RANGERS travelled to Old Trafford on New Years Day 1992 with a view to nicking some points off title chasers Manchester United.
Teams: Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers
Date: Wednesday 1st January 1992.
Competition: Football League Division One
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester.
Rangers came into the game at Old Trafford off the back of a six match unbeaten run, including a useful point at home to the previous season`s runners up, Liverpool.
Dennis Bailey`s goal scoring exploits from the bench against Manchester City had earnt him a place in the starting eleven for the build up to a highly anticipated match.
His strike partner Roy Wegerle had also been enjoying a rich vain of form infront of goal, as two games in two games helped propel the American into the starting line-up.
United themselves had embarked on a nine game unbeaten run, which included an excellent draw away to rivals and title contenders Leeds United, keeping the title race poised perfectly going into the new year.
Forward Brian McClair was putting in some sterling performances up front for the Red Devils, bagging six goals in six games making him one of the hottest prospects in the division. The Scotsman bagged a brace in United`s 6-3 away win at Oldham Athletic.
Rangers opened the scoring to a shell-shocked Old Trafford early on, with Roy Wegerle`s mazy run down the right finding Simon Barker in space, who in turn fed the ball inside to Andy Sinton, and Sinton beat Schmeichel all ends up rolling the ball into the bottom right hand corner.
In front of the ITV cameras millions of viewers saw Rangers double the lead moments later as a throw in from the left found Andy Sinton, whose clever flick on found space for forward Dennis Bailey. Bailey shrugged off Clayton Blackmore with ease before sending in a powerful effort which Peter Schmeichel could only parry into his own net.
Five minutes gone and Rangers were rampant, 2 goals to the good against the Division`s leaders and looking comfortable for the advantage. Sinton was proving a real menace from midfield, picking passes at will with the United rearguard unable to curb his creativity.
Bailey had a glorious chance to double his tally, when fantastic vision saw him in space over the top, Peter Schmeichel came to claim the ball before Bailey sent a looping lob inches over the bar. Schmeichel then kept his side in the fixture making a point blank save from Roy Wegerle`s close effort, but linesman Mike Riley ruled the effort offside.
Alex Ferguson had evidently fired his side up during the break as the Red Devils came out envigorated, with Mark Hughes the lynchpin for many attacks. You could never count off the counter-attacking prowess of QPR however, as Sinton drew another save from Schmeichel.
Dennis Bailey epitomised this threat as he burst through the United defence to send a delightful little chip over Schmeichel for his second and Rangers third. It was a move cunning in its simplicity as his direct running carved a gaping hold in the United rearguard to hand Bailey a brace.
Manchester United are always a threat especially on home soil as they pulled a goal back courtesy of Brian McClair, substitute Ryan Giggs` cross found Mark Hughes, and McClair stode onto the ball to fire through the fingertips of Jan Stejskal.
Rangers rounded off the scoring moments later as a mix up between Clayton Blackmore and former Rangers defender Paul Parker saw Andy Sinton sprint away with the ball down the left. His angled drive was tipped onto the post by Schmeichel, but Bailey was on hand for one of the easiest goals of his career, earning him the match ball.
The R`s should have had five after some inspired play by Dennis Bailey as he gave Steve Bruce the run around before squaring for Roy Wegerle, but his finish was lacking. And with that the R`s had performed one of the biggest upsets in Premier League history with many saying this was one of the contributing factors which enabled Leeds to be crowned the final Champions of the Division One crown.
Rangers had completed their first win in Manchester by a convincing margain, inflicting United`s most heavy defeat on home soil since 1978. United ended up finishing runners up to the aforementioned Leeds United, while QPR finished a respectable 12th, but the season will always be remembered by this remarkable result.
Final Score: Manchester United 1-4 Queens Park Rangers
QPR: Stejskal, Bardsley, Wilson, Wilkins, Peacock, McDonald, Holloway, Barker, Bailey, Wegerle, Sinton.
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