United's ideal start to the season in the English Premier League came to an end as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting became the first player to score against them this season, netting twice for Stoke by capitalising on errors by Eric Bailly and Phil Jones. Stoke have failed to beat United in each of their last three head-to-heads and could well come unstuck as a result.
But like Stoke's lead in the first half, United's in the second was short-lived. It's been a good way to start but we can not relax.
Classic Jose Mourinho in the postgame protocol today.
"If one day to win we have to play defensive football, we have to do it", said Mourinho.
Manchester United signed Sweden defender Victor Lindelof in a £30m deal from Portuguese giants Benfica this summer. Darmian appeared to hesitate on closing his man down for City's first and Jones let his man get away from him during a set-piece for their second. Paul Pogba met Nemanja Matic's flick on, but his header took a deflection off Marcus Rashford, who claimed the goal.
The Cameroonian worldwide played an integral part in a frenetic encounter, scoring his first Potters' goal and breaking the deadlock in the 43 minute; sliding in ahead of the visiting defence to finish off a fine passing move from six yards after great work from Darren Fletcher and Mame Biram Diouf.
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Rashford's form puts extra pressure on Anthony Martial, who was overlooked by France coach Didier Deschamps for the fourth global get-together in succession. Striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is also a doubt after picking up a hamstring injury in Cameroon's World Cup qualifying defeat to Nigeria.
José Mourinho handed Ander Herrera his first start of the season, lining his team in a more robust 4-3-3, no doubt hoping to assert greater control in midfield.
"I've had two different experiences already, two completely different games", said the former Schalke forward. If United are going to challenge on all fronts this season they're better with than without Herrera in the team.
He added, "There is a lot more to come".
Owen then continued rather skeptically, "I think they are all much of a muchness really". It's still the beginning and I will try to do my best. It was a tough game against a good team like Stoke.
"Our start has not been bad". The team Manchester United has four wins and one loss in the last five matches.