Match Report: Harry's game swept aside by Manchester United's storm

Manchester United 3 QPR 1: Queens Park Rangers' new manager sees a flicker of hope before a quickfire three-goal burst from United gives a reality check and lays bare the scope of the task facing him

It said: "Manager – Harry Redknapp" on the team sheet and the man and his overcoat also graced the directors' box. For a brief time yesterday, that seemed to be quite enough for his Midas touch to do its work.

The Queens Park Rangers fans have seen too much to imagine that Redknapp is going to arrive and whisk them away on a magic carpet ride, though. "How shit must you be, we're winning away," they sang, after Jamie Mackie put their side ahead. Mike Rigg, the technical director installed by Redknapp's predecessor Mark Hughes, wore a haunted look then too, even as the goal brought him to his feet.

It was a mere 12 minutes later that Redknapp, hunkered up against the rain in his seat between Rangers chief executive Phil Beard and shareholder Kamarundin Bin Meranun, witnessed the size of the challenge. Three Manchester United goals in the space of seven minutes revealed the brittleness of a defence which Hughes had worried about ever since the personal terms demanded by Michael Dawson saw his move from Tottenham Hotspur break down this summer. It is rotten to the core.

Redknapp, who did not speak to the players or caretaker manager Mark Bowen before the game, warned after his two-and-a-half-year contract at Loftus Road was announced yesterday morning that the players were to blame for this predicament. "They have not performed to their potential," he said. "They have to be at it. The buck stops with them," he said.

He will bring in Kevin Bond, Joe Jordan and goalkeeping coach David Coles to help him secure the £1million survival bonus. One of Hughes' Welsh triumvirate of Bowen, Eddie Niedzwiecki and Rigg may get the option to stay – most likely Rigg, who could have a role in the overhaul of the club infrastructure which Team Hughes felt was 30 years out of date. It is almost certainly goodbye for Bowen. "Harry will have his way of doing things. There will be no gripes," the Welshman said last night. "Whatever will be will be."

But scoring goals and keeping them out are the issue for Rangers now and solutions will cost. "I didn't say I wanted money to spend. There are some good players here and we need to get them performing so come January we might not need too much," Redknapp declared but despite Rangers' initial heroics United only really played for those seven minutes – and still wafted them away. Redknapp has released Adel Taarabt once before – from Spurs, where he said that the player's unpredictability was giving Luca Modric a nervous breakdown, and he is unlikely to have felt much different on this evidence. Djibril Cissé won't have left a searing initial impression on the new boss, either. On the rare occasions that Rangers broke there were simply no options. Redknapp, who has Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora long-term injured, will be crying out for a workable striker. Expect him to go back to Spurs for Dawson.

Bowen provided a sense of what the future holds when he dispensed with the flair players Hughes has lavished funds on and opted for dependability by selecting Shaun Derry, Clint Hill and Mackie in his starting line-up. "Today's team was my choice," Bowen said. "It's difficult because we've brought a lot of players into the club and they have got talents but some have wanted for the intensity and desire needed in the Premier League. Today I wanted players who maybe have more knowledge of the League."

Hill impressed and there was also another performance of note from Ryan Nelsen, from whom Hughes expected little when offering him a one-year contract, but who has been one of the few pleasant surprises. Redknapp and Bond know a lot about Nelsen, who was contemplating a move to the United States or his New Zealand homeland when he was being offloaded by Blackburn Rovers, who paid Spurs to take him last season. Nelsen illustrates how Redknapp will import an eye for players are truly up to the Premier League.

Redknapp's midas touch is not quite as golden as it might seem. His Southampton side were relegated when he inherited the 18th placed side in December 2004 and though he kept Portsmouth up twice after taking over mid-season, the club dropped two places before the end of 2001-02 season and rose only one place in 2005-06. It was at Tottenham – 20th when he arrived in October 2008 but eight by the end of the 2008-09 season – that he made his reputation as a saviour. The game was 84 minutes old and out of sight when he rose from his seat, turned up his collar against the teeming rain and left the bleak arena, considerably more aware of the task in hand.

Manchester Utd (4-4-1-1): Lindegaard; Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Young (Anderson, 59), Scholes (Hernandez, 59), Fletcher, Rooney; Van Persie; Welbeck.

QPR (4-4-2): Julio César; Traoré (Ferdinand, 61), Nelsen, Hill, Derry; Dyer, Taarabt (Hoilett, 73), Faurlin (Granero, 84), Mbia; Cissé, Mackie.

Referee: Lee Probert

Man of the match: Anderson (Man Utd)

Match rating: 6/10

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
Voices
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959
voicesWard committed no crime, and the truth is still being covered up, writes Geoffrey Robertson QC
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were
News
people

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Mark Wright
tvStrictly goes head-to-head with Apprentice
Sport
footballPremier League preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's clashes
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas