Mata’s arrival no help as Stoke beats United

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Mata’s arrival no help as Stoke beats United

Manchester United slumped to a 2-1 loss at Stoke in the Premier League on Saturday to puncture the optimism generated by Juan Mata’s arrival and leave the reigning champions with a huge task to finish in the Champions League positions.

United’s eighth defeat of a wretched campaign means Liverpool, which currently occupies the fourth and final Champions League place, could go nine points clear of its fierce rival by beating West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.

Charlie Adam scored both of Stoke’s goals at Britannia Stadium on either side of Robin van Persie’s equalizer, with a miserable day for United capped by first-half injuries to center halves Jonny Evans and Phil Jones that forced them off.

Stoke had taken just one point from its previous six games and the defeat underlined that, for all the feel-good atmosphere generated by Mata’s club record 37.1 million pounds ($61.2 million) arrival from Chelsea, much more is needed to turn United back into a top-flight force.

AP

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