Manchester United recorded only their third away win in the Premier League this season away at struggling Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. True to form, it wasn't pretty. Only a fine second half strike from substitute Marouane Fellaini separated the sides until a last-gasp second from James Wilson, courtesy of some more peculiar tactics from Louis van Gaal.
United struggled to keep a hold of the ball early on, instead opting to hit it long out of defence at the earliest opportunity. Considering the attack consisted of Radamel Falcao, Ángel Di María and Juan Mata, it was a pretty strange strategy. The result was that the Reds lost the ball almost as quickly as they won it back, and QPR were quite content to defend aerial balls punted towards their goal. That said, United did have the best chance of the first half, when an exquisite chipped pass by Mata found Falcao's boot, though his effort was blocked by a diving Rob Green.
United's pressing was poor, and QPR twice took advantage of a big gap between the midfield and defence after 20 minutes, though David de Gea was on hand to deny two spectacular efforts from Charlie Austin. "Four four two" were the chants of the away crowd at the break, willing van Gaal to change things up.
Things didn't look much better into the second half, though within 15 minutes United had the lead. A low ball from Antonio Valencia was teed up and volleyed home by Fellaini, who had been thrown on in place of Mata at the break.
After the opener, the game's tempo and tension began to drop, though QPR almost equalised after a calamitous mix-up between Marcos Rojo and Michael Carrick in the final 20 minutes. Fortunately striker Eduardo Vargas hesitated when sent through on goal, and allowed the United back line to recover.
The Reds should've finally killed the game moments later, though after James Wilson scampered down the right and laid on what looked like a perfect assist for Falcao, the Colombian missed the ball completely. Replays, however, showed a defender getting a crucial, tiny touch as the ball was drilled across the box. Fortunately for United, it didn't come back to haunt them, with Wilson sealing the victory with his first goal of the season in the dying moments.