Nobody at Manchester United expected their trip to Stoke City to be an easy one.
The Potters have already beaten Arsenal at home this season and, despite Man United rolling in to the Bet 365 Stadium off the back of three straight Premier League wins, and Jose Mourinho realised just how difficult the fixture would be.
Man United’s last victory at Stoke came in 2013 and Mourinho noted how dangerous Mark Hughes’ team is on the counter attack and from set pieces in his pre-match press conference.
“I would say it’s always difficult there,” the Portuguese said, per the Manchester Evening News. “Of course, sometimes, they lose matches but normally it’s not easy for anyone to play against Stoke.
“[It’s] probably because in the last years United was not strong enough and, in my personal case last season, we didn’t win because we were not good enough, didn’t play well enough.
“But they are different, they are aggressive, they defend with a lot of people, they are dangerous on counter attack, dangerous at set-pieces. It’s a stadium that has a lot of pressure, too. I think it’s going to be difficult again.”
Mourinho couldn’t have been more correct. His side went 1-0 down in the 43rd minute through Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s goal and the 28-year-old, who arrived from Schalke last month, made it 2-2 after Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku had turned the tie on its head.
Choupo-Moting scored just three goals for Schalke in the entirety of last season but needed just 20 minutes to bag a brace against Mourinho’s side.
Watch: Choupo-Moting makes it 2-2
Gary Lineker's tweet
And his goals produced a brilliant tweet from Gary Lineker.
“Stoke level with goals from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting,” the Match of the Day host wrote. “Might make it my new password.”
An exciting contest could really have gone either way, with Lukaku missing a glorious chance late on to make it 3-2 to the visitors.
Mark Hughes will be the happier of the two managers. Mourinho's side exposed their defence but the Stoke boss will have been delighted with the way in which his team responded.
That's four points taken from matches against Arsenal and Man United. Stoke are going to be a force at home this season, once again.
Where will Stoke finish this season? Let us know in the comments section below!
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