FT: Stoke 0 Manchester United 2

Thanks for all your comments today folks! Don't forget, you can always follow me on Twitter: @RazMirza to send me your views so speak to you all soon! Match Report to follow...

Manchester United moved 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League after a comfortable 2-0 victory at free-falling Stoke. Michael Carrick gave them a very good start at the Britannia Stadium before Robin Van Persie ended his own personal goal drought with a second half penalty. Sir Alex Ferguson's side could claim their 20th league championship as early as next Monday night.

United are closing in on that 20th league championship and after this result, it's just a matter of time before it heads back to Old Trafford.

@EdAspen Tweets: "Rooney's distribution in today's position in front of the defence has been top drawer."

We're into THREE added minutes of stoppage time at the Britannia Stadium.

As things stand Stoke will be sitting in 16th position, level on points with Aston Villa on 34 points. Glenn Whelan has a crack from distance but it was always heading off target.

Wayne Rooney has been awarded the man of the match and you cannot argue with that decision. It's been great watching him playing in a central midfield role and has taken to it like a duck to water.

Cameron Jerome is cautioned for sliding in on Nemanja Vidic in desperation to steal the ball off the defender.

Peter Crouch comes on for Kenwyne Jones for these final few minutes. Like-for-like and that means he is being partnered by his former England colleague Owen up front now.

The ball is being blown off the corner-kick spot before Robin Van Persie eventually does deliver, but Michael Carrick heads over.

SO CLOSE! Stoke win a free-kick out wide and Charlie Adam's dangerous inswinger goes all the way through and very nearly into the far corner if it wasn't for David De Gea's outstretched hand.

United are playing a bit of keep ball with the clock ticking down.

Meanwhile, Danny Welbeck has replaced the hard-working Javier Hernandez for United.

Michael Owen - remember him! Well, he's on for Jonathan Walters as Tony Pulis does go to 4-3-3 now.

If my mathematics are correct Robin Van Persie broke his drought after 751 minutes of football.

No, Cameron Jerome has actually gone out wide, so it's still a conventional 4-4-2 although Jonathan Walters is playing behind Jones. You would think Tony Pulis would be going for it with time running out.

Attacker Cameron Jerome is on for full-back Geoff Cameron as Tony Pulis chages his system to 3-5-3 it looks like for the final 20 minutes.

SHOUT FOR A PENALTY! Nemanja Vidic slips and Kenwyne Jones falls over him in the area. Jon Moss has a think about it before awarding a goal kick.

Patrice Evra slips and that allows Ryan Shotton to get his effort away, but it doesn't trouble Asmir Begovic.

RVP ON TARGET!!! The drought is over! The Dutchman has finally scored after almost 12 and a half hours without a goal. He crashes his left-footer from 12-yards into the bottom corner for his 20th Premier League goal.


Andy Wilkinson slides in on Robin Van Persie and Jon Moss has no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

What was I saying! Antonio Valencia has just been carded for blocking Charlie Adam's attempted quick free-kick.

Jon Moss is determined to keep his cards in his pocket this afternoon as he has a few strong words for Ryan Shotton.

Michael Carrick gives the ball away and Kenwyne Jones decides to have a pop from distance, but it was always travelling high over the crossbar.

Byron in Manchester is back in touch. "RVP has gone 730 mins without a goal, not 730 games like Torres. He no where near that bad yet. We will see the dutch ace bounce back?"

Charlie Adam lets fly with a left-foot fizzer, but David De Gea is right behind it and holds on tight.

Andy Wilkinson makes a solid challenge to concede a throw.

@AlexBullions Tweets: "I reckon Man Utd are too good to win this now."

OVER THE BAR!! Ryan Shotton's header back is lashed over the crossbar by Jonathan Walters at the near post, but that was much better from Tony Pulis' side.

Bobby C says: "Maybe RVP is the new Torres!"

SIDE NETTING!! Javier Hernandez picks out Robin Van Persie with a wonderful pass but the Dutchman can only fire his left-foot shot into the side netting from a tight angle.

Charlie Adam whips in an early ball for Kenwyne Jones to attack, but Nemanja Vidic heads away.

