Man U were encouraged in their title bid after getting all three points in a crucial match against age long rivals Liverpool. Though the win wasn't well deserved, United fans will say it was necessary and encouraging especially this season that has seen rumours of managerial change skyrocket like never before.
The only goal of the game,Rooney's flash into the net with so much composure in the second half, could make a case for the EPL goal of the season.
Liverpool had the best chances in the first-half and a fair few after half-time, too, but this was an old fashioned smash and grab raid. With 12 minutes remaining, Memphis Depay took a short corner, which Juan Mata whipped in and Marouane Fellaini won very well in the air. His header hit the bar, but Rooney was quickest to react, lashing the ball in in with the surrounding Liverpool players sluggish.
Christian Benteke was then introduced to try to revive the game as he did against Arsenal last week but it was already way too late.
Louis Van Gaal's team had just one shot on target compared to Liverpool's four shots, but in the round leather game only a goal counts. Liverpool will feel hard done by after David De Gea denied them over and over Gain with world class saves that were so out of this world.
The Gunners had won just once at the Britania stadium in seven previous attempts since Stoke were promoted to the Premier League in 2008 and that was in 2010,so Arsene Wenger must be happy he got a draw rather than a loss and his team real now top of the table.
It was frenetic stuff at a freezing Britannia Stadium. Olivier Giroud will feel that he could have beaten Jack Butland on more than one occasion. Petr Cech, however, did his bit to keep out Stoke at the other end. This was not a bad draw at all for Wenger, four days after leaving Anfield deflated by a late Liverpool equalizer.
Arsenal lacked creativity as key assist general Mesut Ozil missed the match with a slight Injury but they still would have won the match if not for key saves by Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland who should be taken seriously as a contender for Joe Hart's place in the national team.