26/10/2013 16:30, Report by Steve Bartram
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The Match: Reds' relief

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Here's a detailed analysis of the Reds' thrilling comeback win over Stoke...

The Match: The tone for a frustrating afternoon was set when Peter Crouch inadvertantly knocked in the visitors' third-minute opener, and after Marko Arnautovic quickly negated Robin van Persie's leveller. The champions laid bare their fortitude, however, with a late rally which prompted two goals in three minutes, as Wayne Rooney brilliantly headed in a van Persie corner and substitute Chicharito nodded Patrice Evra's cross in to seal a victory drenched in equal measures of euphoria and relief.

Goals: Van Persie's leveller displayed the Dutchman's predatory instincts, as he pounced to rifle home the loose ball after Asmir Begovic had brilliantly parried out Rooney's header. The Bosnian was unable to keep out Rooney's superb, arcing header from van Persie's corner to level once again, and substitute Chicharito continued his own one-man mission against Stoke with a simple header from Evra's fine cross; his fifth career goal against the Potters.

Star men: David De Gea kept the Reds in the match in the first period, making impressive stops from Jon Walters and Marko Arnautovic, and the home supporters chanted the Spaniard's name as he left the field at the end of the half. Thereafter, with Stoke's attacking ambition curtailed, Rooney came to the fore by dropping deeper and becoming a hub of midfield creativity, before a sublime equaliser to set up the late comeback.

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