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Dublin: 14 °C Sunday 24 June, 2018


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WE’VE GOT FOUR 3pm games to keep you up-to-date with this afternoon.

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  • Sunderland 2-4 West Brom (result)
  • Everton 1-1 Norwich City
  • Manchester United 3-1 QPR
  • Stoke 1-0 Fulham
  • Wigan 3-2 Reading
  • Aston Villa v Arsenal (5.30pm)

Welcome along! We’ve already had an Irish scorer in England’s top tier today – Shane Long scored West Brom’s first as the Baggies secured a 4-2 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

We’re 15 minutes away from the beginning of four games and will focus on second-placed Manchester United playing bottom club QPR – who announced that Harry Redknapp as their manager this morning.

Redknapp will be in the stands at Old Trafford but you can bet that he will have had a word with his new group of players.

The team news is that game sees Darren Fletcher making his first start in over a year due to a bowel illness while Wayne Rooney also returns to the United line-up.

Manchester United: Lindegaard, Da Silva, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra, Young, Fletcher, Scholes, Rooney, Welbeck, van Persie. Subs: De Gea, Jones, Anderson, Smalling, Hernandez, Cleverley, Powell.

QPR: Julio Cesar, Hill, Nelsen, Mbia, Traore, Derry, Faurlin, Mackie, Taarabt, Dyer, Cisse. Subs: Green, Diakite, Ferdinand, Wright-Phillips, Granero, Ephraim, Hoilett.

Everton: Howard, Jagielka, Heitinga, Distin, Baines, Pienaar, Naismith, Hitzlsperger, Oviedo, Osman, Jelavic. Subs: Mucha, Hibbert, Gueye, Barkley, Vellios, Kennedy, Duffy.

Norwich: Ruddy, Whittaker, Bassong, Ryan Bennett, Garrido, Johnson, Tettey, Snodgrass, Hoolahan, Pilkington, Holt. Subs: Bunn, Howson, Jackson, Morison, Elliott Bennett, Barnett, Tierney.

Stoke: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Shotton, Walters, Nzonzi, Whelan, Etherington, Adam, Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, Palacios, Jones, Whitehead, Upson, Kightly, Jerome.

Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Hughes, Senderos, Riise, Baird, Sidwell, Karagounis, Dejagah, Berbatov, Petric. Subs: Etheridge, Kelly, Kasami, Duff, Diarra, Rodallega, Banya.

Wigan: Al Habsi, Boyce, Ramis, Figueroa, Stam, McCarthy, Jones, Beausejour, Gomez, Kone, Maloney. Subs: Pollitt, Di Santo, McManaman, McArthur, Boselli, Fyvie, Lopez.

Reading: Federici, Gunter, Morrison, Gorkss, Shorey, Robson-Kanu, Leigertwood, Tabb, McAnuff, Le Fondre, Roberts. Subs: Taylor, Mariappa, Pogrebnyak, Hunt, McCleary, Harte, Cummings.

Slight delay at Old Trafford meaning we’ll start around five minutes behind the other three fixtures. Forgotten man Kieron Dyer has been given a rare start in the Rs team by caretaker manager Mark Bowen.

United controlling the game in the opening minutes but QPR have won a corner when Rio Ferdinand slips before recovering to snuff out Jamie Mackie. That could’ve been an expense mistake.

GOAL! Everton 1-0 Norwich (Steven Naismith)

Bryan Oviedo makes a good run down the wing after a super ball from Thomas Hitzlsperger then sets up Scottish international Naismith, who shoots past John Ruddy from eight yards.

15 minutes in at Old Trafford and the home side haven’t yet managed to get their forward players involved. As  I type that, Rafael da Silva finds Van Persie, whose shot is blocked. It finds its way to the feet of Paul Scholes but he goes down under a challenge from Shaun Derry. There aren’t many appeals and referee Lee Probert waves play on.

Rooney charges down the left, slides a pass through to Welbeck and his cut-back is lashed into the sidenetting by RVP.

GOAL! Stoke 1-0 Fulham (Charlie Adam)

Ryan Shotton crosses for Peter Crouch and the Scottish midfielder has time plenty of time to put the Potters ahead.

Evra with an inviting cross towards Rooney but Clint Hill gets their first to head behind for a corner.

More chances for United. Rooney flicks up for Scholes but instead of having a pop on the volley, the veteran midfielder lays off to Young. He catches the strike cleanly but it lacks accuracy.

Jonny Evans has put in a timely tackle on Mackie after Scholes was dispossessed down the other end.

GOAL! Wigan 0-1 Reading (Sean Morrison)

The Royals defender scores against the run of play with a header. Wigan have dominated this one but saw their best chance, from Arouna Kone, cleared off the line by Nicky Shorey.

