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Football: Man United big guns misfire at Stoke

Published on Feb 2, 2014 6:11 AM
Stoke City's Charlie Adam (centre) celebrating with team mate Erik Pieters (tight) after scoring a goal against Manchester United during their English Premier League match at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent on February 1, 2014. 

LONDON (AFP) - Manchester United's new-look line-up crashed to a 2-1 defeat at Stoke City on Saturday, Feb 1, 2014 as they squandered another opportunity to make up ground on the Premier League's top four.

United fielded Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and record signing Juan Mata in their starting XI for the first time, but an eighth defeat of the campaign left the champions six points below the Champions League places.

On an afternoon of howling wind at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke took a 38th-minute lead when Charlie Adam's 35-yard free-kick took a huge deflection off Michael Carrick that wrong-footed goalkeeper David de Gea.

United had already lost Jonny Evans to injury by that point and they then saw Evans's centre-back partner Phil Jones stretchered off after an aerial collision with Jon Walters.

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