Stoke City on trial by TV after Manchester United misery
STOKE City's players were set to be subjected to their own video nasty in training today.
The 4-2 defeat at Old Trafford on Saturday conjured up the best and worst of the Potters as they suffered more misery from a trip to Manchester United.
Manager Tony Pulis was left delighted with his side's attacking display... but shaking his head at their defensive show which saw them succumb for the fifth successive time at the 'Theatre of Dreams'.
Wayne Rooney's own goal had deservedly put Stoke ahead in the first half, but the England striker capitalised on some slack defending to level.
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Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck were also afforded time and space to make their mark either side of half-time.
Michael Kightly dragged Stoke back into contention with a fine solo goal, before Rooney added a fourth to kill off City hopes.
"The goals before and after half-time killed us in lots of respects," said Pulis, right.
"I thought our defending at times on some of the goals was very poor. And when you've got Rooney, van Persie, Welbeck and the likes, you've got to defend well.
"It was a very poor goal for us," he said of Danny Welbeck's third goal. "You can't switch off against top teams and we did that on four or five occasions.
"Even after making it 3-2, if you can keep it at that then they get a bit nervous, but then we concede a fourth.
"It's disappointing to have gone so close and still come away with nothing in the end."
Not that Pulis overlooked events early in the afternoon as Stoke produced all the chances in the first quarter of the contest after the likes of Charlie Adam played their part in a stirring start.
"I thought he played well, especially first half when he pulled the strings for us," explained Pulis.
"The first half was most probably the best we've played at United.
"There was lots of energy and quality... and we were really disappointed not to be more than one up.
"(David) de Gea made two great saves and we had other opportunities to score.
"The lads were gutted in the dressing-room at half-time to be 2-1 down. It was pretty unfair, but it's an unfair game."
However, Pulis still rates the late 1-0 defeat at Chelsea last month as the superior performance overall.
Stoke appeared destined for a well-earned point until Ashley Cole popped up in the final few minutes to score.
"I still think Chelsea away was the best we've played, but we created a lot of chances against United," he added.
"I think our supporters appreciate they have seen their team play really well and compete really well."
Match analysis and reaction from Old Trafford: Pages 44 to 47