London: Wayne Rooney took just 52 seconds to find the net as champions Manchester United knocked Manchester City off the top of the Premier League, for a few hours at least, with a 2-0 win at Queens Park Rangers on Sunday.
Rooney grabbed his 12th league goal of the season with a diving header off a cross from Antonio Valencia on a bright but bitterly cold afternoon at the smallest ground in the top flight.
Michael Carrick made it 2-0 in the 56th after taking the ball off Joey Barton in midfield, setting off down the pitch and unleashing a shot from the edge of the box that Czech keeper Radek Cerny could not keep out despite getting a hand to.
United have 39 points from 16 games, a point and a game more than neighbours City who were hosting fifth-placed Arsenal in a later kickoff.
Chelsea drew 1-1 at relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic on Saturday and could lose third place to Tottenham Hotspur, playing at home to Sunderland in an afternoon start.
Liverpool were playing at Aston Villa.
Rooney`s goal was the third fastest of the season so far and United could have made it 2-0 after just three minutes against promoted opponents who last beat them back in the old first division in 1992.
Danny Welbeck also had the ball in the net after 24 minutes but was ruled offside and Cerny made two crucial saves in the space of three minutes to keep his side in the game.
QPR had a good chance to equalise just before the break when Jay Bothroyd swept in a low cross that was just too quick for Jamie Mackie to get a toe to at full stretch.
Carrick`s goal ended a 70 match drought for the player, nearly two years on from his last for United in the Premier League.
Mexican striker Javier `Chicharito` Hernandez returned to action, barely two weeks after an ankle injury that was expected to keep him out for up to four weeks, as a second half substitute for Welbeck.