What the papers say

  • Last Updated: November 29 2012, 7:26 GMT

A look at what is making the back-page headlines in todays national newspapers:

Roy Hodgson: Would settle for the play-offs

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THE TIMES

Manchester United and Manchester City tightened their grip at the top of the Barclays Premier League last night as West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea, their closest pursuers, slipped up. Also: At least they waited to see the game first, but still the boos flowed for Chelsea and for Rafael Benitez at the final whistle last night.

DAILY TELEGRAPH

Chelsea fans staged a silent protest over the controversial regime change in the dug-out. The poor quality of football on display was also enough to turn the most voluble of home supporters mute at the Bridge. Also: On a night when Old Trafford appeared more interested in wallowing in nostalgia for Eric Cantona, Robin van Persie gave further evidence of his modern-day status as Manchester United's talisman by securing an uninspiring victory against West Ham.

THE GUARDIAN

There was no thunderous booing for Rafael Benitez to endure before kick-off here, but acceptance into new surroundings must still feel like a pipe-dream. Also: Queens Park Rangers are ready to offer Darren Bent an escape route out of Aston Villa, with Harry Redknapp confident he can patch up his differences with the striker he fell out with a Tottenham Hotspur when he accused the England international of missing a chance "my missus could have scored".

THE SUN

Rafa Benitez got another frosty reception at Stamford Bridge as owner Roman Abramovich saw Chelsea struggle again. Also: Robin van Persie hit the fastest Premier League goal of the season to keep Manchester United top.

DAILY MIRROR

Robin van Persie scored the fastest goal of the season as Manchester United turned the screw at the top of the table. Also: Mario Balotelli took centre stage to rescue Manchester City from an embarrassing upset.

DAILY MAIL

Referee Mark Clattenburg stepped straight into controversy as he made his Premier League return in Southampton's 1-1 home draw with Norwich last night. Also: Roy Hodgson has made the surprising admission he would settle for a place in the play-offs after a stuttering start to England's World Cup qualifying campaign.

THE INDEPENDENT

At times the game last night was so forgettable that even the militants at Stamford Bridge seemed to have slipped into a daze in which they had forgotten that Roberto Di Matteo had been sacked and Rafael Benitez installed as his successor. Also: Ryan Nelsen believes the appointment of Harry Redknapp as manager will galvanise Queen's Park Rangers as the club look to avoid relegation.

DAILY EXPRESS

Robin van Persie scored the quickest goal in the Premier League this season to give Manchester United victory over West Ham. Also: Ashley Giles can prove himself a worthy successor to Andy Flower in his role as limited-overs coach, according to the England bosses who announced his appointment yesterday.

DAILY STAR

Robin van Persie kept Manchester United on top of the Premier League last night. Also: Stoke piled more pressure on under-fire Newcastle boss Alan Pardew last night.


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