Newcastle face final-day fight

Date published: Saturday 16th May 2015 3:53

Hull’s defeat at Tottenham meant victory in west London could have guarantee the Magpies’ Premier League status for another season, but though Emmanuel Riviere put them ahead, they were undone by second-half goals from Matt Phillips and Leroy Fer.

John Carver’s side will now have to beat West Ham at home to ensure their safety, but if they fail to do so – and Hull manage to get the better of Manchester United at the KC Stadium – they will be relegated to the Championship.

QPR’s fate was sealed before today’s encounter, but Chris Ramsey will have boosted his chances of securing the permanent manager’s job at Loftus Road after a rousing second-half comeback from his side.

With little to play for, the R’s looked like they were bereft of enthusiasm early on, and it wasn’t long before the visitors took the lead.

Nothing seemed to be on as Krul launched a long kick upfield after 24 minutes, but the R’s backline simply watched the ball sail over their heads into the path of Riviere, who scuffed his shot over the onrushing Robert Green to score his first goal in over 18 hours of top flight football.

Green’s afternoon ended shortly after, following a collison with Joey Barton’s knee, with Alex McCarthy coming on to deputise.

The break could not come soon enough for Ramsey’s men as they struggled to create any real openings, Charlie Austin isolated up front.

But they appeared rejuvenated after the break and immediately Austin turned creator for Phillips, his goalbound effort deflected just wide by Jonas Gutierrez.

Phillips was not to be deterred, though, and equalised on 54 minutes when he rose highest to meet Austin’s cross.

The otherwise ineffective Remy Cabella went close down the other end almost immediately, but in a game of little quality, Fer provided a real bolt out of the blue to snatch the lead.

On 61 minutes, from 30 yards, Fer unleashed an unstoppable shot which beat Krul and gave the hosts a lead they never really looked like relinquishing.

Phillips went close to adding a third, but blazed over from close range, before substitute Papiss Cisse almost snatched an unlikely point at the death.

Fellow substitute Rolando Aarons twisted and turned to create space for Jack Colback to cross but Cisse’s prod at goal was deflected over by a despairing lunge from Clint Hill.

Cisse’s tame free-kick at the death summed up the Magpies’ recent plight, but they only have themselves to blame after their 10th match in a row without victory, and their fans will be put through it on the last day.

Paul Merson’s Soccer Saturday verdict

“They gave as much as they could Newcastle but I think they’re just so low on confidence.

“QPR’s defending in the first half was terrible but then Newcastle’s defending was terrible in the second half and it just changed. They didn’t need half time.”

Player ratings

QPR: Green (7), Onuoha (6), Caulker (5), Dunne (7), Hill (7), Phillips (8), Barton (6), Henry (5), Hoilett (5), Fer (8), Austin (8).

Subs:  McCarthy (7), Yun (6), Grego-Cox (7).

Newcastle: Krul (6), Janmaat (5), Coloccini (5), Dummett (5), Gutierrez (5), Colback (6), R.Taylor (6), Sissoko (5), Cabella (4), Perez (5), Riviere (5).

Subs: Cisse (7), Ameobi (5), Aarons (6).

Man of the match: Charlie Austin

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