MANCHESTER, United Kingdom - A quick-fire three-goal salvo gave Manchester United a 3-1 win over Harry Redknapp's new club Queens Park Rangers yesterday that took them to the top of the Premier League table.
Incoming QPR manager Redknapp was present at Old Trafford, hours after his appointment as the successor to Mark Hughes was confirmed, and he saw his new charges take a shock lead in the 52nd minute.
Kieron Dyer's cross-shot from the left was palmed out by Anders Lindegaard and Jamie Mackie found the roof of the net from close range.After losing at Norwich City and Galatasaray in their last two outings, United were staring at the prospect of a third consecutive defeat, but three goals in the space of eight minutes saw them roar into the lead.
Jonny Evans headed in the equaliser from close range in the 64th minute and four minutes later, Darren Fletcher marked his first league appearance in over a year by scoring with a thumping header from Wayne Rooney's corner.
Substitute Javier Hernandez then beat QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar from Anderson's pass in the 72nd minute to kill the game off and lift Alex Ferguson's men two points above Manchester City at the summit.
"We only played for 10 minutes and those 10 minutes were brilliant. I thought Anderson changed the game for us," said Ferguson, who also praised Fletcher for battling to overcome a career-threatening bowel condition.
"The boy has had a long journey back and he has showed he is back to his best."
Aston Villa clambered out of the relegation zone at the expense of Reading after an uneventful 0-0 draw at home to Arsenal, who finished the day four points below the Champions League places in sixth position.
Everton were prevented from closing to within a point of fourth-place Chelsea as Sebastien Bassong netted a last-minute equaliser to earn Norwich a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.
Earlier, West Bromwich Albion continued their superb start to the season with a 4-2 win at Sunderland that took them up to third place.
Wigan Athletic prevailed 3-2 at home to fellow relegation contenders Reading after Jordi Gomez completed a hat-trick.