QPR 0-2 Manchester United: Red Devils Cruise Past QPR with Comfortable Away Win

QPR vs. Manchester UnitedThe full-back slammed a stunning half-volley into the top corner from 25 yards to put United ahead in the 23rd minute on a cagey afternoon in west London. Ryan Giggs sealed the points for the league leaders 10 minutes from time as he beat QPR’s offside trap to sweep the ball home.

The only concern for United will be the apparent back injury that forced top scorer Robin van Persie off five minutes before half-time after a collision on the touchline.

QPR manager Harry Redknapp recalled much-criticised defender Jose Bosingwa for the first time since December 9, with Fabio ineligible against his parent club, while Bobby Zamora led the attack for the hosts.

United started with a strong line-up as Van Persie returned to partner Chicharito in attack while Wayne Rooney was well enough to take a place on the bench after suffering a virus. Redknapp called for a cup-tie atmosphere before kick-off as he targeted 20 points to guide QPR to safety, and the crowd responded as they backed their side and jeered the league leaders, particularly Ashley Young after the winger’s dive to win a penalty against them last term.

After a tepid start to the game, United took the lead in the 23rd minute with a goal that came from absolutely nowhere. Julio Cesar parried away Van Persie’s initial cross-cum-shot and the ball fell for Rafael to crack an outstanding half-volley into the top corner from 25 yards. The Brazilian will likely never score a better goal in his life.

At the other end, Rafael was on hand in the 35th minute to deny QPR an equalizer as he cleared Christopher Samba’s header off the line from Esteban Granero’s corner. United immediately counterattacked and a swift move, which ended with Cesar producing a fingertip save to keep out Van Persie’s cushioned volley after the Dutchman latched on to a cross from Rafael.

It was the Dutchman’s last real involvement of the afternoon as he was substituted five minutes before the break with a back injury he appeared to pick up in an innocuous collision with a photographer in the build-up to United’s opener.

QPR vs. Manchester UnitedThe action barely picked up in the early stages of the second half and Redknapp responded on the hour mark by bringing on January signing Loic Remy for the injured Zamora. The Frenchman almost made an immediate impact when he cut in from the left and saw his powerful near-post shot saved by David de Gea in the United goal.

Yet as QPR attacked, the game opened up for United on the counter-attack and Sir Alex Ferguson’s side took the advantage 10 minutes from time. Nani played in Giggs and the 39-year-old used all of his experience to beat the offside trap and slot his finish past Cesar.

Moments later, the Welshman nearly scored a second of the afternoon as his mis-hit shot skied into the air and inadvertently hit the crossbar. But by then the result was beyond doubt as United stroll towards the title.

With yet another win, Manchester United sit atop the Premier League table with 68 points from their 22-2-3 record. They are a comfortable 15 points ahead of Blue counterpart Manchester City, while, Chelsea sit far below in 3rd with 49 points. Meanwhile, QPR sit in a devastating 20th (last) place on the table from their 2 wins, 11 draws, and 14 losses this season. They are clearly in a relegation battle, and will likely be relegated to the Championship the following season.

Written by Pierre Sanz

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Chelsea 5-4 Manchester United: Blues Seal Win in Extra Time of 9-Goal Thriller

Revenge is sweet! Just 3 days before, the European champions suffered an upsetting defeat at Stamford Bridge to Manchester United in a Premier League match-up. But the odds were on Chelsea’s side this time around in the eight-finals of the Capital One Cup. They managed to eliminate the Reds after coming from behind three times, giving themselves a seat in the quarter-finals.

As we have learned so far this season, both squads have excelled in goal scoring but have struggled in their defensive end, which means that only a match with lots of goals could have been expected of them. And that is exactly what happened. A total of 9 goals were scored, 3 of which were penalties, in an extra time game that had been purely exciting to watch.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s men were able to take the lead in the 22nd minute thanks to Giggs. The goal came as a result of Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech’s bad decision to pass the ball to Romeu, who had been consequently surrounded by three players from Man U. Just 9 minutes later, Chelsea equalized the score following Buttner’s foul on Moses in the penalty area. Without a doubt, David Luiz successfully converted the penalty, making it 1-1. But just before half time, Javier Hernandez, a player who was vital to United’s win on Sunday, gave them the advantage once again after striking home a beautiful shot. At 45 minutes, Chelsea went to their lockers in the same circumstances they had been in their previous game: down one to the Red Devils.

7 minutes after the start of the second half, Gary Cahill made it 2-2, putting them level once more with United. After Mata’s corner kick, Cahill rose just high enough to head the ball in past goalkeeper David de Gea. Once again, one of Manchester’s many attacking attempts had proven successful just before the hour mark, courtesy of Nani. The Portuguese midfielder went 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper and made a wonderful chip right over Cech’s head. Approaching the 90 minute mark, United thought it was all over, but they were far from right. At the start of stoppage time, Ramires was brought down by Wootton, resulting in a penalty that was easily converted by Eden Hazard. With both teams level for the 3rd time, the match went on to extra time.

The Blues had clearly dominated the remaining 30 minutes of the game. The 94th minute saw Sturridge score a fourth for Chelsea after Wootton’s header fell nicely to his feet. But Chelsea striked again and made it 5-3 4 minutes before the end of extra time, which seemed to be the deciding goal in the game. As if the game could not get any more exciting, United found the back of the net once again when Ryan Giggs scored a penalty after Azpilicueta took Harnandez down, but unfortunately, that was the last shot of the match, ending it at 5-4.

After such an interesting beginning to the Capital One Cup, the knockout competition has suddenly become the fans’ primary choice of entertainment. Barely a game has gone without 2 or more goals being scored, and it is now something for everyone to look forward to. Chelsea now moves up to the quarter-finals, in which they will play Leeds (who had beaten Southampton 3-0 on Tuesday) on December 19th, 2012. The remaining teams left in the tournament include Bradford, Swansea, Middlesbrough,  Aston Villa, Arsenal, and Norwich.

Written by FutbolPulse