Manchester United just couldn’t hack it on an overcast, blustery Saturday night in Stoke.
The Potters put up an admirable fight to deprive Jose Mourinho of his 100% start to the new Premier League season.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was the hero for the home side, beating David de Gea twice to break his Stoke duck in style. Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku provided the goals for the Red Devils.
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There was no shortage of drama in between the goals, too.
De Gea pulled off an early contender for save of the season from Jese Rodriguez, while his opposite number was on top form to deny United and Phil Jones a late winner.
That and the fact Anthony Martial was up to his usual tricks, proving an inspired substitution that came too late. Mame Biram Diouf might still be contorted from the barrage of skills he faced on the left flank.
And although there’s no shame in avoiding defeat at the Bet365 Stadium, United still have reason to be aggrieved.
The club’s clean sheet record was confined to history with questionable defending at times. United shouldn’t be conceding so easily from set pieces given the height of their side, as Rio Ferdinand highlighted in BT Sports’ coverage.
As far as supporters on Twitter are concerned, though, that’s all practically by the by.
Red Devils fans have spotted something related to Lukaku’s goal, namely that Henrikh Mkhitaryan wasn’t given the assist for the strike. The Premier League – who quickly received a backlash – announced the decision on Twitter.
Besides, the official assist-provider was: ‘None’. Check out the tweet:
Mkhitaryan did provide the through-ball that created the initial opportunity but Lukaku only scored at the second time of asking.
A Jack Butland save met the initial chance created by the Armenian – Lukaku simply tucked away the rebound. You could, therefore, argue that if anyone provided the assist it was the Stoke ‘keeper.
Tell that to United fans, though, and here’s the pick of the reaction:
Their disgust at the decision is somewhat fuelled by Mkhitaryan’s incredible assist-providing record already this season. Astonishingly, he has already created five goals in four Premier League outings this season.
Had the ex-Dortmund man been credited for the Lukaku goal, he would have equaled a Premier League record. Only Cesc Fabregas in 2014-15 has started a season with six assists in four games.
Do you think Mkhitaryan should have been awarded the assist? Let us know by leaving a comment below.