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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
November 24, 2012
• Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: L. Probert
• Attendance: 75603
J. Evans 64'
D. Fletcher 68'
J. Hernández 71'
Queens Park Rangers
J. Mackie 52'
So, QPR stay bottom and Manchester United jump to the top of the Premier League table, at least for now. Thanks for joining us this afternoon, I've been John Stammers and until next time, goodbye.
Aside from getting the all important three points Sir Alex Ferguson, and no doubt each and every Manchester United fan, will be absolutely delighted to see Darren Fletcher make his long-awaited return to the starting line-up - and even more so because he marked it with the goal that gave them the lead.
It all looked so promising for QPR at half-time, after a pretty solid first 45 minutes. Then things got even better with Mackie handing them the lead after early in the second. However, after conceding from two set-pieces, Evans and Fletcher with the goals, and then with Chicharito coming off the bench to add a third in typical fashion, the Premier League bottom boys completely fell apart in a disastrous ten minutes or so. Manchester United were uninspiring in truth, despite dominating large parts of the game, and Sir Alex Ferguson will be relieved that his players managed to find some cutting edge in the latter stages. Harry Redknapp, on the other hand, has work to do.
90' + 4'
FULL-TIME!! MANCHESTER UNITED 3-1 QPR
90' + 3'
What a block by Hill! Van Persie cuts in onto his right boot inside QPR's penalty box after a dummy shot with the left, before smashing an effort at goal. However the defender throws himself in the way and sends it over.
90' + 2'
United try and walk it in as Rafael, Chicharito and Van Persie are all involved in a quick passing move inside QPR's box. They can't quite work the perfect opening, though, and the visitors clear.
Four minutes of added time at Old Trafford.
OFF THE LINE! Rafael denies QPR a second goal, and avoids a nervous finale, clearing Hill's glancing header at the last possible moment.
Harry Redknapp has just been pictured leaving. He's clearly had enough!
Mackie finds a yard of space in the United penalty area and wins a corner after his shot deflects behind off Evans.
The clash has quietened down once more, with United comfortable in their lead.
Ferdinand joins the attack after some neat footwork. He finds Chicharito on the left but his cross is put behind.
Van Persie nearly adds a fourth with what would have been a ridiculous goal. Rooney finds him with a brilliant ball, showing incredible vision, with the forward lashing a right-footed shot into the side netting from an impossible angle.
Assuming United hold on, or even add more which seems more likely, this will be the sixth time the Red Devils have come from behind to win in the Premier League this term. They didn't do it at all last season.
David Lynch comments from Old Trafford: "Game over now for QPR. Chicharito, one of England's most in-form strikers, is on the scoresheet yet again. A wonderful through ball from Anderson finds the Mexican and he takes one touch before putting the ball where he always puts it; the back of the net."
Goal Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
Chicarito comes off the bench to surely secure all three points for the hosts after a devastating ten minutes from United. Anderson plays the forward in with a lovely ball who matches it with a tidy finish.
Taarabt goes close for QPR with a fine curling strike after a tricky run.
David Lynch on that goal: "A more popular scorer you will not see all year at Old Trafford. Darren Fletcher, making his first league start since November of last year, rises highest to slam home Rooney's corner with his head and the Scot looks close to tears as he celebrates in front of the Stretford End."
Assist Wayne Rooney
Goal Darren Fletcher
A quick-fire double from two corners for United as they take the lead against QPR. Fletcher, starting for the first time in the Premier League since November 2011, rises highest to head home from Rooney's delivery.
Rafael crosses low from the right, it bobbles off Welbeck and then is hacked away. That could have gone anywhere!
Fletcher smashes a long-range effort over the bar. United have all the momentum here, and will fancy themselves to get a winner.
David Lynch's thoughts from Old Trafford: "Manchester United are launching yet another comeback. A corner from the left is nodded back across by Danny Welbeck and Jonny Evans steals in to head in from close range. 25 minutes to go and only one winner here you feel!"
Assist Danny Welbeck
Goal Jonny Evans
It's another scrappy goal at Old Trafford as United go level! Rooney's deep corner from the right is firstly headed down by Welbeck before Evans bundles it in on the line.
Rafael gets into a great position on the right-flank but slips on the wet Old Trafford turf just as he's about to cross. Is it just QPR's day?
QPR almost double their lead after a lovely move! Cisse plays Dyer in on the right-hand-side of the United box as the visitors counter at speed, the midfielder then looks for Mackie with a tricky ball but just gets too much on it.
Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
Yellow Card Stéphane M'Bia
David Lynch: "Ashley Young and Paul Scholes make way for Anderson and Chicharito. Sir Alex Ferguson has seen enough."
STAT ATTACK Opta: 9 - Manchester United have conceded first in nine different Premier League games this season, a joint-league-high with QPR. Shocked.
Yellow Card Paul Scholes
Taarabt curls a free kick just over after a rash tackle by Scholes.
David Lynch reports: "Bottom-of-the-league QPR are ahead at Old Trafford thanks to Jamie Mackie. The Englishman has a tap-in from two yards after Anders Lindegaard fails to get a strong hand to a cross from Dyer. It's perhaps too early to say a shock is on the cards given United's recent record of comebacks but the Rs will certainly take that lead."
Goal Jamie Mackie
With QPR fortunate to survive a number of close shaves in the first half, they now take the lead in similar fashion. To be fair it was well worked by Dyer on the left-hand-side, who fired in the cross, but Mackie's finish was a touch lucky as it bobbled its way past Lindegaard.
Dangerous cross from the left by Young, one of those that goes in between goalkeeper and defender, but QPR get it clear. Cisse can't quite get beyond his man on the counter though.
The second half has started pretty similarly to how the first ended. QPR still look solid at the back but haven't really managed to get hold of the ball in United's half as of yet.
Cesar is very casual when dealing with a back-pass, almost too much so as he is put under pressure by Rooney, but being Brazilian he turns his way out of trouble.
Poor cross from Young as he cuts in from the left, over hitting it as he looks for Van Persie.
QPR get the second half underway.
While Fergie ponders whether to make any changes in order to spark his side into life, Harry Redknapp will be feeling pretty happy about the defensive organisation he has seen from the side he is inheriting. Still, he'll know as well as anyone to never write off Manchester United.
The thoughts of David Lynch from the ground: "The whistle goes to mark the end of the first period at Old Trafford and QPR will be largely delighted at having stemmed the flow of their opponents' attacks thus far. United have had some chances, as is customary, but they are some way short of their fluent best. Should it continue like this for much longer, you sense the in-form Chicharito will be making his way onto the pitch before long."
QPR will be the happier of the two sides with the score still at 0-0 as we reach the end of the first 45 minutes at Old Trafford. Manchester United have not dominated exactly, but are certainly the better team. Cesar has been forced into a couple of good stops by Rooney, with Van Persie also ruffling the side netting, but Sir Alex Ferguson's men haven't played with the same speed and zing that they are capable of. The Red Devils have also seen two credible penalty shouts turned down so maybe, with new manager Harry Redknapp looking on, the west Londoners' fortunes are changing.
45' + 2'
HALF-TIME!! MANCHESTER UNITED 0-0 QPR
We're going to have two minutes of added time at Old Trafford.
Young goes down under pressure from Hill inside the QPR box and wants a penalty. The defender is saying that the United attacker dived, but the replays indicated there was contact. Nothing given though.
Mbia offers some resistance with a driving run that earns him a corner, but QPR make nothing of it and United storm down the other end - Rooney hooking a volley wide after a diagonal ball into the box from Fletcher.
Here's David Lynch on that decision, which on second look seems just about correct: "The ball is in the net for QPR......but it's offside. Jamie Mackie is found brilliantly by Cisse's cross from the right but as soon as he heads home the flag is up on the far side. Encouragement for the visitors."
Down the other end Mackie puts the ball in the net for QPR, but it's disallowed for offside. The game has come to life somewhat, finally.
Cesar is again called into action as United press forward, saving from Rooney once more after his drilled shot from 25 yards out.
Fine save Cesar! This time he denies Rooney as the England forward hits a first-time effort toward goal after Welbeck's cross. The QPR keeper adjusts his feet quickly though, before parrying the strike away.
Evra and Van Persie play a very clever one-two which allows the left-back to get beyond his man and shoot at goal, however Julio Cesar saves well.
United have plenty of attacking quality up front, with that trio of Rooney, Welbeck and Van Persie. However QPR's defence as thus far coping with their movement pretty well as the hosts struggle to find a way through.
SO CLOSE YOUNG! The ball is sent up high inside the QPR box and everyone in Old Trafford expects Scholes to unleash a typical powerful volley at goal, however he disguises a neat pass through to Young who just can't direct it on target. You sense a United goal is coming, though.
Evra whips a fantastic cross over from that left flank, where United are having a little joy, but Clint Hill rises above Rooney to nod behind. That could well have been a goal-saving header from the QPR defender.
