Manchester United 2-1 Stoke City: Three talking points from Old Trafford


The tide is finally turning the Manchester United way. The Red Devils secured their fourth successive win on the trot as they beat Stoke City by 2-1 at Old Trafford on Tuesday night. Goals from Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata were enough but United had to overcome a late rally from Stoke to hold on for the three points. The Potters would wonder what else they need to finally get the ball behind the line but in reality it was yet another crushing win for Mark Hughes’ side in a span of 3 days.

We take a look at the three major talking points from Old Trafford

Marouane Fellaini is no longer a failure: The Belgian has had to live with his £28m failure but Fellaini whose career at Old Trafford seemed to be over in the summer is finally living up to his billing. The resurrection began at Hawthorns against West Brom continued against Chelsea and now its seems in full flow.

Fellaini came up with the all important opening goal and was equally important in the middle playing as a box to box midfielder. The former Everton man is strong with an imposing presence and there is no doubt that with Daley Blind missing, he will be Louis Van Gaal most important player in the coming months.

The rebirth of Ashley Young If anyone had asked Ashley Young ahead of the season, how much would he rate himself as a left back, the 29 year old would in all likelihood have no answer. However persistent injuries has meant that Young has played as inverted left wing back and it would be fair to say that the player has raised his game over the past few weeks.

Against Stoke too, he was omnipresent on the left wing with his darting runs and harassing the Stoke defense with his cut ins. Young also displayed an immense work rate tracking back to help his defense. United fans would thank him for his last gasp clearance off the goal line which preserved their full three points ahead of the crunch tie against Southampton in the weekend.

Ander Herrera is the utility man United will treasure: Manchester United have always been known for that one utility player who can play anywhere in midfield in the Alex Ferguson era. The Red Devils have been crying out for such a player over the past few seasons who can aid the midfield on the inside or on the wings.

Ander Herrera finally looks to the missing jigsaw on the puzzle. Against Hull City, the Spaniard was all over the pitch displaying immense ability, going forward or picking out incisive passes with great vision. On Tuesday night too, Herrera looked clam and composed on the ball, willing to play as the runner role and tracking back whenever needed. Is he finally the solution of what United need?

All in all, United didn’t play the way they would have linked but notched up three important points. For Stoke it was yet another demoralizing defeat, but they have better luck on other days. Mark Hughes be calm!

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