United stroll past listless QPR

United stroll past listless QPR

Rooney, Carrick strike for champions; Wigan Athletic hold Chelsea

The England striker grabbed his 12th league goal of the season with a diving header off a cross from Antonio Valencia on a bright but bitterly cold afternoon at the smallest ground in the top flight.

Michael Carrick made it 2-0 in the 56th after seizing a sloppy Joey Barton pass in midfield, setting off down the pitch and unleashing a shot from the edge of the box that Czech keeper Radek Cerny could not keep out despite getting a hand to.
United have 39 points from 16 games, a point and a game more than neighbours City.

Rooney’s goal was the third fastest of the season so far and United could have made it 2-0 after just three minutes against promoted opponents who last beat them back in the old first division in 1992.

Danny Welbeck also had the ball in the net after 24 minutes but was ruled offside and Cerny made two crucial saves in the space of three minutes to keep his side in the game.  QPR had a good chance to equalise just before the break when Jay Bothroyd swept in a low cross that was just too quick for Jamie Mackie to get a toe to at full stretch.  Carrick’s goal ended a 70 match drought for the England midfielder, nearly two years on from his last for United in the Premier League.

Mexican striker Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez returned to action, barely two weeks after an ankle injury that was expected to keep him out for up to four weeks, as a second half substitute for Welbeck.

Chelsea stumble
High-flying Chelsea stumbled in the title race when a rare mistake by goalkeeper Petr Cech cost them a late goal in a 1-1 draw at lowly Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

Chelsea, who had won their last three league matches and inflicted a first defeat of the season on leaders Manchester City on Monday, looked to be heading for another win after a superb 59th minute goal by Daniel Sturridge, but Jordi Gomez capitalised on Cech's error to score for the home side in the 88th minute.

The result extended Wigan's recent revival after a run of eight successive defeats.
In earlier games on Saturday, the two clubs below Wigan both lost.

Bottom-placed Bolton Wanderers went down to a fifth successive defeat, losing 2-0 at Fulham, while Blackburn Rovers, one off the bottom, lost 2-1 at home to West Bromwich Albion.

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