|Queens Park Rangers|
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 wide from Ashley Young’s cross.
Hernandez then twice went close in quick succession, firstly seeing his header well tipped over by Cesar before being inches away from connecting with Nani’s low cross.
For all their endeavour, Rangers were struggling to keep possession or fashion any chances themselves and it was not a huge surprise when they fell behind.
Van Persie battled his way to the byline and his drilled cross was palmed away by Cesar as far as Rafael, who hit an unstoppable, first-time drive that flew into the keeper’s top right corner. A Goal of the Season contender, without question.
Meanwhile, van Persie had picked up a hip injury after tripping over a cameraman just beyond the byline. The Reds’ top scorer looked set to be replaced immediately, but continued playing after consulting the bench.