skip to content
Dimitar Berbatov has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide right of the target.
Ricardo Fuller produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the target.
Chris Smalling challenges Robert Huth unfairly and gives away a free kick. Thomas Sorensen restarts play with the free kick.
Unfair challenge on Jonathan Evans by Andy Wilkinson results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Michael Carrick.
Paul Pogba takes a shot. Blocked by Robert Huth.
Antonio Valencia decides to take a short corner.
Foul by Ricardo Fuller on Paul Pogba, free kick awarded. Paul Scholes takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Patrice Evra by Robert Huth. Robert Huth is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour. Free kick taken by Michael Carrick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Dean Whitehead on Paul Pogba. Michael Carrick restarts play with the free kick.
Antonio Valencia crosses the ball, Paul Pogba takes a shot. Blocked by Robert Huth. Short corner worked by Antonio Valencia.
Short corner taken by Antonio Valencia from the right by-line.
Short corner taken by Ji-Sung Park from the left by-line.
Paul Pogba produces a cross, clearance by Andy Wilkinson. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Antonio Valencia from the right by-line.
Rory Delap is brought on as a substitute for Wilson Palacios. (Stoke) makes a substitution, with Ricardo Fuller coming on for Jonathan Walters.
Ji-Sung Park takes a shot. Blocked by Andy Wilkinson.
Unfair challenge on Javier Hernandez by Ryan Shawcross results in a free kick. Paul Pogba comes on in place of Javier Hernandez. Strike on goal comes in from Paul Scholes from the free kick, Kenwyne Jones gets a block in.
Antonio Valencia takes a shot. Ryan Shawcross gets a block in.
Jermaine Pennant takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Michael Carrick manages to make a clearance.
Kenwyne Jones takes a shot. Blocked by Michael Carrick.
Cameron Jerome takes a shot. Blocked by Jonathan Evans.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jonathan Walters by Chris Smalling. Thomas Sorensen takes the direct free kick.
Cameron Jerome takes a shot. Save made by Ben Amos.
Jermaine Pennant crosses the ball.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jermaine Pennant by Patrice Evra. Jermaine Pennant crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Michael Carrick.
Short corner taken by Jermaine Pennant. Marc Wilson takes a shot. Blocked by Jonathan Evans.
Unfair challenge on Robert Huth by Dimitar Berbatov results in a free kick. Cameron Jerome is brought on as a substitute for Peter Crouch. Free kick taken by Marc Wilson.
Unfair challenge on Patrice Evra by Jermaine Pennant results in a free kick. Patrice Evra takes the direct free kick.
Unfair challenge on Ji-Sung Park by Marc Wilson results in a free kick. Michael Carrick takes the direct free kick. Penalty awarded for a foul by Jonathan Walters on Antonio Valencia. Jonathan Walters booked. Penalty taken right-footed by Dimitar Berbatov and scored. Man Utd 2-0 Stoke.Assist by Antonio Valencia.
Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Robert Huth gets a block in. Chris Smalling is penalised for a handball. Free kick taken by Thomas Sorensen.
Paul Scholes challenges Kenwyne Jones unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Scholes is cautioned. Robert Huth restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Wilson Palacios on Antonio Valencia. Free kick taken by Chris Smalling.
Foul by Paul Scholes on Jermaine Pennant, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Jermaine Pennant. Foul by Javier Hernandez on Wilson Palacios, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Robert Huth.
Jermaine Pennant challenges Ji-Sung Park unfairly and gives away a Penalty. Caution for Andy Wilkinson. Penalty taken right-footed by Javier Hernandez and scored. Man Utd 1-0 Stoke.Assist on the goal came from Ji-Sung Park.
Antonio Valencia delivers the ball.
Foul by Jermaine Pennant on Ji-Sung Park, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Ben Amos.
Michael Carrick produces a left-footed shot from close range which goes wide of the right-hand post.
Effort from the edge of the area by Kenwyne Jones goes wide of the right-hand post.
Ji-Sung Park decides to take a short corner.
