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Rooney and Scholes take United eight clear in chase

Manchester United's stellar array of talent should require no favours in their quest for a 20th championship that is starting to appear a coronation. Dominant forces | 2011/12 season: crucial points

sports Updated: Apr 09, 2012 01:30 IST
The Guardian & Agencies
The Guardian & Agencies

Manchester United's stellar array of talent should require no favours in their quest for a 20th championship that is starting to appear a coronation.

This was what occurred on 14 minutes when they were gifted a penalty from Lee Mason, the referee, and his assistant Ceri Richards, who enhanced the sense that everything is turning for Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

Wayne Rooney threaded a ball into the Queens Park Rangers area where Ashley Young, feeling a hand placed upon him by Shaun Derry, went down as if wearing Tom Daley's trunks.

The argument will go that Derry should not have touched Young, who will reject any suggestion of a dive, and that Mason was correct to point to the spot and show Derry the red card, the costly seventh of QPR's relegation-haunted season.

Yet the sending off of the visitors' captain made it a triple whammy of suspect officiating as Richards, perfectly in place, had failed to spot Young was a few feet offside: if he had blown, Mark Hughes's side would have been punting the free-kick away instead of restarting 1-0 and a man down after Rooney's confident slotting of the penalty to Paddy Kenny's right.

This killed home nerves and any optimism Manchester City might have had that QPR could get the result that would place the destiny of the title destiny back in their hands as they kicked off later at Arsenal.

Before and after the Derry sending-off United dominated, each half a game of attack versus defence that featured Paul Scholes spraying passes to a colleague at will. It was the ginger maestro who doubled United's advantage on 68 minutes. Adel Taarabt's miscontrol allowed Rafael da Silva to feed Scholes and his 25-yard bullet beat Kenny to his right.

Michael Carrick crashed a late effort off the post but the abiding memory will be of Young being booed every time he touched the ball by the visiting support. They had a case.

QPR will appeal Derry red, says Bruce
Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes said the club would appeal against a controversial red card awarded to captain Shaun Derry against Manchester United on Sunday.

He also criticised United winger Ashley Young for going down too easily in the incident that led to the dismissal during the 2-0 loss at Old Trafford.

Hughes, a former United favourite who won two League titles during two spells at Old Trafford, said he hoped the appeal would be upheld and Derry would be eligible to play for QPR against Swansea City at Loftus Road on Wednesday.

"We'll obviously appeal that and hopefully get that overturned by Wednesday. We can ill-afford to have any more out," he said after Rangers seventh red card of the season.

QPR are already without striker Djibril Cisse, serving a suspension after his second sending off of the season against Sunderland last month. "I think everybody understood that the boy (Young) was offside and that there was minimal contact."

Dominant forces | 2011/12 season: crucial points

First Published: Apr 09, 2012 00:22 IST