QPR 0, MANCHESTER UNITED 2
Ryan Giggs scored on his 999th senior appearance for club and country as Manchester United extended their lead in the Barclays Premier League to a mountainous 15 points over Manchester City after a 2-0 win at QPR.
Sir Alex Ferguson applauded his team for getting through another tough test as the title looks increasingly like returning to Old Trafford for a 20th time.
One of the reasons for United’s return to title-winning form this season has been the goal contribution from all over the pitch. This time it was the turn of Rafael da Silva to pitch in with the opening goal, a rising thunderbolt that had Ferguson purring.
“It was fantastic. Probably goal of the month I would imagine,” enthused the Scot.
“At the time I thought we were starting to get into it a little bit. It was a marvelous effort.”
“It was a great result for us,” declared Ferguson. “It’s another game away so it’s important, we are 15 points ahead at the moment.
“It was one of these games where the pitch was lively, the ground was tight. There wasn’t a great deal of football in the first half to be honest, it was a display from us which was more about determination, concentration and defending and we got through it.”
“I think we’re doing the right thing at the moment.” he added.
The one blot on the landscape was a hip injury to Robin Van Persie who fell into a camera pit off the pitch in the first half. The Dutch international was substituted before half time as a precautionary measure after it became clear he could not continue. With a decisive Champions League game against Real Madrid in 10 days, United could not take any chances.
Ferguson said: “Robin has collided with a camera in a dugout off the pitch, we’ll assess him tomorrow. He tried to play on as best he could but it was obvious he wasn’t going to make it.”
Javier Hernandez had already tested Julio Cesar before United struck through an unlikely source in United full back Rafael Da Silva.
Rafael opened the scoring with a superb 23rd minute drive after van Persie’s cross had been parried away by Julio Cesar. The Brazilian had been excellent in defence, clearing off the line as well as popping up in attack as QPR couldn’t cope with United’s pressure.
Giggs sealed matters in the 80th minute after he evaded the offside trap and finally put an end to the QPR resistance with the goal from a tight angle. The Welshman could have been celebrating a double by the end but his lob came back off the bar.
Manchester City now have just 12 games left to overhaul United’s 15 point lead, a task that looks increasingly insurmountable for the current Premier League champions.