Premier League 2011/2012: Stoke 1 – 1 Manchester United

Manchester United’s 100% winning record came to an abrupt halt last night at the Britannia Stadium, sadly, as we drew 1-1 with Stoke. It was live on ESPN and as soon as I knew Rooney was out, I was worried. (Yeah, I get worried when we’re sans Rooney. What sane United fan doesn’t?) He has a hamstring issue, sadly. I was immediately on alert and when Javier Hernandez had to go off after 15 minutes or so after Woodgate/the keeper gave him a dead leg and we didn’t get a penalty, I knew it wasn’t our night. Hernandez was fouled. (And injured.) It was a penalty. We were duped. More than once, but really, complaining after the fact will change nothing.

Fact is, we still had a team perfectly capable of scoring one goal against Stoke. I mean, I like Stoke. They’re a decent team, Pulis has done wonders with them and going to the Britannia is hard, but still. I feel like we should have won. I feel like we missed an opportunity and now we’ve lost out 100% start and we’re level on par with City, which makes me sad. I don’t want to be level on par with moneybags City. I want to be beating them, and proving to them that spending billions of pounds does not equal success. I know it’s a wrong mentality to expect us to beat Stoke, but I did! So sue me. Nani took his goal beautifully, and De Gea made some excellent saves (truly, I am getting more confident with each game he plays, it’s really good). But the match was really rather boring. We didn’t have the pace we usually had and Berbatov did nothing, really and I can see why he’s fallen down the pecking order. No one really stood out for us except Nani with his goal, and that’s shocking. Where’s all our pace gone so suddenly? That’s worrisome.

Stoke played well, there’s no doubt that they know how to deal with teams at home. The smaller pitch, the hard-tackling, their no-nonsense approach to the game… It’s all admirable. It just sucks to draw, really. Yes, I’m a bit bitter. Yes, I wanted us to win every single game this season, so a draw is a disappointment. Hopefully we’ll put things right on Tuesday against Basel. We’ve got Norwich next in the Premier League and that’ll be an interesting game. I truly hope we’ll have Rooney back for that and we’ll get back to winning ways. I truly don’t want us to have the same away form this season as we had last season because it was shocking. It’s like the second we’re away from Old Trafford we revert to the United of last season and our away form last season was shocking!

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