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Monday, Nov. 26, 2012

United rallies again to beat QPR, take top spot


LONDON — Manchester United provisionally reclaimed top spot in the Premier League by coming from behind to beat Queens Park Rangers 3-1 on Saturday as the bottom-place team failed to be galvanized by Harry Redknapp's arrival as manager.

News photo
Comeback kids: Man. United's Javier Hernandez celebrates his goal against QPR. AP

Jamie Mackie put QPR ahead at Old Trafford, where Redknapp was watching from the stands hours after replacing the fired Mark Hughes.

But the west London team failed to secure its first win of the season, with Jonny Evans equalizing before Darren Fletcher and Javier Hernandez scored.

"We played for 10 or 15 minutes," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "That was the sum total of our real performance from Manchester United. Of course it is frustrating we keep ending up in that position but when they scored it definitely sparked us up."

United is now two points ahead of Manchester City, but the defending champions were at Chelsea on Sunday.

West Bromwich Albion dislodged Chelsea from third by keeping up its flying start to the season with a 4-2 victory at Sunderland, but Arsenal is languishing in sixth place after a 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.

Everton is three points adrift of fourth-place Chelsea after being held to a 1-1 draw by Norwich.

At the Britannia Stadium, 11th-place Stoke earned a 1-0 victory over Fulham.

At Old Trafford, United halted a run of back-to-back losses, but like so often this season had to fight back from a losing position.

Seven minutes into the second half, Anders Lindegaard turned Kieron Dyer's low cross away from his goal and Mackie put the ball into the net from close range.

"It's not great," Fletcher said. "The only positive is we keep coming back — we cannot allow it to keep happening."

The game turned in United's favor only after Paul Scholes and Ashley Young were replaced by Anderson and Hernandez.

It was defender Evans, though, who equalized. The Northern Ireland international nodded Danny Welbeck's header from Wayne Rooney's corner into the net in the 64th to claim his third goal of the season.

Four minutes later, Fletcher scored his first league goal since recovering from a chronic bowel complaint that threatened his career.

Hernandez claimed his ninth of the season before United defender Rafael da Silva cleared Clint Hill's header off the line.

"I would tell the fans: 'Don't lose faith', "said QPR coach Mark Bowen, who temporarily took charge of the team as Redknapp watched from the directors' box. "The quality is there but everything is conspiring against us at the moment. It's individual errors which are costing us rather than team errors."

Miyaichi out with injury


WIGAN, England — Wigan Athletic forward Ryo Miyaichi will be sidelined for up to six weeks with an ankle injury, Latics boss Roberto Martinez said Saturday.

Martinez said that the 19-year-old winger had sprained his right ankle and would not be able to play for between four and six weeks.

Miyaichi, who had only just returned from a spell out with a groin strain in last week's 3-0 defeat to Liverpool, was left out of the squad for Saturday's 3-2 win over Reading after hurting the ankle in training.

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