Manchester United’s 2-0 win at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday sent Sir Alex’s men 15 points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League.
Everybody played their part in the victory, but we’ve selected five Reds we feel are particularly deserving of a spot in our Man of the Match poll.
Midfielder Michael Carrick was tremendous in the centre of the park, especially in the second half. He displayed the full range of his passing and was always positive, seeking to find United’s forwards with early balls. The team's midfield metronome, Carrick kept the Reds ticking over at a high tempo. He was also the subject of the travelling fans' love – they serenaded the 31-year-old for much of the second half with a catchy new song.
Ryan Giggs netted United’s second goal of the game on his 999th appearance in senior football (United, Wales, Team GB), but deserved his spot on the shortlist even before he sealed the three points. He turned back the clock once again to produce a stunning performance that belies his 39 years of age, tackling and harrying every bit as much as he created in midfield.
The Reds’ other scorer, Rafael, is also on our list. He netted a contender for goal of the season after 23 minutes when he rifled a shot into the top corner from 20 yards. Shortly afterwards he showed his worth at the other end, clearing off the line to preserve United’s lead. He was quieter after the break but still steady, helping to play his part in a third consecutive clean sheet.
Even more key in keeping QPR goalless was Nemanja Vidic. The Serbian had his hands full at set-pieces with Christopher Samba but defended well and put his body on the line to block a number of shots. He left the pitch bruised and bloodied for the second time in a week, a measure of the remarkable effort he put in at Loftus Road.
Last on our shortlist is young striker Danny Welbeck, who started the game as a substitute and came on just before half-time for Robin van Persie, who injured his hip in the build-up to the Reds' opener. Danny put in his usual tireless shift up front and proved a real nuisance to QPR defender Clint Hill. He played a big part in Giggs’ goal, winning back the ball in midfield and then launching the attack that led to the strike.