English Premiership

Newcastle face nervous wait

2015-05-16 19:21
Chris Ramsey (AFP)

London - Newcastle's fight to stay in the Premier League will go down to a tense final day after already-relegated QPR fought back to claim a 2-1 victory courtesy of Leroy Fer's stunning winner on Saturday.

An anxious climax to a miserable campaign now awaits John Carver's beleaguered Magpies next weekend after his team failed to take advantage of third bottom Hull's defeat at Tottenham.

Newcastle remain just two points clear of the Tigers and, seven goals better off, victory for Steve Bruce's side over Manchester United next weekend would leave the Magpies needing to beat West Ham at home to be absolutely certain of survival.

They had led at Loftus Road courtesy of Frenchman Emmanuel Riviere's first league goal at the 22nd attempt, yet the inadequacies which have blighted the north-east club of late subsequently resurfaced.

Chris Ramsey's team responded with two second-half goals in seven minutes, with Matty Phillips and Fer restoring some pride following last weekend's humiliating thrashing by Manchester City which confirmed their relegation.

That the first half proved to be a sub-standard affair came as no great surprise considering the dismal seasons endured by both clubs.

Chances were at a premium in what was a scrappy contest, yet Hoops goalkeeper Rob Green was called into action early on to thwart Ayoze Perez after Clint Hill's wayward header had threatened to let in the Magpies player.

Remy Cabella spurned a half-chance when he fired feebly at Green after cutting inside and frustration began to mount among the visiting supporters, who chanted "Attack, attack!" from the stands.

By the 24th minute they were celebrating, though, as Riviere finally ended his personal barren run.

Much of the credit belonged to goalkeeper Tim Krul for his assist as he spotted the run of Riviere with a sweet pass and the Frenchman got the wrong side of Steven Caulker before scuffing a shot beyond Green.

It was a first goal in 558 minutes away from St James' Park for the Magpies.

QPR were forced into a substitution before half-time when Green took an accidental blow to the head from his team-mate Joey Barton's knee as they both attempted to scramble the ball to safety.

His place was taken by Alex McCarthy in what represented only a second Premier League appearance for QPR for the goalkeeper since his arrival from Reading last year.

He proved a capable deputy in added time, however, when he showed fine agility to turn Fabricio Coloccini's close-range header around the post.

Ramsey rolled the dice by making his remaining changes at half-time, introducing Yun suk-Young and 18-year-old Reece Grego-Cox for Steven Caulker and Junior Hoilett.

Suddenly, there was some purpose about his team with Paul Dummett denying Phillips a certain goal with a block on the line and Charlie Austin also threatening.

Newcastle failed to heed the warning and 10 minutes after the restart QPR got the equaliser their improvement deserved as Phillips rose above Janmaat at the far post to head home Austin's pinpoint delivery.

The comeback was complete seven minutes later as QPR demonstrated the sort of intensity and fight which has been woefully absent from their game too often this term.

Phillips showed commendable desire as he slid in to beat Ryan Taylor to a ball he had no right to win before feeding Fer, who unleashed an explosive 25-yard strike which arrowed into the top corner.

"You're going down with the Rangers" were the cries from the suddenly-buoyant home supporters, whose team had exposed the frailties which have characterised Newcastle's slide down the table in recent months.

Moussa Sissoko came agonisingly close to an equaliser with eight minutes remaining only for his effort to slide just wide.

Clint Hill came to QPR's rescue with two minutes remaining with a stunning-last ditch block to deny substitute Papiss Cisse a precious leveller.

Read more on:    qpr  |  newcastle  |  english premiership  |  soccer

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