United comeback eases pressure on Moyes
Old Trafford breathed a collective sigh of relief as Manchester United came from behind to beat a resilient Stoke side 3-2.
The home side in fact endured a horrible start as they were up against it as early as the fourth minute. It was a shame for David De Gea really, who had initially pulled off a wonderful save at first place off Peter Crouch who reacted quickly to force the ball over the line. Stoke could have easily added to their tally and put the contest really to bed as they had 3 more efforts in the first half hour of the match that were either inaccurate or else found De Gea in top form.
Then, against the run of play, United found an equaliser. Nani sent in a deep cross. Rooney’s first attempt was saved but Van Persie scored from the rebound. The timing seemed perfect but Stoke were at it again 90 seconds later as Arnautovic won and then converted a superb free-kick on the stroke of half-time.
The second half added to the frustration as United barely threatened in their search for an elusive equalizer. Just when it was getting embarrassing for United, Moyes sent in Januzaj, Hernandez and Valencia to add more attacking intent and this tactical nous repaid instant dividends. Van Persie sent in a corner kick that was met by Rooney’s looping header that dropped into the opposite corner of the net. Two minutes later, Evra sent in another cross from the other flank and Hernandez headed in from close range.
At the final whistle Hughes was fuming. Moyes was beaming. And Old Trafford was hopeful once again.
Elsewhere, Arsenal and Liverpool enjoyed convincing wins against Crystal Palace and West Bromwich respectively while Tottenham kept up the pace with a hard-fought win against Hull City. Chelsea too, maintained pressure by beating Manchester City 2-1 in the Sunday showdown at Stamford Bridge.