Goal of the Day: Fletcher’s return v QPR

Sunday 24 November 2019 07:00

Date: 24 November 2012, Premier League
Background: United were locked in conflict with Manchester City for the Premier League crown, with our rivals one point clear at the top of the table. A win for the Reds would restore our place at the summit, albeit ceding a game in hand. But the bigger immediate story for United fans was the name ‘Darren Fletcher’ appearing in a Premier League starting XI for the first time in just over a year. Fletch was battling the ongoing stomach condition ulcerative colitis, and having been reintroduced to the team in the League Cup and Europe earlier in the campaign, he was now ready for a league return.
The goal: QPR had taken the lead seven minutes after half-time through Jamie Mackie and, wth a response required, Jonny Evans equalised following a corner on 64 minutes. Shortly afterwards, from another Wayne Rooney corner Fletcher went in bravely among the heads and nodded home from six yards. It was a goal that was celebrated passionately on the pitch – and which got a booming cheer around Old Trafford when announced on the tannoy.
What happened next: Javier Hernandez added another to finish that match, and the Reds ultimately finished the slugging match with City to reclaim the title. Fletch spent two further seasons at United before moving on to West Bromwich Albion after amassing 342 Reds appearances.

Reaction: "Darren Fletcher has had a long journey back and he has showed he is back to his best," said Sir Alex Ferguson.