Kenwyne Jones gets a touch to Asmir Begovic's long kick, but can only direct is wide of the near post.

Manchester United's Premier League record since October 2011 when they have been leading by a one goal margin at the break is P27 W26 D1 L0. All you can say is good luck Stoke!

United have started the second half pretty much like they started the first - on the front foot.

Kelly Byron emails in to say: "How can a player with RVP's class go 730 mins without scoring a goal ? What ever happened to the 30 goal a season man we all were so happy to get in the summer? Fergie hairdryer needed I think."

Here we go in the second half then. Manchester United get us underway looking to extend their lead of city-rivals City to 15 points with victory this afternoon.

@Raj_TDC_LSoD Tweets: "United to finish off stoke and go on to win the title I think. I'd like to see WELBECK come on and make a difference."

Niall Hassett emails in to say: "I think all stoke supporters need to stop criticising Tony Pulis and concentrate on staying in the Premier League! All the boos at the Brit last weekend has put doubt into the players minds! Now get behind the lads."

If you'd like to air your views during the second half, email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.

Stoke City are now 20/1 to claim victory with our friends @Skybet, who make Manchester United 1/6 and the draw 5/1. Robin van Persie has gone 730 minutes without a goal, but has scored seven times against Stoke in six games and is 7/2 to bag the first goal. Kenwyne Jones to score first and game to be drawn 1-1 is a 70/1 shot. Both Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney are 6/1 to score next while Kenwyne Jones is 11/1. Sir Alex Ferguson's men are unbeaten in eight away games while out-of-form Stoke have conjured up just two goals in their last six outings in the league. I went for an away win today - 0-2, which was priced at 6/1 and is now 5/1. Well worth a flutter in my book! Right-click here SKYBET and open a new tab to place your bets on this match and keep an eye on the commentary at the same time.

Manchester United lead a Stoke side that are short of confidence. The visitors took the lead after just four minutes as Michael Carrick toe-poked his effort into the far corner after a scramble in the box from Robin Van Persie's corner. Tony Pulis' side improved in the last 20 minutes of the half and must build on that in the second 45 minutes.

Adam's near post corner is flicked wide by Vidic ahead of Shawcross but referee Jon Moss awards United a goal-kick.

Nemanja Vidic scoops the ball up in the air and out for Stoke's first corner of the game. That comes to nothing, but they soon win another one.

Andy Wilkinson skips past Shinji Kagawa on the edge of the area, before Michael Carrick makes the clearance. We're into THREE added minutes of stoppage time.

England striker Rooney sends his 30-yard free-kick wide of the near post though although it may have seemed a lot closer to goal for the visiting fans.

Ryan Shotton launches another throw into the box, but United counter-attack and while Ryan Shawcross pulls down Javier Hernandez on the near side, Shinji Kagawa is brought down in a more advanced position.

Wayne Rooney shows wonderful composure to turn past Charlie Adam in his own half.

Shinji Kagawa turns and sends Wayne Rooney on his way, but Stoke do well to win it back.

Antonio Valencia dives in on Jonathan Walters for a Stoke free-kick, but the ball in from Charlie Adam doesn't even get past the one-man wall.

Adam Gillis has a gripe with Stoke, saying: "Even as a Manchester City fan I hope United stuff Stoke today they are by far the poorest team in the prem and bore me rigid!!!"

The No 28 is now wearing the No 50 after a change of shirt.

Andy Wilkinson is receiving some medical attention and is being bandaged up with blood coming from his head.

Javier Hernandez pokes Andy Wilkinson in the face with his boot as he stretched to reach Wayne Rooney's free-kick.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side have now scored 28 goals in the opening 30 minutes of games this season, which equals the total amount of what Stoke have managed this season.

That comes to nothing and Glenn Whelan charges upfield with the ball before running out of space.

At the other end, Robin Van Persie's low drive is fumbled behind for a corner by Asmir Begovic.

Charlie Adam ends up on the deck as Stoke claim a penalty, but referee Jon Moss is not having any of it.

Stoke have not beaten United in a league encounter since Boxing Day 1984 and the visitors are coming on strong again.

