Premier League
Scoreboard | Match Schedule | Standings | Clubs | Transfers | Player Leaders | Home

Man United goes top with 3-1 win over QPR

(AP Photo/Jon Super)

MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester United fought back to beat Queens Park Rangers 3-1 on Saturday, provisionally reclaiming top spot while condemning the bottom-placed team to the worst start any Premier League side has made after 13 games.

New QPR manager Harry Redknapp was watching from the stands at Old Trafford as Jamie Mackie gave the London club hope of a first win of the season by scoring the opener.

But United responded with three goals in less than 10 minutes, leaving QPR roote to the bottom with just four points.

Jonny Evans pulled the hosts level before Darren Fletcher marked his first league start in a year with a goal and Javier Hernandez scored a third.

United went two points ahead of Manchester City, which is at Chelsea on Sunday.

Initially, QPR had a sense of purpose and stuck to its defensive duties with diligence, even though the visitors were assisted by the lackluster 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.

After successive defeats at Norwich and Galatasaray, United should have been ready to tear apart its weakened opponents, but made an ineffective start.

Danny Welbeck produced cut-backs from either flank for Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney but neither striker could hit the target, and Ashley Young also sliced the ball into the side-netting.

But United, just like in the last four matches, was the team to fall behind.

United failed to read a short corner and then couldn't prevent Kieron Dyer getting down the by-line. Then, after goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard had only been able to shove Dyer's low cross away from his goal, Mackie finished off in the 52nd minute.

Within minutes, Adel Taarabt had curled a free kick narrowly over Lindegaard's goal.

Ferguson took immediate action, hauling off Paul Scholes and Young in favor of Anderson and Javier Hernandez.

The change took a little while to have any discernible effect, but eventually, United was level through Evans. 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.

If that goal was well received, the one Fletcher scored to put the hosts ahead from another corner triggered an emotional reaction from the Scottish midfielder.

It was Fletcher's first Premier League in 13 months, having spent most of the intervening period 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 woeful nine-minute spell which underlined why they are in so much trouble.

Updated November 24, 2012

w1 © 2014 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

ADVERTISEMENT
SI.com
TM & © 2013 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved. SI.com is part of CNN Digital Network, which is part of the Turner Digital Network. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines, your California privacy rights, and ad choices.