Queens Park Rangers 2 Newcastle United 1: Relegation battle to go to the wire

JOY ... Emmanuel Riviere.
JOY ... Emmanuel Riviere.
Have your say

NEWCASTLE United’s relegation battle will go to the wire after a disastrous afternoon at Loftus Road.

Queens Park Rangers came from behind to beat John Carver’s beleaguered side 2-1.

The result has left the club two points above the drop zone with one game left to play.

And the day’s results have left Newcastle, Sunderland and Hull City fighting to avoid becoming the third and final team to be relegated from the Premier League.

Sunderland, however, have a game in hand on both their rivals.

Leicester City and Aston Villa are safe.

Emmanuel Riviere put Newcastle 1-0 up in the first half with his first league goal for the club.

The strike also ended United’s 521-minute goal drought away from St James’s Park.

John Carver’s side looked to be in control at the break, but their performance unravelled in the second half.

And goals from Matty Phillips and Leroy Fer saw relegated QPR win their final home game.

After cautious start, Newcastle were urged to “attack, attack, attack” by the club’s 1,845-strong travelling support.

The breakthrough came in the 23rd minute to the delight of the club’s 1,845 fans in the upper tier of the School End at Loftus Road.

Tim Krul punted the ball upfield, and Riviere brought it down with his left foot before finishing past Rob Green with his right foot as he slipped.

Green was forced off with concussion later in the half after being accidently caught by former United midfielder Joey Barton, and Alex McCarthy took his place in goal.

McCarthy did well to stop a diving header from Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini before the interval.

QPR threatened the visiting goal early in the second half, and Phillips equalised in the 54th minute with a close-range header from a Charlie Austin cross.

It got worse for United in the 61st minute.

A weak kick from Krul was intercepted by Phillips, who rolled the ball to Fer.

The midfielder lashed a fierce 30-yard shot past Krul to put QPR 2-1 up.

Head coach Carver brought Papiss Demba Cisse, Rolando Aarons and Sammy Ameobi off the bench.

But they could liven up a team which must beat West Ham United at home on the final day of the season to be certain of its Premier League status.

There was a pitch invasion from some QPR fans at the final whistle, and Newcastle’s players hurriedly left the pitch.

QUEENS PARK RANGERS: Green (McCarthy, 34), Caulker (Yun, 46), Hill, Phillips, Barton, Austin, Fer, Onuoha, Henry, Dunne, Hoilett (Grego-Cox, 46). Subs not used: Wright-Phillips, Doughty, Furlong, Comley.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul, Janmaat, Coloccini, Dummett, Gutierrez, Colback, R Taylor (Aarons, 63), Sissoko, Cabella (Ameobi, 73), Perez, Riviere (Cisse, 63). Subs not used: Woodman, Anita, Abeid, Gouffran.

Goals: Riviere 23, Phillips 54, Fer 61

Bookings: Barton 50, Yun 84

Referee: Lee Probert (Gloucestershire)

Attendance: 17,608 (1,845 Newcastle)