United levelled when Robin van Persie finished after Asmir Begovic parried a Wayne Rooney header, but Stoke took the lead again when, after Phil Jones gave away a needless free-kick, Marko Arnautovic swung it in off the bar.
United were booed off at half-time and the second period was a dirge, with no real chances until Rooney met Van Persie’s corner with a fine header.
Two minutes later Javier Hernandez headed the hosts ahead for the first time, unmarked as he met Patrice Evra’s cross. Those goals came after Adnan Januzaj was introduced, the youngster more effective than Nani, who was also booed.
United stay eighth after the win, with Stoke remaining 16th.
Pre-match – KAGAWA LIVES: Shinji Kagawa was handed a start by Moyes, and while he showed some nice touches he was as ineffectual as his other team-mates.
2’ – CHANCE: Geoff Cameron clears off the line as Van Persie turns Ryan Shawcross inside and out.
4’ – GOAL (United 0-1 Stoke): The ball ricochets in off Crouch after his initial volley is saved by De Gea. Terrible defending by Evans, Evra and Smalling.
13’ – CHANCE: Should have been 2-0 Stoke as Crouch volleys over from close range.
26’ – CHANCE: Another big chance for Stoke as Walters is denied by De Gea from close range.
32’ – SAVE: Marvellous stop by Begovic from Rooney.
43’ – GOAL (United 1-1 Stoke): Van Persie slides it in after Rooney sees a header parried by Begovic.
45’ – GOAL (United 1-2 Stoke): Fantastic free-kick from Arnautovic, over the wall and in off the bar, although De Gea probably should have kept it out.
78’ – GOAL (United 2-2 Stoke): Rooney with a cute header from a Van Persie corner. Their first chance of the half.
80’ – GOAL (United 3-2 Stoke): Minutes after coming on, Hernandez arrives at the far post to nod in Evra’s cross. Their second chance of the half.
Manchester United have won their last six home Premier League games against Stoke.
United had 66 per cent of possession but only had five shots on target all game, scoring with three.
Robin van Persie has scored nine goals in his last seven Premier League appearances against Stoke.
Marko Arnautovic is the first away player to score a free-kick at Old Trafford since Charlie Adam (Blackpool) back in May 2011.
TALKING POINT – Why do managers play Chris Smalling at right-back? He clearly can’t do it, constantly caught looking the other way and too easily dragged out of position. At fault for the cross that led to the opening goal and constantly in trouble. Rumour has it that Moyes really does not rate Rafael – but at least he’s a specialist full-back.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United): Say what you like about Rooney, but he is stubborn in the face of a challenge as he scored one and created another.
Manchester United: De Gea 6, Smalling 5, Jones 5, Evans 5, Evra 6, Nani 5, Carrick 7, Cleverley 5, Kagawa 6, Rooney 7, Van Persie 7; Subs: Januzaj 7, Valencia 6, Hernandez 7
Stoke: Begovic 6, Cameron 6, Shawcross 5, Huth 5, Pieters 7, Walters 7, Palacios 6, Ireland 5, Nzonzi 6, Arnautovic 7, Crouch 7; Subs: Whelan 6, Wilson 5, Adam NA
MATCH IN TWO TWEETS