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Premier League

  • 18 December 2011
  • • 12:00
  • • Loftus Road Stadium, London
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 18033

QPR 0-2 Manchester United: Wayne Rooney & Michael Carrick strike early in each half to keep up the pressure on City

QPR 0-2 Manchester United: Wayne Rooney & Michael Carrick strike early in each half to keep up the pressure on City

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A comfy afternoon for the Premier League champions saw them canter to a victory which never looked in doubt after their England forward glanced home after just one minute

Manchester United enjoyed a comfortable afternoon at Loftus Road, going top of the Premier League courtesy of a 2-0 win against QPR.

It was largely one-way traffic from the off, with Wayne Rooney scoring within a minute to give the visitors the lead.

A Michael Carrick solo effort early in the second half put the result beyond doubt, with United having a plethora of other chances to further extend their lead.

The win takes Manchester United a point clear of rivals City at the summit of the league, with the latter entertaining Arsenal in the final game of the day.

Sir Alex Ferguson named an unchanged side from the victory against Wolves while no surprises were sprung for QPR. The visitors were able to recall both Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov to the bench after the duo had gotten over ankle and foot ailments respectively.

It took the reigning champions under a minute to stamp their authority on proceedings, with Rooney releasing Antonio Valencia down the right flank before stooping to glance the Ecuadorian’s cross just inside the far post.

From there on United barely relinquished the driving seat. Danny Welbeck should have finished better when released through on goal, then moments later had the ball in the back of the net only to see the goal called offside.

Shortly after, Welbeck flicked on a corner which Jonny Evans headed against the bar, before Rooney released Phil Jones down the middle with the converted midfielder rifling his effort into the legs of Radek Cerny.

The Czech keeper then made a fantastic save to deny Welbeck from close range after Rooney’s effort was blocked, with QPR somehow managing to clear the ball off the line as the move came to an end.

High-fliers | Rooney celebrates his early opener as United ease to victory

Rooney had a golden opportunity to recreate his start to the game moments after the teams had emerged for the second half, but his control let him down when through on goal.

United continued to impose themselves relentlessly on their hosts and within ten minutes they had doubled their lead.

Some tidy footwork by Carrick on the halfway line allowed the central midfielder to home in on the QPR goal and, after shrugging off the attention of a couple defenders, he fired in low past Cerny.

Welbeck’s bent effort from the edge of the box drew another top stop from Cerny before Jones sidefooted against the post from near identical range.

QPR nearly edged themselves back into it courtesy of their two substitutes but after Adel Taarabt did well to engineer a cross, DJ Campbell’s volleyed effort from point blank range was found lacking.

From there on United cantered to victory, putting themselves top of the Premier League and in an enviable position ahead of City's match-up with an in-form Arsenal.

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