QPR 1 Newcastle 2

Hatem Ben Arfa

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

At Loftus Road



Queens Park Rangers 1 (Remy 11pen)

Newcastle United 2 (Ben Arfa 18pen, Gouffran 35)



Ten man Newcastle United secured their Barclays Premier League safety on Sunday with a 2-1 victory away at Queens Park Rangers.


The Magpies came from behind at Loftus Road to record only their second away league win of the season, with efforts from Hatem Ben Arfa  and Yoan Gouffran cancelling out Loic Remy's opener.


All the goals came in the first half, with an early penalty from Remy - awarded for a foul by Mathieu Debuchy on Junior Hoilett - quickly cancelled out by a Ben Arfa spot-kick at the other end.


Gouffran then took advantage of a defensive mix-up before the break and United looked solid after the break, even as they played the closing stages a man down following goalkeeper Rob Elliot's dismissal for a second booking.


And with results elsewhere going their way over the weekend, the victory took Newcastle up to 41 points and means they cannot be relegated.


Bobby Zamora fired the first warning shot in the seventh minute with a 20-yard free-kick which flew over the top, before Rangers were awarded a penalty just three minutes later.


Hoilett raced down the left and as he reached the edge of the area tumbled under the challenge of Debuchy. Much to the surprise of United's players, referee Lee Probert pointed straight at the spot and Remy duly sent Elliot the wrong way from the resulting penalty.


United hit back and only an outstanding last-ditch block from Bosingwa prevented Yohan Cabaye from getting his shot away inside the six-yard box as the Frenchman connected with Gouffran's centre.


However, as the hosts failed to clear their lines, Ben Arfa jinked into the penalty area, only to have his shirt tugged by Bosingwa, with Mr Probert immediately awarding another penalty. Ben Arfa stepped up and made no mistake, firing powerfully into the top corner.


The visitors were in the ascendency and Cisse saw a superb header from Debuchy's right-wing delivery fly into the top corner, only to be ruled out by an offside flag.


QPR still posed a threat with pace in the final third and keptnly an impressive parry from Elliot kept out Hoilett at his near post, having been teed up by Bobby Zamora.


But United edged in front ten minutes before the break after some calamitous defending from the hosts. Green rolled the ball out short to Bosingwa, and when the full-back underhit his pass back to the keeper, Jonas Gutierrez nipped in.


The Argentine deflected Green's clearance into the path of Gouffran, who rolled home a first-time strike into an empty net from 20 yards.


Queens Park Rangers made a double change at the break, replacing Bosingwa and Stephane Mbia with Fabio da Silva and Shaun Derry, and Hoilett came within inches of levelling things up just past the hour mark.


The former Blackburn man embarked on a mazy run which took him past at least three challenges on the edge of the box, before sending a low, angled drive agonisingly the wrong side of the upright.


But the visitors were soon back on the front foot and only a goalline clearance prevented Jonas Gutierrez from adding number three in the 70th minute.


Cabaye's left-wing corner was bundled goalwards by Mike Williamson, and as Rangers failed to clear their lines properly Gutierrez headed goalwards, with a combination of Green and Derry thwarting him.


The Magpies were reduced to ten men with time running out. Already booked earlier in the second half for kicking the ball away, Elliot stepped outside the edge of his area after claiming a through ball, and was promptly shown his second yellow card by Mr Probert.


Veteran stopper Steve Harper was introduced at the expense of Ben Arfa, but had little to do as United held firm to record a huge victory which means they will be once again playing Barclays Premier League football in the 2013/14 campaign.



Queens Park Rangers (4-4-2): Robert Green; Jose Bosingwa (Fabio da Silva 46), Nedum Onuoha, Clint Hill (c), Armand Traore; Andros Townsend, Jermaine Jenas, Stephane Mbia (Shaun Derry 46), Junior Hoilett (Adel Taarabt 84); Loic Remy, Bobby Zamora


Subs not used: Brian Murphy, Esteban Granero, Ji-Sung Park, Jamie Mackie



Newcastle United (4-3-3): Rob Elliot; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa; Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tiote (James Perch 52), Jonas Gutierrez; Hatem Ben Arfa (Steve Harper 82), Papiss Cisse, Yoan Gouffran (Gabriel Obertan 77)


Subs not used: Danny Simpson, Vurnon Anita, Sylvain Marveaux, Adam Campbell



Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)


Bookings: Queens Park Rangers - Mbia (37); Newcastle - Cabaye (11), Williamson (30), Elliot (68, 81)


Sending Offs: Queens Park Rangers - none; Newcastle - Elliot (81)


Attendance: 17,278 (1,608 Newcastle)

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