OT stale­mate

> Stoke’s Allen strikes late to deny United

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

MANCH­ESTER UNITED were de­nied by a spir­ited Stoke City per­for­mance as Joe Allen pounced late to se­cure the vis­i­tors their first point at Old Traf­ford since 1989 in a de­served 1-1 Premier League draw.

United thought they had done enough when sub­sti­tute An­thony Mar­tial put them ahead on 69 min­utes, two min­utes af­ter com­ing off the bench, with a curl­ing shot from the edge of the area that beat Stoke’s ex­cel­lent keeper Lee Grant.

But Allen, who should have scored ear­lier, struck from close range in the 82nd minute af­ter David De Gea fum­bled a Glen John­son ef­fort and Jonathan Wal­ters’ shot came back off the bar.

“To go a goal be­hind against a team like that and get a point is a tough ask but we did it, said Allen, whose goal was his sec­ond in con­sec­u­tive league games.

“When you come to Old Traf­ford you’re not go­ing to get many chances.

“We haven’t been pick­ing up many points but you can’t fault the ef­fort. We were de­ter­mined to come here and get at least a point. We did threaten at times, which is a good sign for the weeks to come.”

Al­though Paul Pogba hit the bar late on, the vis­i­tors earned their draw with a back­sto-the-wall show­ing that moved them off the bot­tom of the table.

United, who again started with Wayne Rooney on the bench, should have made more of a string of chances, with Pogba, Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic and Jesse Lin­gard all go­ing close.

De­spite the dropped point, United man­ager Jose Mour­inho said it was the “best United per­for­mance all sea­son”.

Mour­inho added: “It was much bet­ter than against Leices­ter (when United won 4-1 last week). It could have been 3-0 or 4-0 at half time, 6-0 at the end of the game, but the re­sult was 1-1. But that’s foot­ball.” – AFP

Manch­ester United’s An­thony Mar­tial (R) cel­e­brates with his tem­mates af­ter scor­ing the open­ing goal in their English Premier League match against Stoke City at Old Traf­ford yes­ter­day. –

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