Post by Football News on May 16, 2015 16:18:37 GMT
QPR add to Newcastle’s relegation woes after Leroy Fer seals comeback
QPR 2 - 1 Newcastle
Matt Phillips 54 Leroy Fer 61
Emmanuel Riviere 24
Leroy Fer scores QPR's second goal against Newcastle United in the Premier League at Loftus Road
Newcastle United’s dreadful campaign will stagger anxiously into the final afternoon with their Premier League status still hanging by a thread. A tantalising opportunity to scramble clear of the condemned had presented itself here only for a second-half capitulation to haul them back towards trouble. Queens Park Rangers, a side already resigned to life in the second tier, had not mustered a home win since before Christmas. To lose in this arena, even after a season of such strife and discord, felt like a new nadir for the visitors to endure.
They must now beat West Ham United, under the stewardship of their former manager Sam Allardyce, at St James’ Park next Sunday to guarantee survival though, as a collective, they have long since forgotten what it feels like to conjure a victory. They have experienced it only once since January with one point from a possible 30 since telling its own story. John Carver cut a rather helpless figure on the bench watching his charges fluff their lines. One final afternoon of nerve-shredding tension awaits.
This had been dismal, a game utterly devoid of quality or composure, until Newcastle reminded themselves that QPR’s back-line are usually quite obliging. Clint Hill’s weak header back towards Rob Green had provided an early indication of that much, Ayoze Pérez ambling on to the ball only for the goalkeeper to choke his attempt. Yet, when Tim Krul battered down-field mid-way through the opening period, Steven Caulker was day dreaming in a ramshackle rearguard for Emmanuel Rivière to collect smartly at his back. The striker, alone in front of goal, appeared to slip as he shot with his right foot but the ball, struck firmly into the turf, still bounced over Green’s attempt to smother and in. It was the Frenchman’s first Premier League goal for the club on his 22nd appearance, and after 1,087 fruitless minutes, with his only previous rewards having come in a League Cup win at Crystal Palace in September.
In truth, the defending rather summed up QPR’s season. It was Newcastle’s first goal in 558 minutes of football away from Tyneside and at least served to spark them into life. Ryan Taylor fizzed a free-kick just wide and, when Moussa Sissoko muscled his way to the by-line and cut a centre across the six-yard box, Green was forced to dive in amongst bodies to claim. The goalkeeper was clattered by Joey Barton in that muddle with the head injury sustained - “blood trickled from a cut by his right eye -“ forcing him from the fray. His dazed wave to the home support may prove to have been a farewell.
The replacement, Alex McCarthy, had only previously played once in the league for Rangers since last summer’s move from Reading, but he reacted smartly to turn away Fabricio Coloccini’s close-range header after Daryl Janmaat’s shot had deflected into the centre-half’s path. The hosts were apparently becalmed, sleep-walking their way back to the Championship, with Caulker almost mercifully replaced at the interval. Yet any hopes Newcastle may have had for a comfortable afternoon’s work rather evaporated thereafter.
Chris Ramsey had required some urgency to back his claims to secure the managerial role on a permanent basis, and his team duly summoned a response. They were the more energetic in the period after the break, Reece Grego-Cox offering an injection of eager running to their front-line and allowing Leroy Fer to retreat into midfield. Charlie Austin, playing against one of the clubs who covet him, wriggled away from Coloccini and into space on the left side of the penalty before chipping a cross over Krul. Matt Phillips met the delivery, but his shot flicked from Paul Dummett and just wide. Yet the visitors did not learn and, moments later, that combination prised them apart again with Austin’s cross nodded in by Phillips, leaping above Janmaat, at the far post.
That brought the nerves flooding back, Newcastle suddenly panicked as opponents revelled in space. Even Krul was affected, his attempted clearance reaching only Phillips who was more committed in the tackle than Taylor. The ball was fed to Fer, 25 yards out, whose belted shot flew viciously beyond Krul and, in seven brutal minutes, Newcastle had been dragged back from safety to the cusp of the relegation zone. Sissoko dragged one late attempt wide of the far post, while Hill did well to block Papiss Cissé’s close-range shot, but the contest spluttered to its conclusion in a flurry of misplaced and jittery passes.