Our man Mr. Lynch reports from the ground: "Harry Redknapp will be pleased with what he has seen so far. QPR have been unremarkable going forward but largely solid at the back and, at a venue like Old Trafford, that is perhaps the best you can ask from a team currently bottom of the Premier League."
SIDE NETTING! Van Persie crashes a thunderous first-timed effort into the netting after a low cross from Welbeck on the left. A large number of United fans thought it was in, though, judging by their reaction.
Scholes is urged to shoot by United fans when a yard opens up on the edge of the box, but he hesitates and ends up misplacing an attempted pass to Young.
Oooh first real chance of the game, and it goes to United, who might have had a penalty too! Rafael crosses low from the right before Van Persie helps it on, with what could be a shot or a cross. Scholes just about gathers the ball, just a yard or two in front of goal, but can't get a shot away as he's felled by Derry. Nothing given though.
Young finds Rafael in a good advanced position on the right flank but the defender's cross is blocked by Armand Traore.
Our man David Lynch from Old Trafford: "QPR will doubtless be pleased with the way the opening ten minutes have panned out, with the game so far lacking any fluidity - a fact which will suit them down to the ground."
Van Persie tumbles under pressure on the edge of the QPR penalty area, but nothing is given. There were some appeals from men in red jerseys however I'm not sure if there was much contact.
Djibril Cisse looks for Mackie again but this time Ferdinand tracks him and gets the ball out from his feet in order to move it on to Paul Scholes. Meanwhile United look fluid up front.
Rio Ferdinand nearly gifts Jamie Mackie a simple one-on-one after getting an attempted back-pass all wrong. Instead he concedes a corner but QPR waste it.
Ashley Young cuts in from the left before shifting the ball on to Patrice Evra, the left-back then looks for Welbeck in the middle but it's cut out.
It's a quiet start to the clash at Old Trafford with the shares of possession fairly even and no chances to report as of yet.
And we're underway...
There are plenty of ties between these two sides; Manchester United defender Fabio is on loan at QPR, but is thus unavailable to the game, with former Red Devils midfielder Park ji Sung also now at Loftus Road, but again misses out today. Then, of course, there is ex-R's boss Mark Hughes, sacked on Friday, who used to play up front for United.
QPR have equalled the worst ever start to a Premier League season, made by Everton in the 1994-95 season, and are 12 consecutive games without a win.
Right, five minutes until kick-off at Old Trafford, where by the way a statue of long-serving Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was unveiled yesterday, so let's have a couple of killer stats.
QPR's caretaker boss for today's clash, Eddie Niedzwiecki, makes several changes from the disappointing loss against fellow relegation candidates Southampton. Kieron Dyer starts for the first time since August last year, with Stephane Mbia, Shaun Derry and Jamie Mackie also coming into the side.
So, Sir Alex Ferguson is going in for kill against the Premier League's bottom side, naming Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck in a very attacking line-up. Elsewhere, Darren Fletcher makes his first league start since November 2011 while Anders Lindegaard continues in goal, meaning David de Gea is on the bench.
QPR starting line-up: Cesar; Mbia, Hill, Nelsen, Traore; Derry, Faurlin, Mackie, Taarabt, Dyer; Cisse Subs: Green, Diakite, Ferdinand, SWP, Granero, Ephraim, Hoilett
Manchester United starting line-up: Lindegaard; Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Young, Fletcher, Scholes; Rooney, Welbeck, Van Persie Subs: De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Anderson, Cleverley, Powell, Chicharito
Let's have that team news in full shall we? …
Our man at Old Trafford this afternoon is David Lynch, and here's his first of what are sure to be many wonderful updates: "Greetings from Old Trafford where QPR, not yet under the stewardship of Harry Redknapp, are set to take on Manchester United. The visitors are without a win so far this season and face a team with a generally imperious home record here. The biggest news from the teams is that Darren Fletcher makes his first Premier League start for the hosts since November 5 2011, but caretaker QPR boss Eddie Niedzwiecki has not been scared to ring the changes during his temporary spell in charge, having made five in total."
Of course, the big news is that Harry Redknapp has today been announced as QPR's new manager, following the sacking of Mark Hughes on Friday, with the former Tottenham boss handed the unenviable challenge of keeping the west Londoners in the Premier League. The R's currently sit bottom of the table, without a win, and are four points adrift from nearest rivals Southampton but, with the new boss watching from the stands, can they pull off an upset today?
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's play-by-play text commentary of this intriguing fixture between Manchester United and QPR. I'm John Stammers and I'll be guiding you through proceedings at Old Trafford on this miserable, wet Saturday.
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