|Queens Park Rangers|
Rooney headed home the opening goal inside a minute at Loftus Road and Carrick added a fine solo goal early in the second period, and only the woodwork and some inspired goalkeeping from Radek Cerny prevented the Reds from running up an eye-catching scoreline.
From front to back, the Reds were impressive, but it was in central areas where the champions most exuded authority. Jonny Evans and Rio Ferdinand provided a rock-solid defensive core, Carrick and Phil Jones shone in tandem in midfield and Rooney oozed class throughout.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s hand was strengthened by the return of Dimitar Berbatov and Chicharito, yet the United manager opted against shuffling and named the same line-up that overpowered Wolves last weekend.
Among the highlights of the victory over Mick McCarthy’s side were the return to goalscoring form of Wayne Rooney and an incisive display of wingplay from Antonio Valencia. Both parties combined after just 52 seconds at Loftus Road to give United a dream start.
Having nicked possession, Valencia redirected the ball to Rooney and raced onto the striker’s headed return pass before arcing a magnificent cross into the path of the onrushing Rooney. Though the striker had to contend with the attentions of Rangers defender Matthew Connolly, he managed to fling himself and redirect the ball inside Cerny’s post to register United’s quickest goal of the season so far.