Newcastle put aside their recent troubles to beat QPR at Loftus Road and confirm Premier League survival, despite having their goalkeeper sent off.
The Magpies have endured difficult times of late but improved to score only their second away win of the season against Harry Redknapp’s already relegated side to finally move clear of the bottom three.
It all started so well for the R’s as referee Lee Probert penalised Mathieu Debuchy for a tugging on Junior Hoilett’s shirt in the penalty area allowing former Newcastle transfer target to beat Rob Elliot from the penalty spot after 11 minutes.
However, that rare streak of jubilation didn’t last long as Jose Boswinga tried to strip Hatem Ben Arfa in the box and Probert pointed to the spot again and the French winger blasted in off the bar from 12-yards to equalise.
Probert was involved again in the 22nd minutes as he whistled for offside after Papiss Cisse headed Debuchy’s right wing cross past Rob Green, before Hoilett was thwarted by a fine stop by Elliot at the other end.
Fortunately for the visitors Boswinga was in a more generous mood as his inextricable back-pass forced a hurried clearance from an under pressure Green that fell to Yoan Gouffran, who calmly rolled the ball into an empty net from 25-yards. An end of season lethargy tempered the start of the second half before QPR spurred into life as Hoilett dragged a shot wide.
Newcastle almost profited again from more slack work from QPR at the back as Hoilett had to be on his toes to block Ben Arfa’s effort after Arman Traore steered the ball needlessly back towards Green, while Gouffran almost saw a cross-cum-shot find the net before Alan Pardew saw his team reduced to 10-men when Elliot recieved his second yellow and was sent off for handling outside the penalty area.
But even with their man advantage QPR barely threatened to nick a point and Pardew cut a greatly relieved figure at the end as Newcastle finally dragged themselves to safety.
Harry Redknapp post-match…“The decision for their penalty was very poor, you’d be giving 20 penalties per game if you give those and it brought them back into it. Then the heads seemed to drop and we gave away a terrible second goal.”
Alan Pardew post-match…“We got the win we needed. It is a big relief because this is a massive club. The injuries we have suffered this year have been horrendous. This type of year usually ends up in relegation.”
Man of the Match…Hatem Ben Arfa: Newcastle always look a more threatening proposition when Ben Arfa is on the field. Won and scored the equalising penalty and was always a danger to QPR with his quick feet and desire to run at defenders.
Flop of the Match…Jose Boswinga: Booed by his own supporters every time he touched the ball. It’ll be a miracle if Boswinga ever plays for QPR again after this nightmare display, in which he gifted Newcastle two goals before half time. Rightfully hauled off at the break and difficult to comprehend that he was starring Chelsea’s Champions League final victory just under a year ago.