Football

Manchester United player ratings vs QPR

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Substitutes Marouane Fellaini and James Wilson saved Manchester United at Loftus Road this afternoon as Louis van Gaal's side beat QPR by two goals.

In truth, United struggled throughout in west London, but just about held on to secure their first Premier League victory of 2015.

The returning Radamel Falcao came close in the early stages for the Red Devils but was denied by Rob Green at his front post as United attempted to dictate play from the start. Down the other end, David de Gea made a fine save from Charlie Austin as the Hoops finally made their mark on the match after 20 minutes.

10 minutes later, and De Gea kept out Austin again – this time tipping over a fine half-volley effort from the in-form English striker. Throughout the course of the first-half, United were wasteful in possession as they once again struggled to adapt to the 3-5-2 formation.

The second half saw Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini replace Spaniard Juan Mata, who endured a difficult opening half.  And United should have opened the scoring when Angel di Maria found the head of Falcao, who ultimately found Green in inspired form.

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Minutes later, however, as James Wilson replaced Jonny Evans and United reverted to 4-4-2, Van Gaal's side took the lead as Antonio Valencia found Fellaini, who smashed home from just inside the box.

QPR responded well and almost leveled after some confusion from Marcos Rojo and Michael Carrick. Falcao, meanwhile, could have put the game to bed minutes later, but incredibly missed the ball after being put in by Di Maria.

De Gea was called into action again late on but saved well as Harry Redknapp's side pressed for an equaliser. And, as the Hoops continued to attack in the dying minutes, United broke away in style as Di Maria found Wilson, who ultimately found the net at the second time of asking.

Starting XI 

De Gea: 7

Pulled off a fine save from Charlie Austin after 20 minutes, but pulled off an even better one from the same man 10 minutes later. Once again produced a solid display and kept calm as QPR pressed on towards the end of the game.

Valencia: 7

The Ecuadorian wide-man looked dangerous throughout down the right-hand side of the pitch, but often failed with his final ball in the first-half. 15 minutes into the second period, and Valencia was able to deliver as he found the feet of Fellaini, who handed United the lead.

Jones: 6

A quiet first-half, but raised a few eyebrows when taking a corner. Certainly looked more at home when United reverted to a 4-4-2 system.

Evans: 6

Solid enough game from the centre-back, who rarely looked troubled. Was replaced as Van Gaal changed the system before United's opening goal of the game.

Rojo: 6

Confusion with Carrick almost gifted QPR an equaliser, but looked strong at the back and dealt with Charlie Austin well.

Blind: 6

Had a steady game at left-back, but never really offered United much down the left-hand side of the pitch.

Carrick: 6

Once again produced a number of fine touches in the middle of the park, but was often left isolated as Rooney and Co. roamed forward. In need of a midfield partner on a consistent basis.

Rooney: 4

In truth, Rooney really struggled in the first-half as he failed to keep the ball. Probably should have had a penalty, though, when he was pulled down in the box. The second-half wasn't much better from the England captain and should have been booked.

Mata: 4

Struggled to get to grips with the game in the early minutes but almost assisted Radamel Falcao, who came close for United after 12 minutes. Difficult day for the Spaniard as he was booed throughout. Subbed at half-time.

Di Maria: 7

Once again slotting in behind the striker, Di Maria struggled to make any kind of impact in the first-half. The second half, however, was a different story for the Argentine as he started to create opportunities for the Red Devils.

Falcao: 4

Almost put United in front early on, but Green denied him at his front post. The QPR stopper denied the Colombian ace once again in the early stages of the second half as Green produced a remarkable save from a close range header. Had an incredible chance to score United's second but fluffed his lines from six yards. 

Subs:

Fellaini: 8

Changed the game at the start of the second half as his presence started to cause QPR problems. And it took him just 13 minutes to find the net as he hammered home in fine fashion from inside the box.

Wilson: 7

Looked sharp and offered United something different in attack after his arrival. And, as United broke away at the end, the youngster found the back of the net after seeing his first effort saved.

Herrera: N/A

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Manchester United

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