Anderson and Javier Hernandez celebrate Manchester United's winning goal.
Manchester United climbed off the canvas once again on Saturday, overcoming a single goal deficit to record a 3-1 win against QPR in the Barclays Premier League.
The Reds dominated much of the match but lacked urgency in the final third, only sparking into life when the Hoops took a surprise lead through Jamie Mackie on 52 minutes.
Thankfully, Jonny Evans netted an equalizer 11 minutes later before Darren Fletcher put United ahead with a powerful header from Wayne Rooney’s fine corner.
Super-sub Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez then slotted home the winning goal, latching onto Anderson’s brilliant pass to wrap up a fine second half performance.
Here, I assess the individual performances of Sir Alex Ferguson’s starting XI and three substitutions at the Theatre of Dreams.
Anders Lindegaard: The Danish goalkeeper, preferred to David De Gea, endured one of his quietest shifts for United and could have done little to prevent Mackie’s opening goal. A couple of his clearances were questionable, but overall this was a competent display. (6/10)
Rafael: Typically ambitious, the Brazilian right-back put in a solid shift but was perhaps hampered by not playing behind Antonio Valencia, who missed out due to a hip injury. (7/10)
Rio Ferdinand: United’s veteran was caught napping on several occasions, most notably when slipping whilst in possession on the edge of his own area to gift QPR a scoring opportunity. The 34-year-old showed excellent composure when controlling one of Lindegaard’s skied clearances. (6/10)
Jonny Evans: Notably commanding after United fell behind, Evans continues to win over his doubters with another fine performance. The Northern Irishman even got on the score sheet, nodding home in the second half to bag his third goal of the season. (8/10)
Patrice Evra: The French left-back was hardly troubled by QPR’s forwards and did well to progress past the halfway line on several occasions in spite of not having a disciplined winger ahead of him. (7/10)
Ashley Young: Although it wasn’t his worst performance, the England international struggled to find any consistency or quality in the final third, misplacing several passes or failing to beat the first defender when crossing. He was replaced for Anderson in the second half. (6/10)
Paul Scholes: United’s midfield pass-master didn’t enjoy his finest outing at the Theatre of Dreams and looked a little out of place at times, though in all honesty, his bottom level remains as good as most Premier League players. Was yellow carded before exiting for Chicharito. (6/10)
Darren Fletcher: Starting his first Premier League match in over a year, the Scotland captain was dynamic at times and showed good composure on the ball. The returning midfielder also scored an excellent goal, heading in from Wayne Rooney’s fine corner. (8/10)
Danny Welbeck: As has become a theme this season, Welbeck was forced to play a wider role as Robin van Persie partnered Wayne Rooney up front. As a result, he struggled to get a sight on goal, but did provide several chances for his team-mates with some positive approach play. (6/10)
Wayne Rooney: United’s talismanic striker provided the cross from which Fletcher headed the Reds into the lead and will have been pleased with an energetic, if not slightly inconsistent, display on Saturday. Also saw a couple of shots blocked from close-range. (7/10)
Robin van Persie: After a flying start to the season, the Dutchman has stuttered somewhat in recent weeks and has not scored since netting against Braga in the UEFA Champions League. Despite this, RvP was unlucky not to find the net on several occasions and won’t be too disappointed. (6/10)
Substitution - Anderson: The Brazilian midfielder was the star of the show after replacing Young in the second half. His urgency, directness and willingness to run straight at QPR was a refreshing addition to United’s play, and his pass for Chicharito was sublime. (8/10)
Substitution - Javier Hernandez: The Mexican continues to cement his role as United’s super-sub with another fine outing off the bench after replacing Scholes in the second half. Chicharito, as he’s also known, showed great awareness and composure to slot past the helpless Julio Cesar. (7/10)
Substitution - Nick Powell: The 18-year-old summer signing from Crewe made his second Premier League appearance of the season, coming on for Welbeck with time running out at Old Trafford. Predictably, the midfielder showed a couple of nice touches and enjoyed a decent run out. (6/10)