Adam double gives Stoke historic United victory
1st January 2014 3pm
Attendance: 26, 547
There are certain days in life that are just special. Stoke beating Manchester Utd for the first time in over 30 years certainly falls into that category.
Lets admit it Stoke may have got a bit of luck in terms of injuries to both of United's centre backs in the first half, but to beat the defending champions for the first time in 12 attempts since promotion is some achievement no matter how it is done, add to this doing it against a team fielding Mata, Rooney and Van Persie for the first time.
As kick off approached the mood amongst the Stoke fans wasn't at its best following an embarrassing deadline day and early results which meant they found themselves in the bottom three come kick off.
Whether it be a tactical masterstroke or a case of needs must, Mark Hughes reverted to 4-4-2 and the Potters looked all the better for it. But the first chance of the game fell to the visitors, as Wayne Rooney lashed a shot just wide of Begovic's post.
When the opener did arrive for the Potters it came due to the change of luck that Mark Hughes had been praying for. Charlie Adam's speculative free kick from 35 yards was heading harmlessly towards goal before Micheal Carrick hung out a leg and the ball flew past De Gea to give Stoke the lead.
This meant the Potters went in one up at the break, but the nervousness could be seen all around as people started to think that this could finally be the day.
But just as had happened in recent weeks Stoke's inability to defend cost them. From a harmless punt forward Mark Wilson failed to clear properly and the ball fell to Mata who slid the ball into Van Persie and he finished easily to level the score at 1-1.
But it didn't take long for Stoke to respond, Walters knocked the ball down towards Arnautovic who completely missed his kick but the ball fell to Charlie Adam to rifle it into the top corner for one of the goals of the season. It summed up the form of a player who looks completely unrecognizable from the one who started the season.
In truth the Potters were now well on top and should have sealed the game when Arnautovic fired wide from 12 yards before Assiadi shot was tipped over by De Gea. But this was Man Utd and it was never going to be easy.
A free kick was given away on the edge of the box and Wayne Rooney's shot looked destined for the top corner before Begovic displayed why he is one of the best in the world, by brilliantly tipping the ball onto the post before his teammates flung there bodies in front of the ball to protect the goal.
It summed up the passion and team spirit that was necessary and helped the Potters crawl over the line in a agonizing 7 minutes of injury time. The final whistle sparked wild scenes of celebration and relief around the Britannia and saw Stoke out of the bottom three and into mid table.
Stoke: Begovic, Cameron, Pieters, Shawcross, Wilson, Odemwingie, Whelan (Palacios,83), Adam, Walters (Ireland,60), Arnautovic (Assaidi,72), Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, Muniesa, Guidetti, Shotton.
Man Utd: De Gea, Smalling, Evra, Jones (Welbeck,45), Evans (Rafael,10), Young, Cleverley, Carrick, Mata, Rooney, van Persie (Hernandez,78). Subs: Lindegaard, Fletcher, Valencia, Januzaj.