Up until Jonny Evans equalised in the 64th minutes with a header from a Wayne Rooney corner, United were so devoid of any attacking idea that they made QPR look like they were defending with catenaccio efficiency. It took the substitution of Armand Traoré for Anton Ferdinand two minutes before Evans goal to upset the equilibrium of QPR’s defence. Anton Ferdinand may not be to blame for the goals but within ten minutes of his introduction, a 1-0 lead for QPR had turned into a 3-1 deficit. When Jamie Mackie put QPR in the lead seven minutes into the second half, few in Old Trafford could argue that QPR didn’t deserve it. More worryingly, like Norwich last week, I couldn’t see a United goal coming once QPR had scored. Today was the fifth consecutive match where United have conceded the first goal. Since the 20th of October, there’s only been two matches where United haven’t trailed at some point, they were against Arsenal and Chelsea, easily the best two sides United have played in that period.
Five minutes after Jonny Evans equaliser, Darren Fletcher put United in front with another header from another Wayne Rooney corner (were you watching Nani ?). Whilst Fletcher’s still not fully fit, he was full of his usual hard work and drive in todays match. After the year he has just been through, it couldn’t have happened for a nicer bloke that it was for him to score United’s winner. Anderson had one of those games which only emphasises what a frustrating player he is. Either diabolical or brilliant, today he was the latter. He took control of the midfield and caused QPR all sorts of problems once he’d found his feet following his introduction to the game, along with Javier Hernandez, for Paul Scholes and Ashley Young on 58 minutes. On 72 minutes, he found Javier Hernandez with a brilliant pass to set up United’s third goal.
The drizzle magnifies the floodlights as Anderson, Fletcher, Evans and Rafael hail Wayne Rooney for his corner which lead to Darren Fletchers winner (Photograph courtesy of James O’Neill)
I’ve never really had any feelings about Queens Park Rangers one way or the other. Of all the London stadia, I’ve always found Loftus Road the most agreeable place to go and for that reason and only that reason, I was glad that they stayed up last season. My feelings about that have changed somewhat after today. With the type of people who follow QPR being what they are, it makes me marvel that we’re not speaking German. That QPR capitulated in injury time at the tripe colony is forgivable. City are a quality side who can do that to teams as mediocre as QPR. What sticks in the craw is the revelling in that capitulation that QPR fans both did that day and today. That they can enjoy or be amused at what happened is their thing, doesn’t bother me but to be actually singing songs celebrating a defeat inflicted on their own side, have they no pride ? QPR fans did display a green and yellow banner saying “What a Hughes mess”. Yesterday former City manager and Chelsea legend Mark Hughes was sacked by QPR. That was pretty inconsiderate of them, if only they’d given Hughes his cards a couple of days earlier, he could’ve been in contention for the job he’s always really wanted at Stamford Bridge. They’ve now appointed a man who was to his now sadly late canine friend (R.I.P. Rosie) what Sheik Mansour is to the sadly very much alive Manchester City. The happy cheeky chappie, freeman of Portsmouth and wholly tax compliant, Harry Redknapp. This is the legendary and decorated manager with 30 years experience and who’s honour is in winning the FA cup in 2008. There has, over the years a been reputation built by Redknapp for doing a good firemans job at clubs like Tottenham, Portsmouth and West Ham. What a lot of people forget was that he also took Southampton down in 2005. I have no problem or dislike of Harry Redknapp but after the pathetic display I saw today from followers of QPR, I hope this season has the same outcome for him.