|Queens Park Rangers|
Paddy Kenny, until it clipped Anton Ferdinand and looped wide.
Rooney was given an opportunity from similar range five minutes later, albeit from the opposite side of the box. This time the United striker cleared the wall, only for Kenny to tip the ball wide at full stretch.
In-between those set-pieces, the visitors were scarcely given a touch of the ball. Instead, they happily surrendered possession and ground, allowing United to try and pick a path through a thicket of blue-and-white-hooped undergrowth.
It took one particularly piercing through-ball from Rooney to do so, after quarter of an hour, but also a sizeable slice of fortune, as the referee’s assistant failed to spot Young, the recipient of the pass, clearly loitering in an offside position. Shaun Derry attempted to halt the winger’s progress and Young buckled under the contact – giving referee Lee Mason a decision which he took quickly.
The official immediately pointed to the spot and brandished a red card towards the visiting skipper. QPR could contest the severity of the punishment on a variety of levels, and their grievances were compounded when Rooney tucked the spot kick under Kenny’s dive to crank up the volume inside Old Trafford.
Rangers went into the game in a perilous position, sitting outside the Premier League’s relegation zone on goal difference alone. Having