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Full-time: Manchester United 3-0 Stoke City

  • Hosts scored in the first half for the first time in 12 home matches as pressure begins to ease on Louis van Gaal
  • Jesse Lingard headed home Cameron Borthwick-Jackson's cross to set United on their way to an extremely comfortable victory
  • Anthony Martial added a second with a superb curling shot that capped off a fine counter-attacking move
  • Captain Wayne Rooney had a goal disallowed after the break but responded quickly to tap home his seventh goal in seven matches from close range
  • Stoke's defensive injury problems mount after Philipp Wollscheid was withdrawn before the break
Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney rounded off a comfortable night's work for United with their third goal after half-time Getty

That is it for this particular live blog, but there is just time to bring you the rest of tonight's scores from around the Premier League before we sign off:

Arsenal 0-0 Southampton

Leicester City 2-0 Liverpool

Norwich City 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur

Sunderland 0-1 Manchester City

West Ham United 2-0 Aston Villa

Crystal Palace 1-2 Bournemouth

West Brom 1-1 Swansea

We will be back tomorrow night for more live coverage as Watford host Chelsea and Everton face Newcastle. Until then, goodnight.

The most comfortable of victories for United, who can now travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday with something of a spring in their step as the doom and gloom surrounding Louis van Gaal's tenure begins to lift ever so slightly.

Stoke, meanwhile, are without a win in five games in all competitions and will hope to put that right at home to Roberto Martinez's Everton.


Manchester United 3-0 Stoke City

Three minutes of added time to come. Not that it's needed, mind you...

With the game long since over as a contest, Van Gaal throws on Andreas Pereira in place of Mata. This has been the most comfortable of evenings for United.

Depay comes close to a swift impact as he is picked out by Lingard after a clever pull-back. He is invited to shoot by Johnson from a difficult angle but his effort goes narrowly over.

Ireland cautioned for an obvious trip on Lingard.

Two substitutions from Van Gaal as the impressive Martial is replaced by Memphis Depay. Fellaini also looks to be struggling with a knock and Ander Herrera is on in his place.

Rumours currently doing the rounds on social media suggesting that Ryan Giggs could be in line to replace Ronny Deila at Celtic are wide of the mark. Van Gaal's assistant is absent from the bench tonight due to a family illness, apparently.

Darmian flashes a low delivery across the six-yard box that Muniesa almost touches. Martial keeps the attack alive and finds Rooney, who winds up a shot from 35 yards that flies over the crossbar.

Tidy build-up play from United again as Lingard, Mata, Rooney and Carrick all combine well. The ball ends up at the feet of Borthwick-Jackson on the left, but no-one gambles on his inviting low cross and Butland can claim.

Almost a real opportunity for Stoke to grab a consolation with 20 minutes remaining as a fine cross from Pieters is stabbed wide by Crouch at the near post. It would not have counted anyway as the referee's assistant is flagging for offside.

Good play from Arnautovic to prevent a return pass from Ireland going out of play and force a corner. Bardsley then has a tame shot from distance that Crouch almost diverts towards goal.

Stoke are really struggling to pose any attacking threat. They have played some nice, incisive football so far this season but at the moment they look hopelessly one-dimensional.

Nothing really happening just at the moment. Smart defending from Smalling to stop Walters in his tracks.

Martial in the book now too for illegally stopping the run of Bardsley. Stoke then make a second change as the anonymous Bojan is replaced by Ireland.

Boos for the former Manchester City midfielder from the home faithful.

A first yellow card of the evening is awarded to Darmian for a blatant pull on Arnautovic as the Austrian international tried to capitalise on a flicked header.

Just moments after being controversially denied, Rooney gets on the scoresheet anyway.

A fine ball forward from Blind sets Mata on the attack and with options left and right, he opts to pick out the run of Martial. The former Monaco forward then plays a simple first-time pass across the face of goal for Rooney to sidefoot home from close range.

United look utterly unrecognisable from the side that have toiled so badly at home all season. No coming back for Stoke now, surely.

Goal: Manchester United 3-0 Stoke (Wayne Rooney)

A moment of real controversy as Martial slips in Rooney and the United skipper brushes off the challenge of Johnson before beating Butland with a powerful shot at the near post.

The celebrations are cut short, however, as referee East blows up for a perceived push on the defender. That was a very late decision but the goal will not stand.

Another diagonal pass from Stoke causes problems as Arnautovic cuts inside and drifts across the edge of the 18-yard box before slicing the ball into row z.

Stoke get the second half off and running. No changes from either side at the break.

At long last some first-half entertainment at Old Trafford, but United fans will be left wondering why on earth they are not able to start matches in that fashion every week.

