So Harry ‘Don’t call me a wheeler dealer’ Redknapp has taken over as boss of QPR and his first job is to enjoy a fine glass of red wine with Sir Alex Ferguson as the Premier League’s bottom club face Manchester United.
Fergie has had a class week as United invited all of his buddies round the other day to see the unveiling of his brand new statue celebrating the manager’s 26 years at the club. Incredibly in that time QPR have managed 27 managers with Mark Hughes the latest man to get the boot.
QPR don’t have a great record at Old Trafford and Sir Alex will have had the hairdryer out on his lads after two defeats on the spin so ‘Arry has cleverly distanced himself from today’s game by sitting in the stands. We’ll be keeping a close eye on him and all the action from Old Trafford. If you want to add anything give us a shout in the comments section.
Manchester United 3-1 QPR: Evans 63, Fletcher 68, Hernandez 71 – Mackie 52
4.55pm: United go top after a 3-1 win. Unsurprisingly, as has been the case this season, Fergie’s side went behind but three goals in eight minutes restored normality. They are top of the table for the time being before City face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.
4.55pm: Full-time: Manchester United 3-1 QPR. Redknapp out?
4.54pm: Anderson breaks from deep and slips through Van Persie who sees his shot blocked.
4.53pm: Matt Holland has picked out Wayne Rooney as Man of The Match and that’s probably a very fair shout. Fletcher had a good game on his return and Anderson has been impressive since coming on but Rooney has been unplayable.
4.51pm: Four minutes of added time.
4.50pm: That’s why there is a man on the post. From a QPR corner, Rafael is called into action to fling himself across the goal-line and head away. Lindegaard was rooted.
4.48pm: Harry has seen enough. He’s off to beat the traffic getting out of Manchester.
4.44pm: Granero makes his way on for the final seven or eight minutes. Faurlin is the man who is lucky enough to get in the showers first and use all the hot water. Good lad.
4.42pm: Unbelivable skills from Rio Ferdinand of all people. He skips past a few challenges before nutmegging a defender with a pass to release Hernandez. The Mexican looks to put it on a plate for RVP but it’s cut out by Rio’s brother Anton. A piece of magic from Ferdinand who hasn’t had one of his best games today.
4.38pm: Unfortunately for the neutral those three United goals in eight minutes have killed the game as a contest and the Reds are quite happy to knock the ball around now. Rooney dinks a lovely ball over for Van Persie who fires his volley wide. Nick Powell is coming on for Welbeck.
4.35pm: If you want to waste a pound this afternoon, QPR are 475/1 to win now with 15 minutes left on the clock and it’s 125/1 for the draw. Alternately you could put it towards something useful like voting for Chris Maloney in the X factor.
4.33pm: GOAL! The floodgates are threatening to open here. Anderson makes a lung-bursting run form midfield and slips a wonderful ball into Hernandez who finishes in style. Job done for Fergie’s men?
4.29pm: GOAL! Another corner and this time it’s a bullet header from Darren Fletcher. The United midfielder makes his return to the starting line up after a long time out with injury and that is a cracking goal.
4.27pm: Things getting tasty now as United look to set up camp in the QPR box. You can imagine this is going to be a busy 25 minutes for Julio Cesar.
4.25pm: GOAL! It’s scrappy but United are level. From a corner Welbeck leaps highest and heads down into the floor. Johnny Evans gets to it before anybody else to nod past Cesar from about half-a-yard out.
4.22pm: Rafael is the latest man to slip over as he looks to put the cross in. Plenty of players struggling with the conditions out there at Old Trafford. You think they’d be used to it by now to be honest.
4.21pm: Looks like Traore has picked up a slight knock and Rio’s brother Anton Ferdinand comes on in his place.
4.20pm: Sir Alex Ferguson is mixing it up. Ashley Young and Paul Scholes make way for Anderson and the in-form Chicarito.
4.19pm: Yellow card. Patrice Evra is clipped by Mbia who is a touch unfortunate to go into the book.
4.18pm: 35 minutes to go and United are 6/4 to win with QPR 23/10 to take the three points.
4.16pm: Yellow card. Paul Scholes puts in another rash tackle and is the first man in the ref’s notebook. Taarabt puts the free-kick over the bar.
4.13pm: GOAL! Terrible defending from United. Kieron Dyer takes a short corner and after getting it back he drills it across goal for Jamie Mackie to prod home. The shock is on.
4.12pm: QPR break quickly but Ferdinand blocks Cisse’s shot. Cisse’s hair is disappointingly average today.
4.09pm: Julio Cesar falls into the Brazilian trap thinking of thinking he’s an outfield player. He dawdles on the ball for far to long and Rooney hares after him. Luckily for QPR, Cesar knocks it round the England striker with the outside of his boot. That could have got messy. Harry Redknapp takes note.
4.07pm: The second half has started and the rain is still bucketing it down in Manchester.
4.04pm: Here’s the odds for the game: United are 4/11, QPR are 11/1 and the draw is 11/4. RVP is 13/5 to score first and Cisse is 14/1 to find the onion bag before anyone else.
3.56pm: Breaking news: During the first half Gangnam Style by Psy has become the most watched youtube video of all time passing Justin Bieber. Enjoy this stunning tune during the break.
3.52pm: Half-time: Manchester United 0-0 QPR
3.51pm: Taarabt wiggles past Rafael and creates some space for himself but his shot is straight down Lindegaard’s throat. If QPRhad played like this last week I’d say Mark Hughes would still be employed.
