Seven deadly stats from Man United's draw at Stoke as Marcus Rashford closes in on a Red Devils record

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Manchester United’s perfect start to the season came to an end in a familiar way – points dropped against Stoke City.

The Premier League leaders haven’t won away to Stoke in six years, with Saturday’s 2-2 draw the latest result in that barren run.

United knew they were in for a difficult game and actually fell behind to an Eric Choupo-Moting goal, giving the side their first taste of adversity this season.

They responded well, equalising instantly through Marcus Rashford before Romelu Lukaku gave them the lead after halftime. But another Choupo-Moting strike and some resolute Stoke City defending denied the Red Devils the three points.

Here are seven deadly stats from the game:

UNITED’S IMPREGNABLE FORTRESS BREACHED

United were yet to concede in the league this season, cruising to 4-0 wins against West Ham and Swansea and a battling 2-0 victory over Leicester City. Phil Jones and Eric Bailly had both come in for praise during that start, but on Saturday the latter contributed to United’s defensive fortress finally being breached, first failing to push up to play for an offside and then getting beaten by Choupo-Moting. 

It was a special moment for the Cameroonian attacker, getting a first-ever goal for Stoke City, and he’d add to that account later in the match.

RASHFORD THE TEEN SENSATION

Marcus Rashford’s rise has been well-documented, from his stunning debut under Louis Van Gaal two seasons ago to his more measured but still impressive play last year as he added more facets to his game under Jose Mourinho. Through all that, the goals kept coming.

He knew very little about his goal on Saturday – if anything, he inadvertently denied teammate Paul Pogba, whose goalbound header went in off Rashford’s back. Nonetheless, it continues Rashford’s remarkable start to his career.

If Rashford can get four more league goals before his 20th birthday on October 31, he’ll set a new mark for the highest number of Premier League goals by a teenager for Manchester United.

UNITED’S NOT-SO-SOLID DEFENCE

Perhaps due to the international break disrupting their rhythm, the Manchester United defence did not look as solid as it had in the first three games of the league season.

Stoke City also deserve their fair share of credit, as the home attack put pressure on United’s defence that the Red Devils’ previous three opponents hadn’t, and it made for a sloppy first half for Mourinho’s back line.

LUKAKU’S STRONG START

It was almost a surprise when Lukaku didn’t score in United’s previous game – especially considering he took a penalty in that encounter against Leicester City.

As it stands, after his second-half goal on Saturday to give United a brief lead, that penalty miss is the only reason Lukaku hasn’t set a new mark for the most goals scored by a United player in his first four Premier League appearances for the club. He’ll have to be content with sharing that record.

STOKE FIND SCORING TOUCH…

Stoke City had shown their resilience in a 1-0 win over Arsenal earlier in the season, but even after that result and a subsequent 1-1 draw against West Brom, there were concerns regarding how deadly their attack could be.

Thanks to Choupo-Moting’s equaliser – his second goal of the day – those questions will be laid to rest, at least temporarily. Along with the Cameroonian, PSG loanee Jese is expected to be a reliable goalscorer and it’s only a matter of time before new signing Saido Berahino rediscovers his goalscoring form.

…AND REDISCOVER BIG-GAME PROWESS

Under Tony Pulis, Stoke City had come to be known as a team even the top sides would fear. That aura had begun to disappear, especially last year, when Tottenham (twice), Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City all put four past Mark Hughes’ side.

In all, Stoke managed two draws against Manchester United and one against City last season, with the other nine games against the top six all ending in defeat.

Thanks to their win against Arsenal in August and Saturday’s draw, the Potters have already begun righting that record this season.

MARK HUGHES, JOSE’S NEW NEMESIS

Speaking of Hughes, the Welshman is now enjoying a little run of success against Jose Mourinho.

The two even had a minor dust-up during Saturday’s game, with Hughes getting a warning for coming close to encroaching Mourinho’s technical area after attempting to keep the United manager from having a word with the referee.

There’s no doubting the source of Mourinho’s frustration, with his team failing to find a late winner despite their best efforts and thus dropping points for the first time this season. But perhaps his opposite number also had something to do with it.

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Liverpool's Sadio Mane apologises to Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson for ugly clash

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Sadio Mane apologised to Ederson after the Liverpool star was sent off for an ugly clash with the Manchester City goalkeeper on Saturday.

Senegal winger Mane was shown the red card after accidentally catching Ederson in the face with a high boot during City’s 5-0 win at Eastlands.

Ederson had raced out of his area to head clear a high bouncing ball when he was knocked to the ground.