They have looked confident from the outset tonight, with Borthwick-Jackson producing a wonderful cross for the first goal and Martial enhancing his growing reputation with a sublime finish for the second.

Stoke, who now have yet another defensive injury to contend with, have not been short on effort and application but at the moment they look rather limited. Their long diagonal passes are causing mischief, but the lack of a killer final ball is currently proving their undoing.


Manchester United 2-0 Stoke City

Stoke have had a lot of joy with long diagonal passes tonight and Walters is only too willing to chase them down both flanks. They are still unable to work De Gea, however, as the half-time whistle sounds.

Almost a costly mistake from Whelan as he loses possession next to the byline but Johnson is able to block Mata's drive. One minute of added time signalled by the fourth official.

Stoke work hard to force an opening but they can't quite do so as Daley Blind makes a block and Walters' low ball towards Crouch is thumped clear. It's just not falling for them at the moment.

A glorious chance for Manchester United to notch a third goal goes begging after Mata, who is played onside along with two other lurking teammates by Bardsley, heads agonisingly wide from close range after an inviting cross from the skillful Darmian.

That was the Spaniard's second bite of the cherry after his initial shot was blocked.

With Wollscheid off due to that apparently minor injury, Bardsley has slotted in at right-back with Johnson moving into the centre to partner Muniesa. Less than 10 minutes of the first half remaining.

Bardsley, a former Manchester United player, provides a low ball to Bojan. He lays it off to Afellay, but the Dutch midfielder's shot is poor and hurtles over the crossbar.

Stoke then force a corner that's initially cleared by Fellaini but results in a brief bout of head tennis that Walters eventually sends over.

Wollscheid will not be able to continue as Phil Bardsley jogs on in his place. Not quite sure what the problem was there, but Hughes can scarcely afford another defensive injury with Shawcross and Wilson already out.

A wild shot from Arnautovic goes well wide before Fellaini hurts his head during an aerial battle with the towering Crouch.

Some concern for Stoke centre-back Wollscheid too, who may have to come off...

There is a tired cliche about buses to be made here as United score another first-half goal in stunning fashion.

After a long ball forward finds Mata, the former Chelsea playmaker takes out two defenders with a clever touch and reverse pass towards Rooney, who instantly switches the play to Martial on the left-hand side of the penalty area.

The Frenchman then takes one touch to steady himself before bending an unstoppable curling shot beyond Butland. A marvellous finish to cap a really nice move.

Van Gaal will be delighted, even if his face doesn't show it.

Goal: Manchester United 2-0 Stoke (Anthony Martial)

Arnautovic sports a bloodied mouth after a robust but fair challenge on goalscorer Lingard.

Stoke look to mount a quick response at the other end as the ball is worked for Johnson to shoot but Marouane Fellaini is able to block. You sense there are more goals to come in this one.

Almost a second goal in quick succession from the hosts as Martial drifts inside and easily beats Johnson before hitting a low effort into the side netting.

It's been an unusually positive start from United and finally they have a first-half goal after Mata finds Borthwick-Jackson down the left flank.

The youngster then produces a fabulous cross into the six-yard box for Lingard, who peeled away from his marker with ease, to head past Butland from close range.

The sense of relief is palpable around Old Trafford.

Goal: Manchester United 1-0 Stoke (Jesse Lingard)

Martial pokes the ball beyond Afellay and Johnson to find Mata, but the Spaniard gets caught in two minds as he plays a low pass wide of Butland's left-hand post.

Slick passing from Stoke as Bojan, Arnautovic and Crouch combine nicely to force a corner. Pieters then lashes a shot at De Gea but the whistle has already gone for a foul on Chris Smalling.

Stoke beginning to settle a little now as Afellay, who appears to be partnering Whelan in central midfield, has a deflected shot that David de Gea just about stops from going for a corner.

Wollscheid then shows good awareness to snuff out the threat of Anthony Martial.

Alert defending from Pieters to cut out a lofted delivery down the right channel towards Jesse Lingard.

Wayne Rooney then tries his luck with a well-struck shot from distance but it's easily held by Butland.

Good early pressure from Manchester United as Juan Mata sees a shot deflected behind for a corner. Stoke survive, but they have been penned back in their own half for the opening four minutes of this one.

Referee Roger Easts gets us underway. Both teams are donning black armbands as this is the closest United home match to the 58th anniversary of the Munich air disaster.

Tonight's game is dedicated to the 'Kick It Out' equality and inclusion organisation, with players wearing t-shirts in support of the cause during their pre-match warm-ups.

It is also Cameron Borthwick-Jackson's 19th birthday, apparently. So now you know.

