Stoke City   0

Man United   1

Tevez (83)

26 December 2008

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Stoke City
29Sorensen
28Wilkinsonyellow cardred card
25Faye
17Shawcross
3Higginbotham
24Delapsub21
6Whelanyellow card
19Faye
14Pugh
10Fulleryellow card
16Cresswellyellow card
Subs:
1Simonsen
44Olofinjana
15Pericard
23Tonge
28Sonko
21Daviessub24
7Lawrence
Man United
1Van der Sar
2Nevilleyellow card
15Vidic
6Evansyellow card
22O'Sheasub9
7Ronaldo
24Fletcher
18Scholessub16
11Giggs
10Rooney
32Tevezgoal
Subs:
29Kuszczak
2Rafael
16Carricksub18
7Park
9Berbatovsub22
19Welbeck

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Edwin van der Sar – Fully deserved his seventh clean sheet in eight games. Made a great diving save from Ricardo Fuller in the second half but equally important was the way he swept up at the back and repelled set-pieces, Delap throw-ins included.

Gary Neville – One of United’s best players, not only when doing his ‘day job’ at the back but also when joining the attack. He created the best chance in the first half – Rooney’s header – and helped tee up Tevez’s winner, both with balls from the right.

Jonny Evans – Called into the starting line-up as a late replacement for Rio Ferdinand. After an early lapse gave Fuller a chance, he settled in for an assured display. Not even a yellow card for clattering Richard Cresswell could put him off his game.

Nemanja Vidic – With Rio out, Vida shouldered the lion’s share of responsibility and dealt admirably with the physical threats of Cresswell and Fuller. A great tackle on the latter, at the edge of United’s box late on, summed up a solid performance.

John O’Shea - Filling in for the suspended Patrice Evra at left-back, United’s Mr Versatile played his part in another miserly display by the defence. He made way for Dimitar Berbatov when Sir Alex made his match-winning substitution.

Cristiano Ronaldo – Ugly games like this don’t favour the flair players but Ronny still rolled up his sleeves to aid United’s cause. He also contributed to Stoke’s downfall by drawing the red-card foul from Andy Wilkinson.

Paul Scholes – If anyone can orchestrate play when space and time are at a premium, then Paul’s the man to do it. He almost marked his first league

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