Premier League
QPR0Man Utd2

Queens Park Rangers 0-2 Manchester United

Marouane Fellaini and Antonio Valencia
Marouane Fellaini was introduced as a half-time sub for Juan Mata
  • Half-time sub Marouane Fellaini gives United the lead
  • Falcao fails to score after being recalled to starting XI
  • QPR boss Harry Redknapp denies his job is under threat
  • Defeat leaves Rangers one point from safety

Manchester United bounced back from the home defeat by Southampton to maintain their pursuit of a top four place and increase pressure on Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp with victory at Loftus Road.

Manager Louis van Gaal heard the first sounds of revolt from United fans towards the end of a dismal first half when they called for him to ditch his favoured 5-3-2 formation.

Van Gaal responded by introducing Marouane Fellaini for Juan Mata at the start of the second half and the giant Belgian answered the call by putting United ahead with an emphatic finish.

The goal was harsh on QPR after England prospect Charlie Austin - watched from the directors' box by manager Roy Hodgson - twice brought fine saves out of United keeper David de Gea before the interval.

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Scoreline flattered Man Utd - Harry Redknapp

United's confidence increased with that goal and with QPR pressing in desperation for an equaliser, substitute James Wilson secured the three points with the second on the break in the dying seconds.

It was the perfect response by United, although recalled striker Radamel Falcao failed to score, twice being thwarted by QPR keeper Robert Green.

The pre-match talk had been that Redknapp's job at QPR would be in jeopardy if they lost, but this was not the performance of a team that had lost belief in its manager. Results, however, are all and this defeat keeps QPR firmly in the relegation zone.

Falcao's future has also been the subject of debate this week after Van Gaal left him out of the squad for the loss against Southampton - but the Colombian striker was back here and wasted an early chance to impress his manager.

He made space in the area to collect Mata's pass but could only shoot straight at QPR keeper Green from eight yards.

Austin has taken on the role of QPR's main hope of salvation this season - and he accepted that responsibility by bringing the best out of De Gea with two right-foot volleys showing good technique and accuracy.

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Second half display pleases Van Gaal

With the interval approaching there was unrest among United's followers, with chants of "4-4-2" and "attack, attack, attack" in the face of a performance lacking any creativity.

Van Gaal acted and removed Mata to introduce Fellaini at the start of the second half, also reverting to a more orthodox back four.

Their play immediately carried greater threat and it took a brilliant flying save from Green to turn away Falcao's header when he seemed certain to nod in Angel Di Maria's cross.

It was not long before United were ahead as Van Gaal's decision to bring on Fellaini brought the perfect reward, the Belgian powering home his finish after Antonio Valencia had been played in by Wayne Rooney's clever pass.

QPR's threat had diminished but a breakdown in communication between Michael Carrick and Marcos Rojo on the halfway line presented them with an opportunity that was wasted by Eduardo Vargas. The United pair left each other to it, allowing Vargas to race clear but he refused to pass to the unmarked Austin and was crowded out.

Falcao continued to strive in vain for that elusive goal, first being denied by Steven Caulker's slight touch and then just failing to connect with another Wilson cross.

And it was Wilson who struck the final blow to deflate QPR and leave United buoyant once more.

QPR boss Harry Redknapp on speculation surrounding his position:

"It was one reporter saying it and all of a sudden it became gospel.

"I've never been at a club quite like it in my life but someone has made a bit of money out of it.

"All the speculation was that I was going to lose my job if we lost this game. I spoke to (owner) Tony Fernandes this week and he certainly never said anything like that to me.

"If we can get another striker in on loan then we'll stay up no problem."

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal:

"I know in advance that when we play with four midfielders in a diamond that we create more chances, but then the balance of the team is also weak.

"And you've seen it because we had created chances but so had QPR.

"We have to decide every week how we have to play. And that's the question.

(On the form of David de Gea) "I think he's been playing well all this season. We have a lot of clean sheets and that is mainly down to him."

