MANCHESTER (UNITED KINGDOM), JANUARY 16: Manchester United took time off from their pursuit of Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez to coast to a comfortable 3-0 victory against Stoke at Old Trafford on Monday.
Antonio Valencia and Anthony Martial in the first half, and Romelu Lukaku after the break, were on the scoresheet as Jose Mourinho finally beat struggling Stoke as United manager at the fourth time of asking. But this performance, and numerous missed chances, still gave Mourinho plenty of evidence he needs to add Sanchez to his squad during the January transfer window, despite cutting neighbours Manchester City’s lead at the top of the Premier League table to 12 points after their unbeaten league run was ended by Liverpool on Sunday.
“Obviously we see Manchester City in front of us and they lost,” United’s Paul Pogba told Sky Sports.
“They are first so we always want to catch them, so it was good that they lost, so for us we have to think about ourselves. “It’s good that they lose points but we have to go back to winning because we want to catch them again.” He added: “We’re not looking to the past. We’re just looking to the future and the next games. “We just want to catch City. We just have to focus on ourselves, keep winning and I think we will be OK.”
United believe they have won the battle for the £35 million-rated Sanchez, who is out of contract with Arsenal at the end of the season, especially after City let the Gunners know on Monday that they are no longer interested in Sanchez, given his fee and salary demands.
New Stoke manager Paul Lambert, appointed on the morning of this game, was watching from the stands before officially starting work on Tuesday and must have been unimpressed as United raced into an early lead through Valencia, back in the United lineup after a month out through injury. (AFP)