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December 02, 2014

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United kept up its resurgent form with a 2-1 win over Stoke in the Premier League on Tuesday, with Juan Mata's second-half goal securing a fourth straight victory.

The Spain playmaker's inswinging free kick from the right wing curled over the heads of a number of players in the box and bounced into the far corner in the 59th minute at Old Trafford.

Without the injured Wayne Rooney and Angel Di Maria, United lacked creativity and took a 21st-minute lead through a direct route when Marouane Fellaini scored a towering, far-post header.

Steven Nzonzi equalized in the 39th for Stoke with a powerful shot from the edge of the area.

United, rebuilding under new manager Louis van Gaal, stayed fourth and is provisionally two points behind second-placed Manchester City.

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