He was carried off on a stretcher after receiving treatment on the field for around eight minutes.

“I hope and wish Ederson a quick recovery,” Mane wrote on his Facebook page after the match.

“I am so sorry he was hurt during our accidental collision on the pitch and am sorry for him that he could not complete the match because of it.

“I pray he heals fast and is back playing very soon!”

Former Benfica keeper Ederson was examined further by City’s medical staff but did not suffer concussion and returned to the bench, wearing a dressing, before the end of the game.

The Brazilian later tweeted: “Hi, everyone – I am well. What a fright!

“It was an important win for us. We are strong. Thanks for all your messages of support.”

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Ratings as David De Gea shows why he is world class but Eric Bailly has his worst Man United game

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Manchester United’s perfect Premier League record is no more as Maxim Choupo-Moting became the first player to truly trouble their defence in the 2-2 draw with Stoke City.

The back four showed signs of weakness but it was not all doom and gloom for Jose Mourinho’s men – read on for our ratings.

GK – DAVID DE GEA 8/10

Most keepers would have only started to lift their arm after the ball had hit the back of the net – but De Gea isn’t most keepers. His wonderful reflex save from Jese went in vain, however, as Choupo-Moting scored from the resulting blamer. The Spaniard was blameless for both goals.

RB – ANTONIO VALENCIA 5/10

Valencia may be a cult hero at Old Trafford but his distribution is vexing at the best of times. He maneuvered himself into promising positions down the right on numerous occasions, only to boot the ball long, high and not so handsome.

CB – PHIL JONES 5/10

Was having a solid game – save for some agricultural clearances – before losing his balance and falling flat on his backside while Choupo-Moting stole in for his second. On the rare occasions he is not dogged by injury he needs to display consistency. He took a step backwards on Saturday.

CB – ERIC BAILLY 4/10

Delivered possibly the poorest performance of his United career so far. He got lucky in a failed attempt to play offside in the first half, and Choupo-Moting’s first only arrived after two errors in quick succession. The Ivorian was too slow to play the offside trap in the build-up to the move, and too slow to get goal-side to cut off Choupo-Moting.

LB – MATTEO DARMIAN 7/10

The most assured of United’s back four, Darmian kept Xherdan Shaqiri relatively quiet down his side. He also showed great determination to harry Joe Allen off the ball and spark the move that led to United’s second. A positive performance in the battle for minutes down United’s left side.

CM – NEMANJA MATIC 7/10

The Serbian is probably mean with a mop around the house – he loves nothing more than to clean up in midfield. He has a high floor, and what a clean floor it is, but did not hit his ceiling in this display. A few of his balls forward did not land within five metres of a United player.

CM – ANDER HERRERA 6/10

Looked like a man who had grown stiff sitting on the bench for most of the season’s start. Showed a few nice touches, and played one exquisite ball to Romelu Lukaku, but clearly need to top up his fitness – and will do as the game comes thick and fast from here on in.

CM – PAUL POGBA 7/10

Had the freedom of the Potteries to connect with the header that led to United’s opener, though not even the biggest Paul Pogba aficionado would claim he meant to play it off Marcus Rashford’s head. Strutted around the field with his usual swagger.

RW – MARCUS RASHFORD 7/10

Defenders seem to shrivel when Rashford starts to run at them with pace but his international exertions seem to catch up with him in the second half. Didn’t know anything about his goal but has now scored 12 goals a teenager in the Premier League, moving level with Ryan Giggs.

ST – ROMELU LUKAKU 7/10

After a non-descript performance against Leicester City a couple of weeks ago, Romelu Lukaku led the line well for the most part and knitted together many of United attacks well with neat hold-up play. Got lucky that he was given a second bite of the cherry for his goal.

Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring

Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring

LW – HENRIKH MKHITARYAN – 6/10

The assist machine did play an inch-perfect pass for Lukaku’s goal but was not quite as effective on the left of a front three as he has been as a No10. However, Juan Mata has been fairly ineffectual as a starter so far this season and his pace down the flank, with either Rashford or Anthony Martial down the other side, is an intriguing option.

SUBSTITUTES

JUAN MATA (for Rashford, 72) – 6/10

Swung in a couple of teasing balls without really ruffling Stoke’s feathers as they looked to defend the point.

ANTHONY MARTIAL (for Herrera, 72) – 7/10

He’s a specialist off the bench – not that he likes that – and was lively again, conjuring a highlight reel move to show up Mame Biram Diouf

JESSE LINGARD (for Mkhitaryan, 84) – N/A

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