Falcao and Green
Falcao returned to United's starting XI after being left out for tactical reasons in last week's defeat by Southampton
Harry Redknapp
Harry Redknapp denied claims his job would be under threat if they lost the match
Wayne Rooney and Charlie Austin
England boss Roy Hodgson was in attendance at Loftus Road to see captain Wayne Rooney and QPR's 13-goal striker Charlie Austin
James Wilson
James Wilson cam one as a second half substitute for Jonny Evans

Line-ups

QPR

  • 1Green
  • 14IslaBooked at 60mins
  • 22DunneSubstituted forCaulkerat 45'minutes
  • 15Onuoha
  • 6HillBooked at 82mins
  • 24Vargas
  • 8BartonBooked at 41mins
  • 20Henry
  • 10FerSubstituted forTaarabtat 70'minutes
  • 9Austin
  • 25ZamoraSubstituted forKranjcarat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Caulker
  • 5Ferdinand
  • 12McCarthy
  • 19Kranjcar
  • 23Hoilett
  • 27Taarabt
  • 29Zárate

Man Utd

  • 1de Gea
  • 4Jones
  • 6EvansSubstituted forWilsonat 57'minutes
  • 5RojoBooked at 68mins
  • 16Carrick
  • 25A Valencia
  • 8MataBooked at 45minsSubstituted forFellainiat 45'minutes
  • 10Rooney
  • 17Blind
  • 7Di MaríaSubstituted forHerreraat 90+5'minutes
  • 9Falcao

Substitutes

  • 11Januzaj
  • 12Smalling
  • 21Herrera
  • 31Fellaini
  • 32Valdés
  • 33McNair
  • 49Wilson
Referee:
Neil Swarbrick
Attendance:
18,098

Match Stats

Home TeamQPRAway TeamMan Utd
Possession
Home38%
Away62%
Shots
Home18
Away12
Shots on Target
Home4
Away7
Corners
Home3
Away3
Fouls
Home12
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Queens Park Rangers 0, Manchester United 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Queens Park Rangers 0, Manchester United 2.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Ander Herrera replaces Ángel Di María.

Goal!

Goal! Queens Park Rangers 0, Manchester United 2. James Wilson (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

Attempt saved. James Wilson (Manchester United) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ángel Di María.

Foul by Falcao (Manchester United).

Eduardo Vargas (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Queens Park Rangers. Conceded by David de Gea.

Attempt saved. Mauricio Isla (Queens Park Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Joey Barton with a cross.

Attempt blocked. Eduardo Vargas (Queens Park Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Karl Henry (Queens Park Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Adel Taarabt.

Offside, Queens Park Rangers. Steven Caulker tries a through ball, but Charlie Austin is caught offside.

Hand ball by Michael Carrick (Manchester United).

Attempt blocked. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Marouane Fellaini.

Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Niko Kranjcar (Queens Park Rangers).

Attempt missed. Charlie Austin (Queens Park Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Adel Taarabt.

Foul by Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).

Eduardo Vargas (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Ángel Di María (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Booking

Clint Hill (Queens Park Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Clint Hill (Queens Park Rangers).

Attempt blocked. Ángel Di María (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Michael Carrick.

Substitution

Substitution, Queens Park Rangers. Niko Kranjcar replaces Bobby Zamora.

Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adel Taarabt (Queens Park Rangers).

Falcao (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Mauricio Isla (Queens Park Rangers).

Attempt missed. Charlie Austin (Queens Park Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Adel Taarabt.

Substitution

Substitution, Queens Park Rangers. Adel Taarabt replaces Leroy Fer.

Booking

Marcos Rojo (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Marcos Rojo (Manchester United).

Bobby Zamora (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by James Wilson (Manchester United).

Joey Barton (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Leroy Fer (Queens Park Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Attempt blocked. Mauricio Isla (Queens Park Rangers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Karl Henry.

Attempt saved. Eduardo Vargas (Queens Park Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Michael Carrick (Manchester United).

goal

As It Stood

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1Chelsea22164251193252
2Man City21145245202547
3Southampton22133637162142
4Man Utd22117436211540
5Tottenham2211473230237
6Arsenal21106537251236
7Liverpool2210573127435
8West Ham219663225733
9Swansea228682630-430
10Stoke228592327-429
11Newcastle227692635-927
12Crystal Palace225892533-823
13Everton215793034-422
14Aston Villa2257101125-1422
15West Brom2156102029-921
16Sunderland2231181933-1420
17Burnley2248102136-1520
18Hull2147102027-719
19QPR2254132339-1619
20Leicester2245132034-1417
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