Former Manchester United stalwart Hughes, who won two domestic titles and three FA Cups at Old Trafford in two separate stints totalling 13 years in the 1980s and 90s, always relishes a return to his old stomping ground...


Regardless of your personal opinion of Van Gaal, it is impossible to deny that the statistics paint a very bleak picture indeed.

With the lowest win percentage of any United manager in the last 30 years, the Dutchman has presided over their lowest-ever-points tally after 23 games in the Premier League era and only Championship-bound Aston Villa have scored fewer than their paltry 11 goals in 12 top-flight home matches.

A record of 11 clean sheets suggests that defensively they are on track. However, it is at the other end where the real problems lie, as evidenced by the fact that Van Gaal's team have scored just 28 league goals all season.

Imbula is not involved for Stoke tonight, while Republic of Ireland international Wilson is likely to miss up to three months after sustaining medial ligament damage against Palace that could leave his place at Euro 2016 in doubt.

Captain Ryan Shawcross and Geoff Cameron remain absent along with Charlie Adam, who has a calf muscle strain. Veteran goalkeeper Shay Given has yet to return to training after knee trouble.

Manchester United, who failed to make a single signing during the January window, are still without long-term absentees Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young.

Phil Jones could return from a recurring ankle injury in time for the trip to Chelsea on 7 February, but Bastian Schweinsteiger is expected to be sidelined until March.

As for the visitors, Hughes makes eight alterations to the team beaten by Crystal Palace. First-choice goalkeeper Jack Butland returns after a rest, while Glen Johnson replaces Phil Bardsley and Marc Muniesa deputises for the injured Marc Wilson.

The arrival of Imbula meant that Stoke terminated the loan of Marco van Ginkel and the Chelsea midfielder has now joined PSV Eindhoven until the end of the season. Ibrahim Afellay takes his place, with Glenn Whelan in ahead of Stephen Ireland.

Jon Walters, Marko Arnautovic and Peter Crouch also come in for Peter Odemwingie, Xherdan Shaqiri and Joselu.

Philipp Wollscheid, Erik Pieters and Bojan are the only players to retain their places.

Van Gaal has made two changes to the side that eased to victory at Derby.

Matteo Darmian has recovered from that nasty collision with Southampton striker Shane Long to replace young Guillermo Varela at right-back, while Michael Carrick gets the nod ahead of Morgan Schneiderlin to make his first start since the 2-0 defeat at Stoke on Boxing Day.

Stoke: Butland, Johnson, Wollscheid, Muniesa, Pieters, Whelan, Afellay, Arnautovic, Walters, Bojan, Crouch

Substitutes: Haugaard, Bardsley, Ireland, Odemwingie, Joselu, Shaqiri, Diouf

Manchester United: De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson, Fellaini, Carrick, Lingard, Mata, Martial, Rooney

Substitutes: Romero, McNair, Varela, Schneiderlin, Herrera, Pereira, Memphis

The line-ups are in...

Manchester United vs Stoke is far from the only Premier League match taking place tonight. There are seven other games in total, with the full list available below.

19.45: Arsenal vs Southampton, Leicester City vs Liverpool, Norwich City vs Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland vs Manchester City, West Ham United vs Aston Villa

20.00: Crystal Palace vs Bournemouth, West Brom vs Swansea

We will bring you half-time and full-time scores from all of those matches, but primarily our focus will be on events at Old Trafford.

Kick-off is at 20.00 GMT tonight, so we should have all the latest team news for you in approximately 10 minutes time.

Good evening and welcome to IBTimes UK's live coverage of a potentially pivotal Premier League encounter between Manchester United and Stoke City at Old Trafford.

The hosts temporarily cooled speculation regarding Louis van Gaal's future with a comfortable 3-1 victory at Championship promotion hopefuls Derby on Friday night, yet the Dutchman, who denied speculation that he offered to resign following the defeat to Southampton, will know that another dismal performance on home turf could feasibly spell the end of his hugely underwhelming United reign.

They will likely find the going tough against a Stoke side that have made significant progress under Mark Hughes, who takes charge of the club in the top-flight for the 100th time tonight. Currently sitting ninth, they are in the midst of a slightly difficult run of four games without a win that included a heavy loss to leaders Leicester before a heartbreaking penalty shootout defeat to Liverpool in the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup.

Stoke exited the FA Cup at the fourth-round stage last weekend courtesy of a first-half goal from Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha, but have since been buoyed by the £18.3m club-record signing of French midfielder Giannelli Imbula from Porto on transfer deadline day.

While he is not eligible to make his debut here, such an arrival is a clear statement of intent from Hughes as he assembles an impressive squad capable of pushing for European qualification.