United suffer 3-0 defeat at Loftus Road...
QPR 3 (Onuoha 4, Chery pen 73), UNITED 0 (12pm kick-off, Loftus Road)
QPR team: Smithies, Bidwell, Hall, Onuoha, Caulker, Chery (Perch 87), Gladwin (Cousins 56), Henry, Luongo, Shodipo (El Khayati 68), Polter. Subs: Ingram, Lynch, Kpekawa, Washington.
United team: Green, Berardi (Coyle 22), Bamba, Bartley, Taylor, Diagouraga, Vieira, Grimes (Antonsson 61), Dallas, Roofe (Sacko 75), Wood. Subs: Turnbull, Cooper, Phillips, Mowatt.
Booked: Gladwin, Bidwell (QPR), Grimes (United)
Attendance: 16,764 (3,213 United)
United’s 2016/17 campaign got underway with a humbling 3-0 defeat away to Queens Park Rangers on Sunday afternoon.
Garry Monk handed full league debuts to five players at Loftus Road, with summer signings Robert Green, Kyle Bartley, Matt Grimes and Kemar Roofe all named in the starting line-up alongside youngster Ronaldo Vieira.
The game could hardly have started in a worse manner for United, though, who fell behind after just four minutes after failing to deal with a Rangers corner which Nedum Onuoha was able to scramble into the back of the net after a mix-up inside the area.
United looked to respond and their first attack of the afternoon culminated with Roofe heading wide following a right-wing corner from Gaetano Berardi, but the hosts soon started to assert their dominance and Onuoha passed up a good opportunity to double the advantage as he smashed over on the half-volley after Green had palmed a cross into his path.
Berardi, who missed the entirety of United’s pre-season schedule through injury, made way for young full-back Lewie Coyle after just 22 minutes in what appeared to be a precautionary move from Monk.
Ben Gladwin then drilled over for the hosts before QPR were denied by the woodwork in bizarre circumstances, with Vieira’s clearance cannoning against Tjaronn Chery and against the far post.
And the same post stood in their way just eight minutes later – this time Sebastian Polter coming close to making it two with a low strike following a swift break up-field.
United’s best chance of the opening 45 minutes came on the stroke of half-time, but Stuart Dallas’ half-volley from inside the area always looked to be rising after the ball had fallen into his path following a Charlie Taylor cross.
Both sides re-emerged from the break unchanged and United began to show signs of improvement during the early stages of the second half, with Grimes the first to threaten as his long-range free-kick brushed the roof of the net on its way behind.
Chris Wood then drilled into the wall from a similar distance moments later before Coyle saw his strike deflected behind after cutting inside and Sol Bamba was unable to turn the resulting corner from Dallas goalwards.
Roofe was crowded out by defenders after surging into the area as the game approached the hour mark, but QPR started to retake control of proceedings as Chery’s deflected effort flew wide before Green was forced to beat away a near-post strike from the midfielder.
And the hosts were able to double their advantage on the 73rd minute as Chery converted from the penalty spot following a Vieira foul.
United went in search of a route back into the game and substitute Marcus Antonsson came close to doing so, guiding the ball agonisingly beyond the far post after escaping the offside trap to race through on goal.
The Swede then smashed a half-volley over the bar in stoppage time but Rangers went up the opposite end in the final of four additional minutes to wrap things up through Polter’s powerful strike from a tight angle.