QPR slump to worst ever start
Published 24/11/2012 | 17:24
Harry Redknapp left Old Trafford with plenty to ponder as Manchester United roared back to beat QPR 3-1 and condemn the away side to the worst Premier League start any side has made after 13 games.
Rangers remain rooted to the foot of the table despite taking a second-half lead through Jamie Mackie. And any hope Redknapp might have had of his new charges marking his installation as manager by recording their first win of the season evaporated with three United goals in a nine-minute burst.
Unlikely scoring hero Jonny Evans grabbed one to pull the hosts level before Darren Fletcher found the perfect way to mark his first Premier League start in a year, before Javier Hernandez bagged a third to confirm United's status as leaders ahead of Manchester City's visit to Chelsea on Sunday.
Rangers had a sense of purpose and stuck to their defensive duties with diligence, even though they were assisted by the lacklustre nature of United's display.
Stand-in manager Mark Bowen might even have had a goal to celebrate after Mackie converted an excellent cross from Djibril Cisse, only for the effort to be ruled out by a tight offside call going against him.
For United, Danny Welbeck produced cut-backs from either flank for Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney but neither marksman could hit the target, and Ashley Young also sliced the ball into the side-netting.
The opener came as the hosts failed to read a short corner and then failed to prevent Kieron Dyer getting down the by-line. Then, after Anders Lindegaard had only been able to shove Dyer's low cross away from his goal, Mackie finished off.
United eventually brought themselves level as Evans was hand to turn home Welbeck's header from Wayne Rooney's corner.
If that goal was well received, the one Fletcher got to put the hosts ahead from another Rooney corner triggered an emotional reaction from the Scot. It was Fletcher's first Premier League goal since that derby-day mauling by Manchester City 13 months ago, most of the intervening period he spent battling against a chronic bowel complaint that threatened his career.
Hernandez was soon tucking home his ninth of the season as QPR showed their brittle side again, completing a disastrous nine-minute spell which underlined why they are in so much trouble.