A round-up of Week 4 of Premier League action including a lashing for Liverpool in Manchester, Chelsea continue to show the form of champions with a third successive win, and a whole lot more.
It was always going to be a stern test for United at Stoke. The Red Devils haven’t won at the Britannia since Alex Ferguson retired, and once again a well drilled Stoke side plonked corks on the pitchforks.
United entered the tie on the back of three wins, scoring ten goals without conceding. In fact, you had to go back to last May when Harry Kane netted at White Hart Lane to find a tick in the deficit column for United.
All of that changed two minutes before half time as former United old boy Darren Fletcher swept the ball from left to right, another ex-red, Mame Biram Diouf found too much space outside of Matteo Darmian, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting met his cross to volley the ball home from close range.
Mark Hughes wanted his side to come in for their half time cup of warm Vimto with the lead, but United disappointed their former star with an injury time equaliser; Paul Pogba heading the ball into the net off the back of Marcus Rashford’s head, after a neat near post flick by Nemanja Matic.
The second half was a mere ten minutes old when United took the lead. Henry Mkhitaryan slid the ball through an advancing Stoke defence, Romelu Lukaku timed his run perfectly and put the ball past Jack Butland at the second attempt.
The primary reason United went 535 minutes without conceding a Premier League goal has been the form of David De Gea, and the Spaniard once against underlined his status as the world’s best goalkeeper when he pushed a near post chance from Jese Rodriguez over the bar.
But De Gea could do nothing to prevent Stoke from equalising. Shaqiri swung over a corner from the right, and a slip by Phil Jones allowed the Stoke player with the super cool name to head home at the far post.
United had chances to win the game, most notably, Romelu Lukaku blaring over the bar from eight yards out, and Butland diving low to prevent Kurt Zouma from scoring an injury time own goal, but Jose Mourinho had to settle for what he described as two points lost.
Manchester City sent a statement of intent in trouncing 10-man Liverpool 5-0 in Saturday’s early kick-off, while defending champions Chelsea took their third successive win, 2-1, over defeating Leicester City.
Arsenal also clinched their second win of the season and bounced back into relevance. Danny Welbeck impressed for the hosts as he scored either side of summer signing Alexandre Lacazette’s second in a 3-0 win over Bournemouth.
North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur illustrated their might in a 3-0 hammering of Everton at Goodison Park, while Brighton & Hove Albion beat West Bromwich Albion 3-1 to take their first Premier League victory.
Let’s take a look at the table after week 4 football action.
Week 5 fixtures
This weekend promises a lot of football action and trills for everyone as Chelsea takes on Arsenal which you will agree with me is the game of the weekend in the Premier League and elsewhere, it’s the old and new at Old Trafford this Sunday. Manchester United welcome Wayne Rooney and Everton to face former striker Romelu Lukaku, who is in red hot form with six in six for his new club.