Stoke shock for United

Football Foreign round-up

Stoke shock for United

Valencia hand Barcelona first home defeat of season

Charlie Adam scored twice as Stoke City beat Manchester United 2-1 on Saturday to show the flailing Premier League champions it will take more than one big-money signing to improve their fortunes.

The optimism created by Juan Mata's transfer from Chelsea drained away as United were beaten for the third time in their last five league games, losing ground on rivals Everton, who beat Aston Villa 2-1, and Tottenham Hotspur who drew 1-1 at Hull City.

United, who fielded Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Mata in a mouth-watering forward line, were again undone at the back. Adam rifled home a spectacular winner in the second half to leave United seventh on 40 points, five adrift of Everton in fifth and four behind Spurs.

Elsewhere, an Adam Johnson-inspired Sunderland recorded a thumping 3-0 win at derby rivals Newcastle United while West Ham United's Andy Carroll was controversially sent off after appearing to strike Chico Flores during West Ham's 2-0 win against a lacklustre Swansea City.

Carroll and Chico tangled in an aerial challenge in the 59th minute at the Boleyn Ground. Upon landing, Carroll caught the Swansea defender across the head with his arm.The contact was minimal but an exaggerated reaction from Chico prompted referee Howard Webb to show a straight red card.

"I don't think you can say its ridiculous. It's the reaction of player that makes life extremely difficult for the referee. He was squealing and centre halves are not supposed to squeal," West Ham manger Sam Allardyce told reporters.

"It's harsh but I understand why it was given because the referee must have thought his arm smashed him in the face. But fortunately it has not cost us anything."Southampton dished out more misery for Fulham who dropped to the foot of the table after a 3-0 defeat at Craven Cottage while Cardiff City are second from bottom following a 2-1 win over Norwich City. 

Barca stunned

Ten-man Barcelona suffered their first home defeat of the season as they crashed 3-2 against Valencia on Saturday, leaving the door open for Madrid rivals Atletico and Real to move above them later in the weekend.

They remain top of La Liga on 54 points, but Atletico Madrid, who trail on goal difference, can go ahead of them with a draw against Real Sociedad, as can Real Madrid, a point behind, with victory over Athletic Bilbao. 

It appeared service as normal as Alexis Sanchez put Barcelona ahead early on but strikes either side of half time by Daniel Parejo and Pablo Piatti put Valencia in the driving seat. 

Lionel Messi tied the score with a penalty on 54 minutes but the hosts were caught again on the counter through Francisco Alcacer. Barcelona continued to struggle at the back and Jordi Alba was dismissed for a second yellow card with 12 minutes left. The Catalan side now have just one win from their last four La Liga matches.

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