Stoke City FC 0 Manchester Utd 1
I have watched MU televised matches against other teams in recent seasons and on occasions been left with the slight feeling that very subtley they manipulated the officials in charge.
Sitting watching this game unfold at The Brit left me with more than just a slight feeling.........the ref gave the very real impression of a man on a mission...... to save an endangered species.
Stoke were uncompromising,energetic, and very much in the visitors faces.For the most part the challenges were fair.The (over) reactions of one or two United players to challenges caused Ref Foy to rush to their rescue.Penalising and booking Stoke players, Foy seemed less inclined to punish MU misdemeanours.....notably Rooney for seemingly elbowing the immaculate Amdy Faye, and Ronaldo for kicking out at Wilkinson.
There is an argument to be made that the United star could have been sent off for this......had that happened the chances are that Wilkinson himself would not have been sent off following a second yellow card (for his injudicious tackle on the portugese player).
Stoke gave a gutsy performance throughout, indeed would in my view have secured at least a point,had it not been for Wilko's dismissal.Having contained and frustrated United well for the majority of the game heartbreakingly Stoke conceded 6 minutes from the end of the match.A Neville cross from the right found sub Berbatov to the right of goal.He helped the ball on toward the oncoming Tevez,who blasted the ball into the roof of Sorensen's net from 6 yards out.
A great display from Stoke,with nothing to show for their efforts at the end.Worse, results elsewhere ensured that we dropped into the bottom three in the Premiership.
Mind you a win at West Ham could see us return to mid table..here's hoping!!