Now Charlie Adam gives the balla way to Robin Van Persie who looks to beat Asmir Begovic from near halfway, but the strong wind made sure the ball flew wide of his intended target.

One thing is fur sure and that is it is very windy in Stoke today.

Wayne Rooney's corner is flicked well wide of the near post by Michael Carrick.

Ryan Shotton concedes Stoke's fourth corner of the game as Jon Moss has a word with Javier Hernandez.

Manchester United have had 62 per cent of the possession in this opening quarter of the match and are deservedly a goal ahead this afternoon.

Robert Huth follows through Javier Hernandez for a United free-kick on halfway.

@AndyONeill97 Tweets: "Stoke are in free fall, easy win for united 5-0 van persie ending his drought, Rooney and Kagawa other scores for me."

GOOD HEADER! Charlie's Adam's right-foot curler into the box is headed just wide by giant defender Robert Huth.

Ryan Shotton's long throw is dealt with well by United defenders. Moments later, Nemanja Vidic is penalised for a foul on Charlie Adam. Here's a set-piece opportunity!

Chris Green emails in to say: "This match is going to be an easy one for United today.. I wouldn't be surprised if United score at least four."

Sadly for them, it's been too comfortable for the Red Devils and Tony Pulis is on the touchline having a strong word with striker Kenwyne Jones.

A huge roar goes up by the home supporters at the Britannia Stadium as they encourage their team forward.

@EdAspen Tweets: "SCFC 1-1 MUFC in 2011/12 at Britannia Stadium. I'm going for a Van Persie rout! 0-4."

GOOD EFFORT! Manchester United are being allowed so much space in the middle of the park and Wayne Rooney has been a beneficiary as he stings Asmir Begovic palms with a vicious strike.

@FullyKieran Tweets: "This will be a tough game for united but I still think they will get the three points and title I'm going 2-0 United!"

Jonathan Walters attempts a quick-fire shot from Jones' knock-down, but it drifts harmlessly wide of the far post.

Nemanja Vidic climbs all over Kenwyne Jones' back, but referee Jon Moss allows play to continue.

Aaron Maloney emails in to say: "A nice and easy stroll for united today with a 3-0 win and RVP to end his goal drought!"

United win another corner down the far right and this time Robin Van Persie plays it short for Shinji Kagawa who fails to hit the target.

The perfect start for Manchester United, who have come out like a house on fire. Robin Van Persie's inswinging corner isn't dealt with by the Potters defenders and Phil Jones' mis-kick falls to Carrick who toe-pokes his effort into the far corner for his first Premier League goal of the season and United's 100th of the season in all-competitions.


The visitors have come out and are immediately dominating possession at a full-house at the Britannia Stadium.

Wayne Rooney looks to be playing in the middle of the park alongside Michael Carrick, which seems an interesting move from Sir Alex Ferguson.

Stoke - wearing their red and white home kit - gets us underway. Manchester United are wearing their blue and black number.

@diarmuidkearney Tweets: "4-0 win for United RVP hopefully to get a hat-trick!"

Martin Mucheleka from Finland says: "After last Monday's disappointment, United will take this very seriously today. Going for a 2 nil in favor of Manchester United!

Alex Cole says: "Of course this will be a tough game for United, but they will pinch it 2-0!!! C'MON UNITED!"

Stoke fan Martin Eagles says: "Pulis should offer his resignation if we get nothing from this game today. Shut up shop and defend for our lives. 0-0."

Stoke City are 5/1 to claim victory with our friends @Skybet, who make Manchester United 8/13 and the draw 14/5. Robin van Persie has gone 685 minutes without a goal, but has reason to be confident against Stoke, a side he's scored seven times against them in six games and is 7/2 to bag the first goal. Kenwyne Jones to score first and game to be drawn 1-1 is a 70/1 shot. Sir Alex Ferguson's men are unbeaten in eight away games while out-of-form Stoke have conjured up just two goals in their last six outings in the league so I'm hedging my bets and going for an away win today - 0-2, which is priced at 6/1. Well worth a flutter in my book! Right-click here SKYBET and open a new tab to place your bets on this match and keep an eye on the commentary at the same time.

