Manchester United V Stoke City 2–0
Manchester United collected a morale boosting 2–0 win over Stoke City at Old Trafford on Tuesday. The Reds took the lead in the 38th minute through a well taken penalty from Javier Hernandez before Dimitar Berbatov made the score read 2–0 in the home team´s favour with a second spot-kick eight minutes into the second period.
Despite dominating the game from the first whistle, the Manchester United players struggled to break down the resilient Stoke City defence. Evergreen midfield orchestrator Paul Scholes could have put the home team ahead in the 21st minute of the match but his volley went just a few inches wide of the post. Seven minutes before the sound of the half time signal, however, attack minded midfielder Ji-sung Park won a penalty which Javier Hernandez subsequently converted to give Manchester United a fully deserved lead. Five minutes later, though, Paul Scholes was on the receiving end of a yellow card for a tough challenge on Trinidad and Tobago international Kenwyne Jones. Then in the 53rd minute of play, Antonio Valencia managed to gain another penalty kick for Manchester United and it was this time taken by former Bulgaria international centre forward Dimitar Berbatov who hammered home his seventh goal of the English Premier League campaign. Old Trafford gaffer Sir Alex Ferguson eventually decided to make a change in the 74th minute when he replaced goal scorer Javier Hernandez with France U19 international midfield player Paul Pogba. And although the persistent Manchester United side continued to dominate for the rest of the second period, Sir Alex Ferguson´s title challengers failed in their attempt to find their third goal of the game. Manchester United Team: Ben Amos, Chris Smalling, Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra, Antonio Valencia, Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick, Ji-Sung Park, Dimitar Berbatov, Javier Hernandez. Substitute: Paul Pogba.