Peter Crouch concedes a free kick for a foul on Paul Scholes. Paul Scholes restarts play with the free kick.
The referee penalises Peter Crouch for handball. Michael Carrick restarts play with the free kick.
Michael Carrick crosses the ball, clearance by Ryan Shawcross.
Paul Scholes takes a shot. Blocked by Robert Huth. Corner from right by-line taken by Antonio Valencia.
Michael Carrick has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide right of the target. Antonio Valencia decides to take a short corner.
Paul Scholes gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Wilson Palacios. Direct free kick taken by Ryan Shawcross.
Javier Hernandez is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Thomas Sorensen.
Antonio Valencia delivers the ball, Robert Huth manages to make a clearance.
Chris Smalling produces a cross.
Foul by Peter Crouch on Rio Ferdinand, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Ben Amos.
Jonathan Walters sends in a cross, Chris Smalling gets a block in.
Ji-Sung Park fouled by Kenwyne Jones, the ref awards a free kick. Paul Scholes restarts play with the free kick.
Corner taken short by Antonio Valencia.
Kenwyne Jones has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.
Michael Carrick takes a shot. Ryan Shawcross gets a block in.
Jonathan Walters has an effort at goal from a long way out that goes wide left.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Antonio Valencia on Marc Wilson. Thomas Sorensen takes the free kick.
Ferguson set for Stoke challenge
Sir Alex Ferguson is relishing the prospect of his Manchester United side facing the unique challenge presented by Stoke at Old Trafford.
After Saturday's FA Cup defeat to Liverpool, an encounter with Tony Pulis' battlers would not normally be viewed as the ideal method of recovery.
Yet, in much the same way as the Red Devils tended to overcome Bolton during the era under Sam Allardyce when they managed to get under the skin of all the other big clubs, they have emerged relatively unscathed in their meetings with Stoke.
A draw at the Britannia Stadium in September represented the first points dropped to the Potteries outfit since they were promoted to the Premier League in 2008.
And United must go back to 1976 for their last Old Trafford loss to Stoke, courtesy of a late goal from club legend Alan Bloor.
"You know what Tony Pulis's team will be like, they are the same all the time," said Ferguson. "They will be 100% committed and they always get stuck in. You have to cope with that. To be honest, I always enjoy it too.
"It was like when we used to play Wimbledon. No-one used to look forward to playing against them but my team started to because it was a physical challenge and in terms of taking the ball and playing football.
"Stoke are a different team altogether but they still have the same qualities of never giving in, so it is always a good challenge for us."
Although Ashley Young, Tom Cleverley and Anderson are all inching closer to full fitness, it seems Nani may be out for a significant period with a foot injury.
Wayne Rooney and Phil Jones are continuing to nurse ankle problems, so the main avenue of good news from the treatment table could come from Rio Ferdinand, who has returned to training after a back spasm, even if Ferguson felt unable to risk an appearance off the bench at Anfield.
Meanwhile, Stoke fear a backlash from United as they try to take out their frustrations on the Potters.
A bitter defeat by Liverpool in the FA Cup at the weekend means United's only chance of silverware this season now is the Premier League, and Stoke defender Robert Huth admitted there may be better times to visit the reigning champions.
He told Press Association Sport: "It's not ideal they lost - they will probably turn up now and be on fire against us. That's what we have to expect.
"Whenever they seem to lose a game, in the next one they perform almost like the old United, so it will be a tough game.
"I think they will come out all guns blazing. It will obviously have been a frustrating result, losing against Liverpool.
"They're out of the FA Cup, out of the Champions League, so it's the league for them now, so I'm sure they'll be up for it."
Huth said Stoke would take heart from Blackburn's performance at Old Trafford last month when they Rovers stunned United with a 3-2 victory despite being bottom of the table at the time.
He added: "Blackburn showed it can be done. It's a 90-minute game. Anything can happen, we just have to be positive.
"Blackburn frustrated them. You could argue Man U were not at their best, but it's still a tough place to go and win.
