|Queens Park Rangers|
A stunning Rafael goal and Ryan Giggs' late effort saw off QPR and sent Manchester United 15 points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League.
Rafael fired a superb arrowing 20-yard drive past home goalkeeper Julio Cesar midway through the first half to give the Reds the lead at Loftus Road.
Relegation-haunted Rangers battled hard but Giggs’ well-taken low strike sealed victory for United and put pressure on Manchester City, who host Chelsea on Sunday.
The only downside of the afternoon was an injury to Robin van Persie, who was forced off before the break after sustaining a hip problem in the build-up to Rafael’s goal.
Nevertheless, Sir Alex Ferguson will be pleased to come away with the win after a spirited and feisty display from the league’s bottom side, who had previously taken home points off Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham.
Van Persie had started up front with Javier Hernandez as Sir Alex made seven changes to the side that beat Reading in the FA Cup. Wayne Rooney was named on the bench following his sinus infection, while Nani started after his decisive cup cameo against Reading five days earlier. Former Reds winger Ji-sung Park was among the home side’s substitutes.
QPR started brightly and with a clear aim to hurry the Reds in possession on a cold afternoon in west London. On an uneven playing surface, the game took a while to settle but United created a first chance in the 12th minute as Nani found himself unmarked in the box, only to direct a tame header