Saturday 23rd February 2013 kick-off 15.00pm (GMT)
By Adam Morton
Superb goals from Rafael and Ryan Giggs secured the three points for The Reds at Loftus Road, leaving them 15 points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League.
Starting slowly with Van Persie and Hernandez upfront, it wasn’t until the 13th minute that United had there first chance. A ball swept in by Ashley Young, was met by an unmarked Nani, whose glancing header ended up harmlessly wide.
Moments later a similar ball would fall to an unmarked Hernandez, his glancing header forced a smart save from Julio Cesar who calmly tipped it over the bar. In the 24th minute however, United scored with an outrageous strike from Rafael, that will surly find itself in contention for goal of the season.
Tireless work from Giggs in the middle of the park won the ball in midfield, then Van Persie skilfully tuned two QPR defenders to drive a low hard cross into the 6-yard box, this effort twas turned away by Cesar, but it bounced out of the area to be met by the rampaging full back who struck the ball with such timing and conviction that it never looked any else than, destined for the top corner of the net.
Worryingly for United, in the build up to this goal Van Persie fell into the camera mans dugout and hurt his back. He attempted to continue but was subbed shortly after missing a left footed volley from a tremendous cross field ball by Rafael.
Thankfully Van Persie watched the second half from the bench. United fans will certainly be hopeful that this is a sign the injury is not too serious.
In the second half The Reds started very brightly and this, coupled with poor defending by QPR left The Reds with some very good chances to push on and grab the vital second goal.
Despite the pressure, no goal was forthcoming and in the 60th minute, Hernandez was subbed for Wayne Rooney. QPR also introduced Loic Remy and the French forward immediately forced De Gea into a smart save.
QPR seemed to be growing into the game and began to take control of possession, however in the 80th minute Ryan Giggs secured the victory for United with a smart finish.
It was smart movement from the veteran Welshman, who carefully beat the offside trap and was found unmarked in the area thanks to a delightful pass from Nani. The finish was calm, cool and collected as he sent Cesar the wrong way and placed the ball into the far corner of the net.
Following this goal, The Reds had some half chances the best perhaps falling to Danny Welbeck who took too long to dispatch his shots.
As the full time whistle sounded, the reaction of the team was evidence of just how much this victory meant to them.
15 points clear and with City hosting Chelsea tomorrow, title number 20 is edging ever closer.
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