"I'm sure we'll be looking at previous matches where teams have done well against them, so maybe we can get something."
Matthew Etherington is a doubt for the trip to Manchester after suffering a groin injury in the weekend's FA Cup win over Derby.
Mamady Sidibe (knee) is a long-term absentee but apart from that Pulis has virtually a full squad to choose from.
United make Potters pay penalty
Manchester United made light of their chronic injury list to turn up the heat in the Barclays Premier League title race by overcoming a subdued Stoke outfit 2-0 at Old Trafford.
A penalty in each half, from Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov, was enough to turn the game into a victory cruise for Sir Alex Ferguson's team.
Much stiffer challenges lay ahead in the form of their next two opponents, Chelsea and Liverpool.
However, considering he was without 11 senior players this evening, including both first-choice keepers, Ferguson will have been delighted to end the evening in better shape that they started it.
The Scot must dread every day that he has to name a team just now.
For once, the United manager was completely accurate with the state of his injuries on Saturday when, in the wake of that FA Cup defeat to Liverpool, he said only Rio Ferdinand was expected to be available of those already walking wounded.
What Ferguson could not have envisaged was that within 48 hours, his goalkeeping ranks would be ravaged as well.
Anders Lindegaard suffered what is thought to be a serious ankle injury in training, prior to which, David de Gea had gone home poorly.
De Gea had recovered enough to take his place in the stands this evening.
However, after recent nervous displays, it perhaps was not a bad thing that he sat out this test of his mettle, even if 21-year-old replacement Ben Amos was making his Premier League bow.
As it turned out, the Macclesfield-born youngster had relatively little to do, other than watch a couple of shots fly wide.
The problems were further forward, where Antonio Valencia seemed to be the only plausible way of breaking Stoke down with both Nani and Ashley Young on the sick list as well as Wayne Rooney.
Valencia is in top form at the moment but he needed help, which took a little while in arriving.
At 37 and fresh out of retirement, Paul Scholes was being asked to start his second game in four days.
The veteran midfielder came close to breaking the deadlock with a shot that flicked wide off Wilson Palacios.
Michael Carrick got caught in two minds as he raced onto Dimitar Berbatov's lay-off and rolled a cross-shot wide of the far-post.
It looked like being a long evening until Park raced onto a short pass from Scholes and drew a reckless tackle from Jermaine Pennant.
Despite the Stoke protests, TV replays showed the former Liverpool man had fouled Park and, quick to take the responsibility, Hernandez found the bottom corner with a nerveless effort from the spot, sending Thomas Sorensen the wrong way.
Robert Huth got away with handling Hernandez's cross just before the break but seven minutes after the restart, United were awarded a second spot-kick when Jon Walters bundled Valencia over.
Despite the clinical nature of Hernandez's previous effort, this time Berbatov assumed the responsibility.
The pressure was on but the Bulgarian delivered the goods, beating Sorensen with a shot to the bottom corner as the Dane went the right way.
Without an Old Trafford win since 1976, the meek manner of Stoke's performance was totally at odds with their normal displays.
Tony Pulis showed his displeasure by replacing Crouch with Cameron Jerome and it wasn't long before the substitute brought a decent save out of Amos, although the fact he needed two attempts to smother suggested Stoke may have got some reward had they been able to put him under concerted pressure.
It wasn't happening though and Ferguson felt sufficiently emboldened to hand Paul Pogba his Premier League bow.
On the day Ravel Morrison joined West Ham, it was a telling gesture.
Although he has not had any of Morrison's many off-field problems to distract him, the 18-year-old is also wavering over signing a new contract.
Losing one player of promise is forgivable, for a second to leave in the summer would be very bad news for the Red Devils.
Pogba settled nicely too, catching the eye with one neat piece of skill that created a crossing opportunity before having a first-time shot blocked by Wilkinson.
The champions should have given the score an even rosier glow when Berbatov prodded Valencia's cut-back wide in stoppage time.
"Who will win the PL title this season - 2013/14?"
© 2004 - 2014 football.co.uk