Manchester United’s Champions League hopes dangling by a thread after defeat at Stoke

David Moyes’ difficult first season in charge of the Red Devils continued on Saturday after his team were beaten 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium, with Charlie Adam at the double for Stoke City.

Manchester United’s Champions League hopes dangling by a thread after defeat at Stoke

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February 1st, 2014

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Wins for West Ham and Sunderland in the lunchtime kick-offs means that Mark Hughes’ team started the game in the relegation zone of the Premier League, although three points against United means that the Potters are up to 11th in the table.

Adam gave City the lead in the 38th minute, while the Scot grabbed his second in the 52nd minute after Robin van Persie had brought the scoreline level shortly after the interval.

Despite Van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata all starting for United, it was another disjointed performance from the champions who now trail Liverpool by six points and that gap could be extended to nine if the latter beat West Brom on Sunday.

Adam’s second goal was a sublime strike, with the former Liverpool man producing a fine performance as Stoke boosted their hopes of survival, having previously beaten Chelsea at the Britannia this term.

“We were really unlucky,” Moyes said. “We lost to a free-kick from 30 yards that took a massive deflection and a world-class strike in the second half that came from nowhere.”

Hughes felt as though his Stoke team deserved some fortune after being on the receiving end of some bad refereeing decisions in recent weeks, most notably when losing 5-3 against Liverpool recently.

“If we had a little bit of luck today it’s about time,” the Stoke manager said. “We deserve that because we haven’t had too much going for us in recent weeks.”

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