Queens Park 0 Man United 2

Ryan Giggs

Queens Park Ran­gers 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 2, Loftus Road, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Feb­ruary 23, 2013. Pre­mier Lea­gue ta­ble top­pers Man­chester Uni­ted had no prob­lems what­soever in de­feat­ing re­leg­a­tion threat­ened Queens Park Ran­gers as one goal each from Ra­fael da Silva and Ry­an Gig­gs saw the vis­it­ing si­de run out com­fort­able 2-0 win­ners in the end.

Man­chester Uni­ted had to cope with­out the phys­ic­al pres­ence of Phil Jones who had suf­fered a nasty ankle in­jury in the 2-1 FA Cup Fifth Ro­und win over Read­ing at Old Traf­ford five days pri­or to the Pre­miership en­counter ag­ainst Queens Park Ran­gers at Loftus Road. The Eng­land in­ter­na­tion­al had left the field on crutches af­ter a chal­lenge on Read­ing and Ja­maica mid­fielder Jobi McAnuff six min­utes be­fore the sound of the ha­lf time whistle, but Sir Al­ex Fer­guson was hop­ing that the ver­sat­ile de­fender would re­turn to the fir­st te­am squad for the im­port­ant clash wi­th Span­ish La Liga Cham­pi­ons Re­al Mad­rid at Old Traf­ford in the Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue the fol­low­ing month. The Pre­sto­ni­an had be­come some­thing of a key play­er at Man­chester Uni­ted since join­ing The Reds from loc­al rivals Black­burn Rov­ers for an es­tim­ated trans­fer fee of £16.5 mil­lion at the end of the 2010-11 cam­paign, and he had done an ex­cel­lent piece of work in keep­ing Re­al Mad­rid marks­man Cris­ti­ano Ron­aldo quiet in the fir­st leg at San­ti­ago Bern­abeu Sta­dium in Mad­rid ten days earlier.

High fly­ing Man­chester Uni­ted were strong fa­vour­ites to win the Pre­mier Lea­gue ga­me ag­ainst ta­ble prop­ping Queens Park Ran­gers, and Ferguson´s ball passing ma­chine was in full flow right from the very be­gin­ning of the mat­ch. Mex­ic­an in­ter­na­tion­al Javi­er Her­nandez al­most han­ded the Old Traf­ford out­fit the lead af­ter some fif­teen min­utes of play, but his dan­ger­ous head­er was mag­nificently stopped by Queens Park Ran­gers net­mind­er Ju­lio Cesar. Less than ten min­utes la­ter, how­ever, Man­chester Uni­ted went ahead in the con­test thro­ugh an ac­cur­ate and fe­ro­cious long dis­tance rock­et by Brazili­an full back Ra­fael da Silva from well over twenty yards out. Un­for­tu­nately for the Man­chester te­am, Dutch goal poach­er Robin van Per­sie was for­ced to leave the field af­ter sus­tain­ing a hip prob­lem in a col­li­sion wi­th a pho­to­graph­er just five min­utes be­fore the in­ter­val. Fol­low­ing the ha­lf time re­fresh­ments, Man­chester Uni­ted picked up where they had left off in the fir­st pe­riod, and con­tin­ued to bom­bard the Loftus Park de­fence. The West Lon­doners came clo­se, tho­ugh, when Bob­by Zamora re­place­ment Lo­ic Remy put Man­chester Uni­ted goal­keeper Da­vid de Gea to the test mid­way thro­ugh the sec­ond ha­lf, but his hard and low ef­fort was well saved by the Span­ish U23 international.

Wi­th ten min­utes re­maining of the one-sided af­fair, a bril­liant thro­ugh pass from Por­tuguese in­ter­na­tion­al flanker Lu­is Nani fou­nd per­petu­al mo­tion mid­fielder Ry­an Gig­gs, who out­smar­ted the off­side trap of Queens Park Ran­gers, and ham­mered ho­me an ex­cel­lently timed drive from the in­side of the eight­een-yard area to give the gu­ests from Man­chester a 2-0 tri­umph at Loftus Road. The Pre­mier Lea­gue away win ag­ainst bot­tom of the ta­ble Ran­gers kept Man­chester Uni­ted twelve points ahead of fel­low Pre­miership title chasers and neigh­bours Man­chester City, who ma­naged to be­at Chel­sea 2-0 at Eti­had Sta­dium. Queens Park Ran­gers Te­am: Ju­lio Cesar, Clin­ton Hill, Jose Bos­ing­wa da Silva, Ar­mand Traore, Stephane Mbia, Chris­toph­er Samba, Esteban Fe­lix Granero, Jam­ie Mack­ie, Ad­el Taar­abt, Bob­by Zamora, An­dros Town­send. Sub­stitutes: Nedum Onuoha, Jer­maine Je­nas  Ji-Sung Park, Ju­ni­or Hoi­lett, Shaun Wright-Phil­lips, Lo­ic Remy, Rob Green. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Da­vid de Gea, Ra­fael da Silva, Rio Fer­dinand, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Ne­manja Vid­ic, Mi­chael Car­rick, Ry­an Gig­gs, Javi­er Her­nandez, Ash­ley Young, Lu­is Nani, Robin van Per­sie. Sub­stitutes: Jon­ny Evans, An­tonio Va­lencia, Oli­veira An­der­son, Tom Clev­er­ley, Way­ne Roo­ney, Dan­ny Wel­beck, An­ders Lindegaard.


Ryan Giggs Quickfacts

Ry­an Gig­gs made his 757th start for Man­chester Uni­ted ag­ainst New­castle Uni­ted at St Ja­mes´ Park on the 4th of Jan­uary 2012, sur­pass­ing Sir Bob­by Charlton’s re­cord. The de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons were a goal down at the ha­lf-time break, and con­ceded two more goals in the sec­ond pe­riod to lose 3-0.


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