3.50pm: Stoppage time in the first-half and it’s still scoreless. Julio Cesar has been far the busier of the two keepers but QPR have offered a threat going forward.
3.46pm: Looking at the replay of the handbags now. Derry does seem to have hands on the back of Young but the winger has got a reputation for himself and did make the most of going down. Derry then has a little kick at Young when he’s on the floor and then there’s the usual smack-talk between everyone who is with 25 yards of the incident.
3.44pm: Latest pictures from Old Trafford. Ashley Young is having words with Derry and Hill. The QPR defenders feel the Englishman went down easily off the ball there.
3.41pm: QPR have the ball in the back of the net but Jamie Mackie is correctly called offside. A warning sign for the home-side.
3.40pm: Good save from Cesar again. This time Welbeck loses the ball on the edge of the area and Rooney’s first time drive is saved by Cesar who dives to his right to push it away. It was a comfortable height for the keeper but still a good stop.
3.37pm: United have turned up the tempo again. Firstly Evra’s drive is well held by Cesar and then Rooney sees his shot saved after Welbeck’s cut back. Best chance of the game that one for Rooney who really should have done better. Either side of the keeper and United were 1-0 up.
3.35pm: QPR are seeing a bit more of the ball now but they are struggling to make a break through in the attacking third. The Hoops are 12/1 in-play.
3.30pm: Some great football from Manchester United there. Rooney flicks it over a defender to Scholes who looks for all the world as if he’s going to volley it. The ginger maestro is getting closed down quickly though so flicks it to Ashley Young who fires it just wide. United a re getting closer.
3.28pm: Welbeck and Evra combine well again down the left but it comes to nothing. United have looked dangerous, especially from crosses, but so far there is no score and QPR are hanging on. The rain has started to fall and it looks freezing in Manchester though, so Harry’s mood is not so good.
3.24pm: Side netting. Welbeck does well to keep the ball in on the touchline and pull it back for RVP who lashes it into the side netting with Cesar beaten.
3.20pm: Van Persie plays a on-two with Rafael and then as he gets it out of his feet the Dutchman’s shot from 12 yards is blocked. It runs through to Paul Scholes who is bundled over by Shaun Derry but Lee Probert isn’t interested. It looked messy but it was a good tackle from Derry and that’s the right call.
3.18pm: Not a lot happening at Old Trafford to be honest. The draw/Manchester United bet is looking very tempting at 12/5 right now
3.14pm: 10 minutes in and Scholes has made another rash challenge. Somehow he has still escaped a booking.
3.12pm: Although Fabio can’t play together against United as are the terms of his loan at QPR it is nice that he is reunited with twin brother Rafael. Lets hope there are more opportunities for fun family pictures like this one.
3.10pm: United threatening down the left but Rangers could catch the Reds on the break today. Mackie, Cisse and Taarabt are all keen to stay forward and attack.
3.07pm: The reason why we were late off by the way is that Julio Cesar had the wrong coloured tape on. Cue a ‘back in my day’ rant from every man aged over 55.
3.06pm: 75 seconds in and Paul Scholes makes a mistimed tackle. Well done to people who correctly called that happening before Kieron Dyer getting injured.
3.05pm: Lee Probert finally gets the game started and, not that it matters to people reading this, United are kicking left to right.
3.03pm: Not entirely sure why there’s a delay here, probably something to do with Fergie’s watch. Maybe it needs a new battery or something. Anyway the formalities of the handshakes are still going on.
2.58pm: The teams are out and Harry looks nice and comfy in his seat in the stands. A clever move not the manage the team ahead of this game we think…
2.50pm: Manchester United are 1/5 to pick up the three points at Old Trafford and realistically that is not a working mans price. There’s more value in Manchester United to win and cover the two goal handicap at 5/4, Man United to score four or more goals at 13/8 or over 4.5 goals at 15/8.
2.45pm: Team news is in:
Lindegaard; Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Young, Fletcher, Scholes, Rooney, Welbeck; Van Persie
Cesar; Mbia, Hill, Nelsen, Traore; Derry, Faurlin, Mackie, Taarabt, Dyer; Cisse
2.40pm: Exclusive footage of what we expect Kieron Dyer to look like at approximately 3.15pm this afternoon.
2.35pm: Following the Kieron Dyer news we are altering Harry Redknapp’s current mood accordingly.
2.30pm: More team news will follow very soon. We are just recovering from that dramatic Kieron Dyer news (and we’re wrecked from dancing to Queen).
2.26pm: Breaking news – Kieron Dyer starts a game of football. Incredibly the most fragile man in football is in the starting line-up for QPR. We are currently rustling up a sweepstake in the office for the number of minutes he’ll last before going off. I’ve gone for 12, 39 and an optimistic 72.
2.18pm: Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Last time QPR won at Old Trafford it was the 1st January 1992. Diana Ross was opening the annual Harrods New Year sale in London and this epic song was number one.
2.15pm: It’s fair to say QPR haven’t really got much reason to be hopeful today. In the 50 meetings between these clubs Rangers have only won six times and in 20 trips to Old Trafford they have won just the once. It probably explains why they are 14/1 to win this afternoon.
2.10pm: After announcing that he had got the QPR job, Harry immediately put his faithful Rosie to work sorting out his budget for January.
2.08pm: There’s just a little under an hour until kick-off and no sign from Harry on our TV screens. As the game hasn’t started yet we’re going to presume he is a content man, possibly bordering on quite chuffed after getting the job.