MARK HUGHES made no attempt to hide his disappointment after Stoke City were edged out 3-2 by Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The Potters twice took the lead at Old Trafford with Peter Crouch’s early opener followed by a super strike from Marko Arnautovic – his first goal for the Club.
But United, who briefly drew level in the first half through Robert van Persie, floored Stoke with two goals in 90 seconds from Wayne Rooney and Chicarito.
It was tough for all those of a Stoke persuasion to take, not least Hughes who said: “In terms of what we produced, the effort we put in and the chances we created I felt we deserved more than what we got.
“Certainly at half-time we could have been 3-1 or 4-1 up rather than 2-1 in terms of the chances we created.
“I don’t think United created a great deal from open play throughout the 90 minutes but then there were those key moments where they ultimately took the game away from us.
“We’re really disappointed because given the level of the performance we produced I think we deserved something.
“We had a game plan in terms of what we were trying to do. It needed commitment and it needed people to be brave to do the hard yards to have an effect on the game and that’s what they did.
“I thought my players were excellent in that regard and really took the game to United and probably shook them up a little bit.”
The fact that Chicarito scored what proved to be the winner was particularly hard for Hughes to swallow as he felt the United man should have been red-carded shortly after joining the action as a substitute for a late challenge on Robert Huth.
He added: “In my view he shouldn’t have been on the pitch because it was a poor challenge on Robert Huth. It was reckless in my view.
“Why the assistant referee didn’t see it from two yards away and do something about, I don’t know.”