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15 January 2012
• St. James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
Referee: C. Foy
• Attendance: 49865
L. Best 37'
Queens Park Rangers
Rob Stewart at The Sports Direct Arena: “Leon Best ensured that Mark Hughes' rein as Rangers manager got off to a losing start thanks to his first-half goal and ensured justice was done as Newcastle moved above Liverpool into sixth place after overcoming the loss of playmaker Yohan Cabaye was taken off on a stretcher following a crude challenge by Shaun Derry whose side remain third from bottom of the Premier League.”
FULL TIME! One shot on target, one goal as a first half strike from Best helps Newcastle claim all three points and hands Hughes his first defeat as QPR boss.
90' + 1'
Shola Ameobi continues to show his own failings as firstly he runs into the box with the ball and takes a bad touch, putting the ball out for a goal kick. Then he fails to get back and when Newcastle win the ball from the goal kick, he is in an offisde position.
Once again Newcastle's failings are shown up as Shola Ameobi uses his strength to win the ball from Derry, but he fails to find one of his teammates with his pass.
Newcastle seemed to have settled for a one goal victory, with Shola Ameobi playing on his own up front and the home side only having one shot on target so far, with that being the goal from Best in the first half.
Yellow Card Federico Macheda
The home side are more than happy to keep a hold of the ball and retain possession in order to make sure that QPR do not create any chances to get back on level terms.
Hill raced forward from his left-back position to help his side as he found Macheda, but his cross was easily cut out by Krul in the Newcastle goal.
Mark Hughes has decided to go for broke in order to find a way back into the game by bringing on the on-loan Manchester United striker Macheda to add more power to his strikeforce.
Newcastle are once again let down by the lack of numbers in the box as Best crosses the ball in from the left hand side of the penalty area, but none of his teammates are near by to finish off the chance and double the lead.
Gutierrez has a strike from the right wing after QPR keeper Kenny had raced out of his box in order to make sure that his side didn't concede a corner, but Newcastle managed to take the throw-in that he did concede quickly and fortunately for the Loftus Road stopper, two of his defenders had raced onto the line to save him from embarrassment.
Newcastle are continuing to retain possession, but they are failing to get enough players forward in order to double their lead and secure all three points.
Massive shouts for a penalty from both the home support and their players as the ball appears to hit off of the arm of a visiting defender, but referee Chris Foy waves away the claims.
Mackie tries his luck once again for QPR with a long range effort, but Newcastle manage to deflect the ball away for a corner to the visitors.
Both sides are playing good passes at the back and in the midfield area, but when it comes to the final ball, each side seems to give possession away to the opposition.
Newcastle push forward with Santon on the left wing, cutting inside and into the box, before unleashing a strike thatb is deflected away for a corner to the hosts.
Mackie races forward with the ball from the halfway line and eventually finds Bothroyd on the left and his strike towards goal is beaten away by Krul in the Newcastle goal and out for a corner to the visitors.
QPR have a golden opportunity to get level as Buzsaky crosses from the left onto the head of Helguson, who knocks the ball back into the path of Bothroyd, but his shot sails over the bar.
Simpson tries his luck from long range as the ball comes out to him, some 25 yards from goal, but his strike goes well, well wide.
Newcastle get the second half underway.
Demba Ba, who is getting ready for the African Cup of Nations is lending his support to the home side, saying on his Twitter page "45 min to go lads :)"
Rob Stewart: “My word. I've just heard that Sky Sports pundit Ray Wilkins suggested that Yohan Cabaye was play-acting when he went down following that ugly challenge by Shaun Derry so I presume he will now be eating his words because that was a shocker of a tackle. Still waiting for word on how bad the injury is but I would fear the worst.”
HALF TIME! Mark Hughes would have been the happier of the two managers early on, but his side failed to capitalise on their chances and when one came for Newcastle, Best was on hand to open the scoring.
45' + 3'
Guthrie puts a cross in from the right for Newcastle, but once again there isn't enough players in the box to get on the end of the cross.
Simpson attempts a cross from the right wing, but unfortunately for the full back there was only one player in black and white in the box and that allowed the visitors to clear easily.
Mackie has two opportunities to put his side level, with his first strike hitting off of a Newcastle defender, then the rebound was put well over the bar by the Scotland international.
Newcastle are starting to dominate the second part of the first half, with Ben Arfa floating a cross in from the right wing, but the ball is deflected by the QPR defence out for a corner.
Yellow Card Jay Bothroyd
Assist Ryan Taylor
Goal Leon Best
GOAL! Another superb passing move from Newcastle leads to the ball arriving at the feet of Best on the left hand side of the penalty area and he slots the ball beyond Kenny to open the scoring for the home side.
The home fans are off their seats as a good passing move from Newcastle leads to Ryan Taylor having a strike from the edge of the area that Kenny has to get down well to in order to put by for a corner kick.
Yellow Card Clint Hill
Another chance for the visitors as Helguson pulls the ball back to Bothroyd on the edge of the area and the QPR striker curls a shot that just goes wide of Krul's left hand post.
Ryan Taylor swings in yet another free kick from the right wing, but none of the Newcastle players can get on the end of the ball.
Gutierrez manages to get a shot on goal with a header from a free kick put in from the right wing, but unfortunately his chance goes sailing over the bar.
Hatem Ben Arfa
Rob Stewart at Sports Direct Arena: “Shaun Derry must have had his heart in his mouth when he caught Yohan Cabaye with a late lunge right in front of Chris Foy. He escaped with a yellow card and Cabaye has ended up going off on a stretcher. That's rough justice and must give QPR the upper hand.”
