A ten-minute spell from Manchester United was enough to consign QPR to defeat at Old Trafford.
For the first half, United were largely insipid with Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney both playing well below themselves. QPR were defending deep and packing men behind the ball, and without inspiration from their key men, United struggled. Their best chance came when Van Persie was dispossessed trying to work space in the area only for Paul Scholes to make a trademark run onto the loose ball, but a heroic challenge from Shaun Derry kept QPR alive.
Shortly afterwards, Van Persie was involved again, with Danny Welbeck showing a rare glimpse of effectiveness down the left flank to cut the ball back into his path, but the Dutch striker could only find the side netting. It was United's best spell of a half which was mostly one of frustration, and they were left ruing their poor finishing for a third time after an ingenious disguised pass from Paul Scholes found Ashley Young, who blazed wide.
After a Jamie Mackie header was rightly ruled out for offside, the half drew to a close inside a flat Old Trafford, with United typical of their performances all season - disjointed, careless, but occasionally looking dangerous when they could string passes together. It continued in much the same way after the break, until Kieron Dyer, making a shock start for the visitors, fired a shot which Anders Lindegaard could only parry, leaving Jamie Mackie with a simple tap-in.
United, however, have come from behind to win 8 games already this season, and the goal only seemed to spark them into life. Through sheer force of will, the equaliser came soon afterwards, United showing their strange ability to pose a considerable threat from corners - at odds with recent years - as Wayne Rooney's delivery was headed down by Danny Welbeck for Jonny Evans to force home from close range.
That revealed the main problem with Queens Park Rangers: their mentality. It was a fairly fortunate goal for United, perhaps even undeserved, but the R's soon retreated inside their own area and a winner for the hosts began to look inevitable. They were not waiting long - Darren Fletcher sealing his return to fitness with a header from another Wayne Rooney corner to put the Red Devils in the lead.
QPR had completely fallen apart, and United's dominance in the period was given further gloss by Javier Hernandez, the impressive Anderson charging through the middle of the pitch to release the Mexican, who finished smartly past Julio Cesar. It was a late flurry which put United in the driving seat, and at odds with their play for the rest of the game. It remains to be seen whether Anderson will be in line for a starting berth soon, but he has frequently appeared to be United's best midfielder this season, a view that today's performance will only back up.
Redknapp's work is certainly cut out for him, but he may have seen that his new club have enough about them to keep themselves up if basic errors can be ironed out. United once again ran the risk of showing what happens to a club that seem to lack identity or direction, but once again showed they have the reserves to dig themselves out of a hole when they need to. Today proved two things we already know - that they are a deeply flawed side, and that they will be right in the title picture at the end of the season.