NEWCASTLE United came from behind as QPR suffered a 2-1 defeat in their final home match of the season this afternoon.
Top goalscorer Loic Remy added his sixth of the season from the penalty spot after 11 minutes but two goals before the break handed the Magpies a vital three points.
Firstly Ben Arfa levelled for the visitors from the penalty spot after Bosingwa pulled him back before a defensive mistake between the Portuguese defender and Rangers keeper Robert Green allowed Yoan Gouffran to score the winner.
QPR had made two changes to the starting line-up that lost 1-0 to Arsenal last week. Junior Hoilett and Jose Bosingwa were handed starts with Ji-Sung Park dropping to the bench, with Tal Ben Haim departing on loan to Toronto earlier this week.
Rangers’ day was looking up though as they took the lead after 11 minutes, breaking their Premier League penalty jinx in the process. After Holiett was adjudged to have been fouled by Newcastle’s Mathieu Debuchy, R’s top scorer Loic Remy coolly sent Robert Elliot the wrong way from 12-yards to end a run of five consecutive spot kick misses in the top flight dating back to last season.
Seven minutes later referee Lee Probert handed the Magpies a route back into the tie though. Bosingwa, moments after a superb block, was penalised for tugging back Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa inside the 18-yard area. It appeared a tough call from Probert, but the offended Ben Arfa made no mistakes as he crashed his penalty kick in off the underside of QPR keeper Robert Green’s bar to make it 1-1.
Newcastle, now on top, nearly went ahead for the first time in the match when Papiss Cisse headed past Green from six-yards but the Senegalese forward was already offside as the ball nestled into the net.
R’s slowly got a foothold back on proceedings and a slick passing movement between Holiett and Bobby Zamora almost resulted in an opening. Hoilett’s endeavour down the left saw him exchange a quick one-two with the frontman before the Canadian winger forced Toon custodian Elliot to make a strong stop.
That pressure though was undone when a defensive mistake handed Alan Pardew’s side the lead 10 minutes before half-time. Fullback Bosingwa’s poor back pass to Green caused confusion - with the Rangers stopper forced to rush off his line - his clearance was charged down, before unfortunately bouncing to Newcastle’s Yoan Gouffran, who had the simple task of rolling the ball into the unprotected goal from the edge of the box to put the visitors 2-1 up.
Redknapp made two changes at half-time - Bosingwa and Mbia making way for Fabio da Silva and Shaun Derry but it took until the 62nd minute for Rangers to fashion a real chance. Hoilett, cutting in from the left, weaved his way to the edge of the Newcastle box before firing inches wide of Elliot’s post.
QPR then survived a scare as Derry cleared off the line 20-minutes before full-time after Rangers failed to deal with a Magpies corner into the box. The ball bounced around the R’s six-yard box – taking a number of deflections – before the experienced midfielder hoisted it up field and away from danger.
The match then took an interesting turn in the 81st minute as the Magpies were reduced to ten men as keeper Robert Elliot was shown a red card. The Newcastle stopper handled outside the area and having previously been shown a yellow card for dissent – kicking the ball away midway through the second half – he was shown a another yellow card and subsequent red by referee Probert.
Newcastle withdraw Ben Arfa, replacing him with number two Steve Harper between the posts, whilst QPR added fans favourite Adel Taarabt into the fray as they hunted an equaliser.
Andros Townsend went closest to doing that as he riffled over Harper’s bar from outside the area but QPR were unable to make their numerical advantage tell as they signed off at Loftus Road for the season with a defeat.