London: Manchester United posted yet another come-from-behind victory as they beat QPR 3-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.
Jamie Mackie gave the Hoops a shock lead with his second-half tap-in but headers from Jonny Evans and Darren Fletcher turned the game on its head before Chicharito completed the scoring.
Sir Alex Ferguson restored several first-team heavyweights to his starting XI, after a young United slipped to defeat against Galatasaray on Tuesday evening. Fletcher was handed his first Premier League start since November 2011, whilst Wayne Rooney proved fit enough to earn a place in midfield.
Meanwhile, QPR caretaker manager Mark Bowen made five changes to the QPR side which lost to Southampton, with Esteban Granero and Junior Hoilett amongst the high-profile casualties.
The hosts spent much of the first 10 minutes sizing up the opposition, with Adel Taarabt’s mazy runs the only highlight of an opening short of quality. But, predictably, it was United who carved out the first opportunity of note, as Robin van Persie’s deflected effort put Paul Scholes through on goal, though the Englishman could not divert the ball past a mass of defenders from six yards.
The visitors had a rare sight of goal with half-an-hour gone, but Mackie failed to get his shot off in time after robbing Scholes on the edge of the box. With eight minutes of the half remaining the Scot would actually have the ball in the net, only to be denied by the linesman’s flag. He met a pinpoint Cisse cross from the right to nod beyond Anders Lindegaard but saw his hopes immediately dashed by the assistant referee’s entirely correct call. It would be the last chance of note before half-time.
The Red Devils looked no more switched on when play resumed but were made to pay for their lackadaisical approach as the visitors took a shock lead almost immediately. A well-worked corner allowed Kieron Dyer in at the back post and, after Lindegaard failed to get a strong hand to the cross, Mackie found himself with a tap-in from two yards.
That goal prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to replace Ashley Young and Paul Scholes with Chicharito and Anderson respectively and the Scot was rewarded as his side equalised not long after. A corner from the left-hand side was nodded back across goal by Welbeck and Evans was on hand to head home with the QPR defence all at sea.
The tide visibly turned as a result of that strike, and United did not need long to complete the comeback. Another corner from the left-hand side was QPR’s undoing again and this time it was Fletcher who rose highest to head home and mark his return to league football with a goal.
And substitute Chicharito, who has been in lethal form of late, was not to be denied a goal of his own as he passed the ball in after a brilliant through ball from Anderson to seal victory soon after.
First Published: Saturday, November 24, 2012, 23:27