Manchester United 3 QPR 1: Redknapp watches Rangers throw it away as Fletcher scores on league comeback
17:19 GMT, 24 November 2012
Harry Redknapp left Old Trafford with plenty to ponder as Manchester United roared back to condemn QPR 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.
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.
Comeback kid: Darren Fletcher scored what proved to be the winner for Manchester United against QPR
MAN UNITED: Lindegaard; Rafael, Evra, Ferdinand, Evans; Young (Anderson 59), Scholes (Hernandez 59), Fletcher; Rooney, Welbeck (Powell 79), Van Persie Subs not used: De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Cleverley.
Goals: Evans 64, Fletcher 68, Hernandez 72.
QPR: Julio Cesar; Traore (Ferdinand 61), Hill, Nelsen, Derry; Taarabt (Hoilett 73), Dyer, Faurlin (Granero 84), M'bia, Cisse, Mackie Subs not used: Green, Diakite, Wright-Phillips, Ephraim.
Goals: Mackie 52.
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).
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Unlikely scoring hero Jonny Evans
grabbed another to pull the hosts level before Darren Fletcher found the
perfect way to mark his first Premier League start in a year.
Javier Hernandez bagged another to confirm United's status as leaders ahead of Manchester City's visit to Chelsea tomorrow.
Redknapp had seen enough, leaving
four minutes from the end to contemplate what he has already admitted
represents the biggest challenge of his managerial career.
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Watching on: Harry Redknapp, confirmed as QPR boss on Saturday morning, was in the stands
Keep your seat warm: Mark Bowen took charge of the team following the sacking of Mark Hughes
If Redknapp, stationed alongside
chief executive Philip Beard in the directors' box, could enjoy his
break in positive mood, the notable United figures sat nearby, who had
stayed on from yesterday's Ferguson statue unveiling, would have been
After successive defeats at Norwich and Galatasaray, the hosts should have been ready to tear at weakened opponents.
Instead, they pawed around in virtual disinterest.
Bright start: Jamie Mackie gave the bottom club a huge lift when he poked home early in the second half
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
You would not have needed to be
around as long as Redknapp to understand being goalless at half-time
against a team managed by Ferguson counts for little.
On the previous 21 occasions United had been in such a position, 19 had ended in a home win.
Nevertheless, the confidence exuded
by Julio Cesar to step inside a Rooney challenge deep inside the
visitors' box suggested a large degree of confidence, either than or
Yet, this season at least, as much a feature of United winning has been their concession of the first goal.
Comeback: Jonny Evans powered home an equaliser to spark United's revival
It had happened in their previous four games so it was no surprise they should fall behind again.
Defensively, they were supposed to be
getting stronger personnel wise. There was no evidence of it though as
United 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.
Within minutes, Adel Taarabt had curled a free-kick narrowly over.
Head boy: Darren Fletcher, starting in the Premier League for the first time in a year, grabbed a goal
Ferguson took immediate action, hauling off Paul Scholes and Young in favour of Anderson and Javier Hernandez.
The change took a little while to have any discernable effect, but eventually, United brought themselves level.
Rooney spoke only yesterday about not
being bothered to relinquish some of the goalscoring responsibilities
he has carried since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure.
He cannot have expected Evans to have picked up the mantle.
Prior to this season, the Northern Irishman had only scored one United goal.
When he was on hand to turn home Welbeck's header from Rooney's corner, it was his third of the season.
That settles it: Javier Hernandez emerged from the bench to grab his team's third and final goal
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
Clint Hill had a header cleared off the line by Rafael before the end, although by then, Redknapp had gone anyway.