Manchester United reduced the gap to Premier League leaders Manchester City to twelve points with a 3-0 over Stoke City at Old Trafford.

Goals from the returning Antonio Valencia, Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku ensured that the Reds capitalised on City’s loss against Liverpool on Sunday to close a still-lengthy gap over their crosstown rivals.

Several players made their Premier League returns to the side, with Valencia and Lukaku among the changes to the side that beat Everton two weeks ago. Martial was also passed fit, having been a doubt beforehand due to injury.

And United seemed to reap the benefits of a week of warm-weather training in Dubai, with the excellent Paul Pogba pulling the strings in midfield. The Reds got off to the best possible start, with captain Valencia curling home with his left foot from just inside the area to opening the scoring.

Just as Stoke looked to have got a foothold on the game, Martial killed the Potters’ brief hopes, latching on to a perfectly-placed pass by Pogba and curling the ball into the top right corner from just outside the box.

United did not put the foot off the gas in the second half and added a third with just under 20 minutes remaining, as Lukaku shrug off his marker to blast the ball past Jack Butland.

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