Harry learns size of QPR task

Harry Redknapp was given an indication of the problems he will

need to fix at Queens Park Rangers after he watched his new club

surrender the lead to lose 3-1 at Manchester United.

After Mark Hughes was sacked on Friday following a winless

Premier League campaign, Redknapp has been confirmed as the

successor and the former Tottenham Hotspur boss was watching in the

stands at Old Trafford on Saturday.

He will take over on Sunday at the start of a

two-and-a-half-year contract and will immediately work on defending

after seeing Jamie Mackie’s opener cancelled out in an eight-minute

spell by Jonny Evans, Darren Fletcher, with his first goal in more

than a year after an almost career-ending health problem, and

substitute Javier Hernandez.

Stand-in QPR coach Mark Bowen had made five changes to the QPR

side who lost to Southampton in Hughes’ final game in charge and it

did make a difference but another defeat leaves them still adrift

at the bottom of the table while United returned to top spot.

Following a slow opening quarter-of-an-hour, the first incident

of the game arrived in the form of a United penalty appeal, which

was waved away by referee Lee Probert despite Paul Scholes going

down under a challenge from the recalled Shaun Derry.

QPR were sitting deep in order to frustrate their hosts, who

kicked-off in the knowledge they had not lost to their visitors in

13 previous meetings, and the changes Bowen had made appeared to

result in a more committed team performance.

United were getting a little irritated but, after the half-hour,

Patrice Evra and Wayne Rooney, who was back from tonsillitis,

forced Julio Cesar in to two saves in the space of 60 seconds with

efforts from inside the 18-yard area.

That seemed to bring QPR to life and the visitors had the ball

in the back of the net in the 37th minute when Mackie headed

Djibril Cisse’s cross only to be denied by a correct offside

flag.

Before half-time, Clint Hill and Ashley Young were involved in

an angry exchange of words as the QPR man thought the United

winger, who was accused last season of diving to get Derry sent off

at Old Trafford, reacted theatrically to a challenge in the penalty

area.

And seven minutes after the break, United found themselves

behind as Kieron Dyer skipped past Robin van Persie inside the

penalty area before his low cross was palmed back in to the danger

area by Anders Lindegaard to give Mackie a poacher’s finish.

Sir Alex Ferguson, who on Friday was honoured with the unveiling

of a statue outside Old Trafford, responded with a double change,

sending on Hernandez and Anderson in place of Young and Scholes,

who had earlier collected his fifth booking of the season which

will result in a suspension.

The changes added impetus to United and they equalised in the

64th minute when Evans was in the right place to score his third

goal of the season in all competitions after QPR had failed to

clear a Rooney corner.

Four minutes later, as if Redknapp did not need any more

evidence of QPR’s deficiencies at set-pieces, United took the lead

when another Rooney corner gave Fletcher the chance to head his

first club goal since 22nd November 2011 in a special moment for a

player who had previously feared his career was over due to a

chronic bowel problem.

United made sure of the victory in the 72nd minute when

Hernandez latched on to fellow substitute Anderson’s pass to break

in to the penalty area and finish the ball past Cesar for his

eighth goal in eight games in all competitions.

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Manchester United

Team Statistics

Queens Park Rangers

3 Goals 1
0 1st Half Goals 0
7 Shots on Target 3
5 Shots off Target 3
5 Blocked Shots 5
9 Corners 7
6 Fouls 11
2 Offsides 2
1 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
89.1 Passing Success 81.4
22 Tackles 22
72.7 Tackles Success 72.7
62.5 Possession 37.5
56.9 Territorial Advantage 43.1
653 Total Passes 387
32 Total Crosses 13
137 Lost Balls 140
58 Recoveries 59
68.8 1st Half Poss. 31.2
56.7 2nd Half Poss. 43.3