New Year Draw: Manchester United and Stoke share the spoils


Manchester United recovered from conceding early on to share a 1-1 draw with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium in the Premier League this afternoon.

Radamel Falcao of Manchester United celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Manchester United at Britannia Stadium on January 1, 2015

The home side made a quick start as they broke the deadlock less than three minutes in when Peter Crouch nodded the ball forward from a corner to Ryan Shawcross, leaving the captain to tap in from close range.

Stoke could have doubled their advantage a few minutes later when Jonny Evans failed to clear a high ball, but Mame Biram Diouf turned his shot just wide.

Ryan Shawcross of Stoke City celebrates scoring the first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Manchester United at Britannia Stadium on January 1, 2015

The visitors managed to level the scores midway through the first half when Radamel Falcao guided a cross from Michael Carrick past Asmir Begovic.

Louis van Gaal’s side looked the more likely early in the second half as Evans tried to cross the ball in for Robin van Persie, but Begovic came off his line to claim it before the striker could reach it.

Stoke started to find their way back into the match before the hour mark when Erik Pieters attempted to set up Crouch, but Chris Smalling was too strong for the forward.

Phil Jones almost gifted Stoke the lead again as they continued to press, when a ball from Jonathan Walters was almost headed in for an own goal by the defender.

Crouch came within a few millimetres of restoring Stoke’s advantage as he attempted to smash the ball in when Marko Arnautovic delivered a free kick into the box, but the striker saw his effort kept out by the right post.

United tried to halt the home side’s resurgence as Rafael pressed forward, but his header failed to trouble Begovic, while another run by the defender a few minutes later resulted in Adnan Januzaj going for goal, but the Belgian also missed the target.

Wayne Rooney tried to create something for the visitors inside the final 10 minutes, but his cross was easily held by the Stoke keeper.

The result keeps United third in the table, nine points behind leaders Chelsea, while Stoke move up to 10th.

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