STOKE CITY TEAM NEWS: Tony Pulis makes three changes to his Stoke side which was beaten 3-1 by relegation rivals Aston Villa last weekend. Matthew Etherington, Marc Wilson and Dean Whitehead are all axed with Andy Wilkinson, Glenn Whelan and Charlie Adam coming in for the Potters as they look to cause an upset against the champions-elect at the Britannia Stadium.

MANCHESTER UNITED TEAM NEWS: Sir Alex Ferguson makes four changes from the side which was defeated 2-1 by cross-city rivals Manchester City on Monday night. Ryan Giggs, Rafael, Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck all drop out of the starting XI with Antonio Valencia, Javier Hernandez, Shinji Kagawa and captain Nemanja Vidic all coming in. Chicharito joins Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie in a three pronged attack.

STOKE CITY: Begovic; Cameron, Huth, Shawcross, Wilkinson; Shotton, Whelan, Nzonzi, Adam, Walters; Jones.

SUBSTITUTES: Sorensen, Palacios, Owen, Whitehead, Kightly, Crouch, Jerome.

MANCHESTER UNITED: De Gea, Vidic, Evra, Jones, Ferdinand, Kagawa, Carrick, Valencia, Rooney, Hernandez, van Persie.

SUBSTITUTES: Lindegaard, Evans, Giggs, Smalling, Welbeck, Cleverley, Buttner.

REFEREE: Jon Moss (Tyne and Wear). Matches: 18, R1 Y56. He averages 3.17 cards per game.

Here come the teams...

James Alexander Hutton says: "Hearing that RVP, Chicha and Rooney all start, I'm going to go for a 5-0 with Pulis losing his job after this game. RVP to grap 4 this afternoon." They do have all three James. I'll have the teams for you in a few moments. Hernandez has scored four goals in four games against Stoke, so no wonder he is starting today!

Joseph Najjar emails in to say: "I think it will be a difficult game for Man Utd, but I think we will come out with a win!! COME ON UTD!!!"

@rhysmst Tweets: "Two more wins and a draw after today and We're Champ20ns!!!"

@LCFC_FAN_BOY_1 is first to Tweet in his thoughts this afternoon and he says: "Its going to be a tough game for united today because stoke are strong at home against the big teams as we know. I'm saying 1-1."

Tony Pulis admits his struggling side are under pressure with games running out, but he is determined to keep them in the top flight for an eighth successive year: "It is a game we look forward to. To it your wits against Sir Alex and play against Manchester United is fantastic for this football club. We've given them good games over the years. We know it is going to be tough. I accept in football and life, you will have good times and bad times. You have to deal with it. Six games to go...it is a real challenge. There are expectations because of what has happened over the past seven years, but that was yesterday. We have to accept that what we're doing at the moment is not what we've done over the past seven years. We have to accept that."

Stoke will check on the fitness of midfielder Matthew Etherington (back) and defender Marc Wilson (back/hamstring). Both players were forced off in the out-of-form Potters' loss to Aston Villa last weekend. Midfielder Glenn Whelan has trained this week and is fit to return after a back problem.

Ashley Young will miss the game as he faces two weeks out with an ankle injury sustained during Monday's defeat to Manchester City. Jonny Evans (hamstring) should be fit, while skipper Nemanja Vidic (calf) has returned to training. Paul Scholes (knee) is definitely out.

Stoke are a club hovering just three places above the trapdoor and with champions elect Manchester United bound for the Potteries, a much-needed home victory over the Red Devils would be a welcome boost. However, they have never beaten their opponents in the Premier League while United are unbeaten in eight away league games. Sir Alex Ferguson's side still have the cigars out but Monday night's defeat to Manchester City has got them reeling although surely nothing can wreck their ambitions of another title with the winning line in sight. The visitors go into the game 12 points clear in the title race with seven games remaining looking to take another step towards the Premier League trophy. But Stoke held United to a draw in the corresponding fixture last season and the Potters are still battling hard to escape relegation.

If you'd like to air your views before or during the match, email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.

Hello and welcome to our live minute-by-minute text commentary of this Premier League clash between Stoke City and Manchester United at the Britannia Stadium.

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