Cabaye is forced to leave the field on a stretcher after a tackle from Derry and as the Frenchman leaves the field he exchanges insults with the QPR midfielder.
Yellow Card Shaun Derry
Bothroyd has another strike at goal after receiving the ball from Mackie and unleashing the ball towards goal from 25 yards, but Krul does well to save comfortably.
The visitors go extremely close as Newcastle fail to clear properly, allowing the ball to arrive at the feet of Wright-Phillips on the edge of the area, but the winger's shot goes sailing over the bar.
Newcastle have started to settle down after the early waves of QPR attacks, as they start to find their feet without the services of Tiote and Ba.
The visitors are dominating the early stages, with the front pairing of Bothroyd and Helguson putting the home defence under some early pressure.
The Loftus Road side continue to push forward, with Buzsaky trying his luck from the right hand side of the penalty area, but Krul manages to beat the ball away and eventually it goes out for a goal kick to the hosts.
Helguson is the next to try his luck for the visitors as he strikes towards goal after a pass from Bothroyd, but the ball hits a Newcastle defender and the rebound goes wide of goal.
QPR have the first chance as Wright-Phillips strikes from just inside the area, with Krul managing to save at the second attempt, with Bothroyd closing in, but offside.
QPR get the game underway.
Rob Stewart: “Newcastle fans have been left puzzled by Pardew’s decision to drop Hatem Ben Arfa following his amazing FA Cup goal against Blackburn. “I just can’t work this one out because I thought Ben Arfa had turned the corner,” said social worker Sven Truemann, of Whitley Bay,” But you’ve got to trust Pardew’s judgement because he doesn’t do much wrong.” His neighbour, John Simpson, added: “You keep hearing people criticise Ben Arfa but the fact is that he is the most talented player we’ve got and I wouldn’t be surprised if he came on as a sub and changed this game.”
Rob Stewart: “Former Newcastle striker Kevin Gallacher, who saw Hughes turn things around at Blackburn, and is here as a Radio Five Live pundit, believes that the Geordies will win despite his arrival. “At home I would always fancy Newcastle but know that when Mark Hughes came to Blackburn how hard and difficult he made the back four to beat and I expect him to do the same at QPR,” the Scot said. “It will be tight because he got an extra ten to 20 per cent from his players. They were trying to play football but he changed that and said right we are going to be in people’s faces. He turned them into bully boys and then he brought the football back. When he left they could mix it but also play football.” Rangers fans seem glad to see the back of Warnock. Newcastle-based student Giles Morris, who hails from Staines, said: “We were tactically inept under Warnock who has proved he is a Championship manager so I’m happy that Hughes is in charge. We’re in the bottom three now but that won’t last long.” Teacher Steve Watson, who comes from West London, wants club owner Tony Fernandes to dig deep to bring in new players. “I see they’re after Christopher Samba and that would be a great signing,” Steve said. “But I can’t see Blackburn selling so we’ll have to cast our net wider across Europe and get someone in fast.” Exiled student Jill Fullbrook, of Hammersmith, is worried about stories saying Hughes wants Joey Barton to leave. “He’s out captain and our best player so I’d be gutted if he left,” Jill said. “I can’t see it happening but there’s no smoke without fire.”
Goal.com's Rob Stewart at The Sports Direct Arena: “Greetings from a freezing Tyneside where hopefully Newcastle and QPR will put on a show that will make everyone forget about how cold it is on up in this neck of the woods. It is so cold that one hack suggested that Newcastle winger Gabriel Obertan was dressed up with so many layers it was as if he was embarking on an Arctic trek and the fact that there is still a sheen of frost on the pitch suggests he was not far wrong. That seems fitting because the cold winds of the Championship cost Neil Warnock his job and mean that this is Mark Hughes’ first game in charge of the Queens Park Rangers and he will be out to defend his five-match unbeaten run as a manager. Toon boss Alan Pardew knows QPR owner Tony Fernandes from their days working together at West Ham and so he expressed mixed emotions about the Malaysian’s decision to sack Warnock. “Tony is a good man and he had some difficult decisions to make,” Pardew said in his programme notes. “As a manager I feel some sympathy when someone loses their job yet we all appreciate that this is the nature of the business we choose to work in. Results are all important.”
QPR substitutes are: Cerny (GK) Orr, Hall, Campbell, Smith, Ephraim, Macheda
QPR line-up as follows: Kenny, Young, Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Hill, Wright-Phillips, Derry, Buzsaky, Mackie, Bothroyd, Helguson
The Newcastle subs are: Elliot (GK) Ferguson, Perch, Gosling, Abeid, Obertan, Ben Arfa
The Newcastle starting line-up is as follows: Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, R Taylor, Guthrie, Cabaye, Gutierrez, Shola Ameobi, Best
Newcastle will go into the game with a serious disadvantage, having lost the services of influential pair Cheick Tiote and Demba Ba who are away to the African Cup of Nations.
Now the former Magpie is suspended for the return to his old stomping ground, which will be the first game in charge for new manager Mark Hughes who replaced Neil Warnock after he was sacked last week.
The two sides fought out a goalless draw the last time they met at Loftus Road in September, with Joey Barton the centre point after his controversial move to London from the North-East.
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com’s live commentary of Newcastle United against Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League, my name is Matthew Harold and I will be guiding you through the next 90 minutes.
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