QPR 2 Newcastle 1

Emmanuel Riviere

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

At Loftus Road



Queens Park Rangers 1 (Phillips 54, Fer 61)

Newcastle United 1 (Riviere 24)



Emmanuel Riviere scored his third goal of the season but Newcastle United suffered a 2-1 defeat at already-relegated Queens Park Rangers in the Barclays Premier League.


The French forward, who arrived from Monaco last summer, broke the deadlock midway through the first period at Loftus Road but Rangers hit back after the break as two goals in seven minutes from Matt Phillips and Leroy Fer turned the game on its head.


With 24 minutes played, Riviere latched on to goalkeeper Tim Krul's long ball before finishing past Rob Green - his first top flight goal


Ryan Taylor and captain Fabricio Coloccini threatened to double their tally and they were made to pay early in the second half by a resurgent R's side.


First, Phillips atoned for missing a sitter by heading home Charlie Austin's deep cross before Fer let fly from 25 yards with a rocket that flew into the top corner.


Although United applied some late pressure they were unable to salvage a share of the spoils, with Moussa Sissoko and Ayoze Perez spurning good opportunities to grab a draw.


And so, the Magpies' top flight status will go down to the final day, when they entertain West Ham at St. James' Park.


Chances were few and far between in the opening exchanges but on six minutes Ayoze Perez was almost gifted a chance by a mix-up in the hosts' defence.


Clint Hill and Steven Caulker left a long ball to each other, and when Hill's attempted header back to Rob Green fell short, only the goalkeeper's quick reactions prevented Perez from nipping in and making contact.


At the other end, it took 14 minutes for Rangers to force Krul into action, with the Dutch stopper getting down comfortably to smother Joey Barton's ambitious long-range strike.


But suddenly, on 24 minutes, the game sprung into life as Newcastle broke the deadlock.


Krul's long punt forward somehow evaded the R's defence, who left Riviere completely unmarked inside the area. The Frenchman's first touch was excellent and his second saw him slot over the on-rushing Green and into the back of the net.


It was a first Premier League goal for Riviere, and a third of the season in all competitions, with the 25-year-old celebrating with an impressive backflip.


That gave the Magpies a huge lift and they immediately went in search of goal number two.


Ryan Taylor whipped a free-kick over the wall but inches wide of the far post, while Moussa Sissoko's driving run and low cross caused havoc in the six-yard box and almost gave Riviere a sniff of a second.


That opening saw Green clattered by teammate Joey Barton's knee and, after lengthy treatment, the England international was replaced by Alex McCarthy.


And the former Reading man had to be at his best with half-time approaching to claw away a close-range header from Coloccini, as United's skipper stole in at the far post when Daryl Janmaat's deflected shot fell into his path.


QPR head coach Chris Ramsey made a double change and should have been level within two minutes of the second half.


Austin skipped past Coloccini on the left-hand side of the penalty area before dinking a cross to the far post which Phillips - completely unmarked - strode on to perfectly.


It needed the simplest of finishes to sidefoot the ball into an almost-empty net but the winger somehow put his effort wide of the target - much to the shock of all inside Loftus Road, with the stadium tannoy even briefly pumping out its goal music before realising Phillips had in fact missed.


Austin then took matters into his own hands - out-muscling and out-witting Coloccini and Paul Dummett inside the area before firing wide from a tight angle.


And they were finally level in the 54th minute as Phillips atoned for his earlier miss.


Again, the impressive Austin was at the heart of the move, racing down the right before delivering an inch-perfect chipped cross to the far post, which Phillips squeezed home between Krul and the upright.


The hosts were in the ascendency and after Austin curled one into the arms of Krul, they were ahead thanks to Fer's stunner.


Karl Henry's sliding challenge took the ball into the Dutchman's path, and Fer composed himself before bending a brilliant drive into the top corner.


United boss John Carver responded with a double substitution, replacing Riviere and Ryan Taylor with Papiss Cisse and Rolando Aarons.


Cisse curled a weak effort straight at McCarthy from the edge of the area, before Sammy Ameobi was introduced as a final throw of the Magpies' dice.


On 82 minutes, the visitors had a great chance to level things up once more. Ameobi's run through the middle came to an end 20 yards out but the ball somehow riccocheted into the path of Sissoko.


The French powerhouse pulled the trigger but, with Cisse also lurking close by, dragged his angled effort wide.


As time ticked away, McCarthy spilled Aarons' low cross but Cisse's stab goalwards was brilliantly blocked by the body of Clint Hill.


And that was it, as United suffered a ninth defeat in ten games and go into next Sunday's final game against West Ham with their top flight status still not secured.



Queens Park Rangers (4-4-1-1): Rob Green (Alex McCarthy 34); Nedum Onuoha, Steven Caulker (Yun Suk-Young 46), Richard Dunne, Clint Hill; Matt Phillips, Joey Barton (c), Karl Henry, Junior Hoilett (Reece Grego-Cox 46); Leroy Fer; Charlie Austin


Subs not used: Darnell Furlong, Michael Doughty, Brandon Comley, Shaun Wright-Phillips



Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul; Daryl Janmaat, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Paul Dummett, Jonas Gutierrez; Moussa Sissoko, Ryan Taylor (Rolando Aarons 63), Jack Colback; Ayoze Perez, Emmanuel Riviere (Papiss Cisse 63), Remy Cabella (Sammy Ameobi 73)


Subs not used: Freddie Woodman, Vurnon Anita, Mehdi Abeid, Yoan Gouffran



Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)


Bookings: Queens Park Rangers - Barton (50), Suk-Young (84); Newcastle United - none



Attendance: 17,608 (1,845 Newcastle)

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