|Queens Park Rangers|
However, despite dominating possession, it took 16 minutes to almost carve out a first opening but Shaun Derry got an important toe to the ball to thwart Paul Schloles as he tried to nudge home inside the box. Van Persie then rippled the side-netting after Welbeck collected a Rooney pass and escaped down the left with the Dutchman’s classic attempt going just the wrong side of Julio Cesar’s right-hand post.
As the rain cascaded down at Old Trafford, QPR showed minimal attacking ambition but defended in numbers and with plenty of organisation and aggression. Clint Hill did well to beat Rooney to a cross from Patrice Evra following nice interplay with Welbeck and the best attempt of the opening half hour saw Young lash wide after Scholes hooked on rather than opting to volley a looped tee-up by Rooney.
United’s patient, probing approach drew some criticism from the home fans but Evra burst into the area with promise after combining well with van Persie, only to shoot tamely at Cesar.
Sir Alex instructed Young and Welbeck to switch flanks and it almost reaped instant dividend when the latter created a chance for Rooney but the striker’s scuffed effort was blocked by the increasingly busy Cesar. The Brazilian keeper was again called into action when Rooney unleashed a firmer drive but there was relief at the other end when an assistant referee flagged for offside before Mackie dived to head past Anders Lindegaard.