Manchester United’s perfect Premier League record is no more as Maxim Choupo-Moting became the first player to truly trouble their defence in the 2-2 draw with Stoke City.
The back four showed signs of weakness but it was not all doom and gloom for Jose Mourinho’s men – read on for our ratings.
Most keepers would have only started to lift their arm after the ball had hit the back of the net – but De Gea isn’t most keepers. His wonderful reflex save from Jese went in vain, however, as Choupo-Moting scored from the resulting blamer. The Spaniard was blameless for both goals.
Valencia may be a cult hero at Old Trafford but his distribution is vexing at the best of times. He maneuvered himself into promising positions down the right on numerous occasions, only to boot the ball long, high and not so handsome.
Was having a solid game – save for some agricultural clearances – before losing his balance and falling flat on his backside while Choupo-Moting stole in for his second. On the rare occasions he is not dogged by injury he needs to display consistency. He took a step backwards on Saturday.
Delivered possibly the poorest performance of his United career so far. He got lucky in a failed attempt to play offside in the first half, and Choupo-Moting’s first only arrived after two errors in quick succession. The Ivorian was too slow to play the offside trap in the build-up to the move, and too slow to get goal-side to cut off Choupo-Moting.
No surprise Stoke’s goal came from a cross from United’s left but Bailly slow to get out, as well. Not great defending.
— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonESPN) September 9, 2017
The most assured of United’s back four, Darmian kept Xherdan Shaqiri relatively quiet down his side. He also showed great determination to harry Joe Allen off the ball and spark the move that led to United’s second. A positive performance in the battle for minutes down United’s left side.
The Serbian is probably mean with a mop around the house – he loves nothing more than to clean up in midfield. He has a high floor, and what a clean floor it is, but did not hit his ceiling in this display. A few of his balls forward did not land within five metres of a United player.
Looked like a man who had grown stiff sitting on the bench for most of the season’s start. Showed a few nice touches, and played one exquisite ball to Romelu Lukaku, but clearly need to top up his fitness – and will do as the game comes thick and fast from here on in.
Had the freedom of the Potteries to connect with the header that led to United’s opener, though not even the biggest Paul Pogba aficionado would claim he meant to play it off Marcus Rashford’s head. Strutted around the field with his usual swagger.
Defenders seem to shrivel when Rashford starts to run at them with pace but his international exertions seem to catch up with him in the second half. Didn’t know anything about his goal but has now scored 12 goals a teenager in the Premier League, moving level with Ryan Giggs.
After a non-descript performance against Leicester City a couple of weeks ago, Romelu Lukaku led the line well for the most part and knitted together many of United attacks well with neat hold-up play. Got lucky that he was given a second bite of the cherry for his goal.
The assist machine did play an inch-perfect pass for Lukaku’s goal but was not quite as effective on the left of a front three as he has been as a No10. However, Juan Mata has been fairly ineffectual as a starter so far this season and his pace down the flank, with either Rashford or Anthony Martial down the other side, is an intriguing option.
Swung in a couple of teasing balls without really ruffling Stoke’s feathers as they looked to defend the point.
He’s a specialist off the bench – not that he likes that – and was lively again, conjuring a highlight reel move to show up Mame Biram Diouf
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