Julio Cesar has been called into action twice in quick succession – and both times it was from Wayne Rooney. The Rs then have the ball in the back of the net when Mackie heads home from Djibril Cisse’s cross but the linesman’s flag shoots up to signal offside.

Some silky foot work by Stephane Mbia wins QPR a corner off Evra. Not for the first time, Adel Taarabt’s delivery is poor and doesn’t beat the first man.

Ashley Young goes down under pressure from Hill and the two get involved in a heated discussion. The winger has earned himself a reputation for going over easily but the replay shows Hill did give his opponent a slight shove in the back.

Half-time: Manchester United 0-0 QPR

Taarabt gets a shot away but Anders Lindegaard is well behind it.

The other half-time scores are:

  • Everton 1-0 Norwich
  • Stoke 1-0 Fulham
  • Wigan 0-1 Reading

We’re back. No changes to either team but Alex Ferguson will no doubt be contemplating introducing the like of Javier Hernandez and Tom Cleverley if his current XI don’t get the fingers out.

Julio Cesar gets himself out of a spot of danger thanks to his quick feet when Rooney comes within inches of nicking the ball off him.

GOAL! Manchester United 0-1 QPR (Jamie Mackie)

Deary me, United find themselves behind for the umpteenth time this season but what makes this different is the fact that they’re playing the league’s basement side.

Dyer plays a one-two from a short corner and drills the ball across the box. Lindegaard gets a hand but Mackie reacts quickest to prod the ball home.

Taarabt with a free-kick from 20 yards. It’s over the wall… and over the bar.

GOAL! Wigan 1-1 Reading (Jordi Gomez)

Adam Federici makes a mess of Franco Di Santo square-ball and Spaniard Jordi Gomez levels for the Latics.

Substitutions ahoy. Fergie whips off Young and Scholes, with Hernandez and Anderson tasked with turning this one around.

GOAL! Manchester United 1-1 QPR (Jonny Evans)

They’ve equalised. Rooney’s corner is headed back across by Welbeck and Evans is hungriest to head over the line.

TRAP WATCH: He’s at Goodison Park to cast another eye over Wes Hoolahan and Anthony Pilkington, we’re told.

Manchester United 2-1 QPR (Darren Fletcher)

Carbon copy of their first goal. Corner from Rooney and Fletcher leaps highest to power past Cruz. Nice way to cap his first start in over a year.

GOAL! Wigan 2-1 Reading (Jordi Gomez)

Gomez adds his second to give Wigan a lead with a diving header from a Beausejour ball.

GOAL! Manchester United 3-1 QPR (Javier Hernandez)

Ferguson’s two substitutes combine for United’s third. The Brazilian midfielder runs from midfield and picks out his team-mate, whose finish is clinical.

GOAL! Wigan 2-2 Reading (Ali Al-Habsi o.g.)

Oof, Ali Al-Habsi… hold your head in shame. Wigan’s Omani goalkeeper catches a high ball under his crossbar but embarrassingly drops it into his own net.

Nick Powell has replaced Danny Welbeck for his second Premier League appearance. Ten minutes remain here.

United push for a fourth. Powell, Ferdinand and Hernandez all involved but Rio’s younger brother Anton, on as a sub, breaks up the attack.

Jamie Mackie has arguably been QPR’s best player today and his latest shot comes off the shin of Evans and loops over the bar.

‘Arry’s seen enough, meanwhile. He shakes a couple of hands and promptly departs.

GOAL! Everton 1-1 Norwich (Sebastien Bassong)

GOAL! Wigan 3-2 Reading (Jordi Gomez)

That’s the hat-trick and surely he’s clinched three points for Roberto Martinez’s side.

Full-time: Mancherster United 3-1 QPR

One last break for United. Anderson through the middle, finds RVP, who cuts in onto his left and has a shot deflected out.

And the final whistles have gone in the other games:

  • Everton 1-1 Norwich
  • Stoke 1-0 Fulham
  • Wigan 3-2 Reading

So United go behind after a lacklustre first half but mount a comeback after the break with the help of Javier Hernandez. It was a spirited display by the Rs and if they had shown the same kind of fight under Mark Hughes would not be in the predicament they find themselves in.

Wigan record a win after going a goal down thanks to Jordi Gomez’s hat-trick, Norwich leave it late to earn a point at Everton and Stoke move up to 11th after beating Fulham by a single goal.

Ireland’s Ciaran Clark and Enda Stevens start for Aston Villa, who face Arsenal in the late game so make sure to check back to find out how that one went.

About the author:

Ben Blake