Manchester United 3-1 QPR: 6 Things We Learned
Not for the first time this season, the Old Trafford faithful were made to sweat as their team had to come from behind to register a win over a QPR club currently in turmoil.
Goals from Jonny Evans, Darren Fletcher and Javier Hernandez succeeded in overturning a Jamie Mackie strike, as the London side's new manager, Harry Redknapp, could only watch on helplessly from the stands.
The victory restores the Red Devils' lead at the summit of the Premier League table, with Manchester City due to play tomorrow.
Here are six things we learned from the game.
Danny Welbeck Is Not a Winger
Paired with Ashley Young on the flanks for United, Danny Welbeck was far from impressive against QPR Saturday.
The Englishman toiled for the full 90 minutes, unable to ever really get a grip on the game from his wide position.
He is not a player capable of consistently beating his man one-on-one, nor is he a natural crosser of the ball.
With Nani's absence and Antonio Valencia's and Ashley Young's current lack of form, United's wide game is not looking particularly effective at present.
United Need a Defensive Midfielder Right Now
Sir Alex Ferguson tried something new in central midfield against QPR, pairing Paul Scholes with Darren Fletcher.
But once again, his partnership came up short, as both players struggled going forward and tracking back to help out the defence.
Darren Fletcher only improved once the Ginger Wizard was replaced on the hour mark, rather implying that he wasn't to blame for his team's woes.
Scholes has looked off the pace whenever he's featured this season, and he needs to improve quickly before he departs quietly into retirement and the night.
Anderson Proves a Big Difference
Though he only played a direct role in United's goal, Anderson's impact on the game cannot go unappreciated.
The Brazilian midfielder added a box-to-box impetus that was sorely needed in the game's early goings.
His powerful run and sublime assist for Hernandez's strike was a true highlight reel-worthy moment, showcasing all the positive aspects of his game.
If the home support were made to sweat for the first 60 minutes of the game, Anderson proved the metaphorical towel.
Sir Alex Should Not Be Praised
A day after a statue was erected in his honour outside the stadium, Sir Alex Ferguson's sideline moves made all the difference in the 3-1 win over QPR.
Commentators and pundits alike will hail the substitutions of Javier Hernandez and Anderson in the place of Scholes and Young as "genius," but should they have had to be made in the first place?
Any armchair fan is savvy enough to know that Welbeck on the wing and Scholes merely on the pitch isn't going to result in an easy day for United.
So why does the Scotsman persist in making such team selections and deny deserving players like Anderson and Nick Powell more game time in the Premier League?
Wayne Rooney Is United's MVP
Having spent a brief spell on the sidelines injured, Wayne Rooney's return to the United lineup was more than welcome off the back of two underwhelming defeats.
When he is not in the team, the Red Devils look uninspired and devoid of creativity.
Robin van Persie's goal-scoring exploits have been well documented, but the contribution that Rooney provides in the attacking midfield role is immeasurable.
He is United's most valuable player—pure and simple.
United Need to Build Momentum Before Big Derby
The Red Devils' upcoming schedule contains a number of, on paper at least, winnable fixtures that should stand the side in good stead heading into the busy winter period.
That is, with the exception of course, the momentous derby showdown with rivals Manchester City looming in two weeks' time.
Sir Alex's side will need to recover their form before then if they're to prevent bragging rights going to their noisy neighbours.
Games against West Ham and Reading in the meantime should provide a platform for such improvement.
What did you make of United's win? What lessons are there to be learned?