Newcastle breathe sigh of relief after beating QPR

OFF YOU GO ... Newcastle United's Robert Elliot leaves the field after being sent off.
OFF YOU GO ... Newcastle United's Robert Elliot leaves the field after being sent off.

NEWCASTLE United’s Premier League status is safe after this afternoon’s victory over Queens Park Rangers.

Alan Pardew’s side won 2-1 at Loftus Road thanks to first-half goals from Hatem Ben Arfa and Yoan Gouffran.

After Aston Villa’s defeat to Chelsea yesterday, Newcastle only needed a win to secure their place in the division.

There was late drama, however, when goalkeeper Rob Elliot was dismissed for handling outside the box.

But 10-man United held on to get what was only their second away win of the season.

With defender Steven Taylor laid low by illness, Mike Williamson was handed his first Premier League start since January. Mathieu Debuchy was also restored to Pardew’s starting XI.

QPR took an 11th-minute lead from the penalty spot after Debuchy was penalised for a shirt tug on Junior Hoilett. However, the foul looked to have been committed outside the box.

Former Newcastle target Loic Remy converted the spot kick.

United were level seven minutes later. Seconds after superbly blocking a shot from Yohan Cabaye, Jose Boswinga hauled down Ben Arfa, who scored the resulting penalty.

Papiss Demba Cisse looked to have scored midway through the half, but his header was ruled offside.

And Pardew’s side took the lead in the 35th minute when Jonas Gutierrez charged down a clearance from goalkeeper Rob Green. Gouffran volleyed the loose ball into QPR’s empty net.

The second half was largely a non-event, with Newcastle happy to keep the scoreline as it was, though Gutierrez forced a goalline stoppage from substitute Shaun Derry with a close-range header.

With 10 minutes left on the clock, captain Fabricio Coloccini let Elliot deal with a long ball up the channel.

But the ball didn’t drop inside the box, and Elliot, under pressure from a QPR player, handled outside his area.

Elliot, booked earlier in the game, was shown a second yellow card.

Veteran goalkeeper Steve Harper took his place between the posts after replacing Ben Arfa for the last eight minutes. It was Harper’s 198th appearance for the club.

Harper and his team-mates held on, and the result was jubilantly celebrated by United’s 1,608 travelling fans.

Twitter: @milesstarforth

QUEENS PARK RANGERS: Green; Bosingwa (Fabio, 46), Hill, Onuoha, Traore; Townsend, Jenas, Mbia (Derry, 46), Hoilett (Taarabt, 84); Remy, Zamora. Subs not used: Murphy, Park, Granero, Mackie.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Elliot; Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Yanga-Mbiwa; Tiote (Perch, 52), Cabaye, Gutierrez; Ben Arfa (Harper, 82), Cisse, Gouffran (Obertan, 78). Subs not used: Simpson, Anita, Marveaux, Campbell.

Goals: Remy 11 (pen), Ben Arfa 18 (pen), Gouffran 35

Bookings: Cabaye 10, Williamson 30, Mbia 37, Elliot 68

Sent off: Elliot 80

Referee: Lee Probert (Gloucestershire)

Attendance: 17,278 (1,608 Newcastle)