welbeck stoops low to head United’s third goal and at Upton Park, Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan score within 90 seconds of each other to put the Hammers 2-0 up at home to Southampton.

4.02pm: The second half begins at Old Trafford as Stoke attempt to defy the inevitable defeat that’s coming their way.

3.50pm: It’s half-time everywhere in the Premier League and the goals have been in short supply. 10 man Manchester City have been under pressure against West Brom. Liverpool have dominated against Reading, but with their defending, they always give the impression they’ll need more than a single goal cushion. West Ham and Southampton has been pretty cagey whilst Fulham will feel they should be beating Aston Villa.

3.46pm: LET OFF! Paul Scholes should be off. Minutes after getting his first caution, he catches Walters on the ankles. You get the impression if it was anyone else it would be a second yellow. Basically, Scholes is still on the pitch by virtue of the fact referees like him. The ref blows his whistle to signal half time.

3.44pm: GOAL! Manchester United! A nicely worked goal for Robin van Persie after some uncharacteristically lax marking from Stoke. Antonio Valencia picks out the Dutchman whi is standing unmarked six yards from goal. He neatly slots the ball beyond Begovic.

3.40pm: YELLOW CARD! Another yellow card that would be a red if it was anyone but Paul Scholes. A terrible tackle from behind gets penalised, but arguably not to the extent it should – not for the first time in Scholesy’s career of bad tackles. Patrice Evra nearly chips Begovic after some dancing feet on the left of the Potters’ penalty area.

3.38pm: United are flexing some attacking muscle and Paul Scholes has his shot blocked after some flowing football from the hosts. Danny Welbeck hits the top of the Stoke crossbar with a well hit swerving shot from outside the Stoke box.

3.35pm: Another header from Wayne Rooney. This time it was towards the right goal, but not with sufficient power to give Asmir Begovic much trouble.

3.34pm: Over at Anfield, Suarez fizzes a shot narrowly wide.

3.32pm: United are hitting their stride and Wayne Rooney finds Danny Welbeck who skies his half-chance over the bar under pressure.

3.28pm: GOAL! LIVERPOOL! Raheem Sterling latches on to a through ball and slots the ball beyond the Reading goalkeeper who I assume is Alex McCarthy. Lovely finish after quite a lot of huffing and puffing to no avail for the hosts.

3.27pm: GOAL! UNITED! After a spell of nice attacking play, van Persie puts a great ball Stoke-style into the penalty area. Rooney jumps and gets his ample from enough off the ground to head beyond Begovic. They made it look very easy when they put their minds to it.

3.24pm: Another chance for Stoke! De Gea makes a decent save from Walters who was about 12 yards out. United are really struggling to deal with Stoke’s methods.

3.22pm: Over the the Hawthorns, there’s a red card for James Milner and it looks like the right call from Mark Clattenburg as the Manchester City player was the last man.

3.20pm: Again the United defence look less convincing than Jeffrey Archer in the witness stand. Stoke can’t capitalise and Welbeck misses a decent chance as United eventually break.

3.17pm: Another chance for Stoke. Not a good chance mind, but Crouch gets on the end of another cross and De Gea makes a simple save. Down at the other end, Begovic is awoken from his slumber as Evra blazes a shot over the Stoke crossbar from the edge of the area.

3.14pm: If you needed any proof that Stoke’s task of winning at Old Trafford is harder than telling Wayne Rooney to lay off the pizza, after going 1-0 up, they’re still available at 4/1 to win the match.

3.11pm: De Gea is forced into a sharp save seconds after the resumption of play thanks to a Charlie Adam cross that he’ll claim was a shot. Not a good start from United.

3.10pm: GOAL! STOKE! And that’s why you shouldn’t ever try anything creative ever. Wayne Rooney scores an own goal after unwittingly getting on the end of a Stoke free-kick that was destined for the head of Ryan Shawcross.

3.05pm: It’s all pretty civilised at Old Trafford so far. Stoke’s green giants haven’t stomped their way around the place just yet. Charlie Adam has a pretty bad speculative shot from distance earning United a goal kick. That’s what happens when you don’t hoof the ball towards Peter Crouch.

3.02pm: Robin van Persie goes down injured in what looks like a half-chance. Sadly it was offside so his pain in actually all in vain.

3.01pm: Seconds gone and already we’ve had our first ‘overly ambitious Paul Scholes volley’ of the game. It goes harmlessly wide.

3pm: United get things underway at Old Trafford wearing their famous red tablecloth.

2.57pm: I’ve got a long list of people who aren’t wearing ‘Kick It Out’ t-shirts today and I will be forwarding it to Santa Claus in time for Christmas.

2.54pm: Sir Alex Ferguson described Stoke as the ‘jolly green giants’ in yesterday’s pre-match press conference. Depressingly, that’s a reference that a lot of youngsters may not get. Basically, he’s a green giant who sells corn. And he’s jolly about it, which I’m presuming is down to the large profit margins in the corn selling industry.

2.40pm: TEAM NEWS!
Fergie goes with De Gea in goal and the Rooney and RVP partnership up front. Despite, this, Danny Welbeck also starts, presumably on the wing.

Manchester United
De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Scholes, Carrick, Welbeck, van Persie, Rooney

Benchwarmers: Lindegaard, Anderson, Giggs, Hernandez, Nani, Powell, Wootton.

It’s a familiar looking Stoke team with the usual suspects entrusted with hoofing the ball towards Peter Crouch’s head.

Stoke
Begovic, Cameron, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson, Nzonzi, Whitehead, Walters, Adam, Kightly, Crouch

Benchwarmers: Sorensen, Palacios, Jones, Owen, Upson, Etherington, Wilkinson.

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