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Premier League: Newcastle United 1 Queens Park Rangers 0

Newcastle United snatched a 1-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers to inflict a first defeat for the visitors under manager Harry Redknapp.

Substitute Shola Ameobi curled a fine effort past Rob Green in the 81st minute to settle a scrappy game, played in torrential rain at St James’ Park.

In sodden conditions, both sides failed to create chances in a lacklustre first half.

Adel Taarabt went closest for the visitors, latching onto a clever scoop pass but firing a shot from a tight angle straight at Tim Krul.

The hosts got themselves into several good positions down the left but were routinely let down by atrocious crossing from Jonas Gutierrez.

Papiss Cisse should have made more of a one-on-one chance, but his half-hearted effort, under pressure from Clint Hill, bobbled wide and Davide Santon unleashed a shot that flew high and wide.

The teams went in at the break deservedly goalless to rumblings of discontent from the home support.

The rumblings became loud boos early in the second half as Cisse was substituted shortly after heading over the bar, the Senegalese striker, who has featured on the right wing recently, was visibly upset at the decision and refused to shake manager Alan Pardew’s hand as he came off.

Redknapp also made changes to his side, bringing off the quiet Esteban Granero and the frustrated Djibril Cisse in place of Shaun Wright-Phillips and Junior Hoilett.

Newcastle almost took a fortuitous lead just after the hour mark as Vurnon Anita’s corner almost crept in at the near post, but Green recovered well to scramble it away.

Ameobi then had a gilt-edged chance to score on 66 minutes, latching on to Anita’s cross eight yards out, but only getting a feather touch on the ball and seeing it drift harmlessly wide.

Newcastle finally snatched the lead with 10 minutes remaining. After some one-touch passing on the right, Ameobi was found in the box before cutting inside and curling an unstoppable finish past Green.

Sylvain Marveaux then flashed a free kick just wide as Newcaslte looked to extend their lead, while the visitors failed to muster a late challenge and remain in the relegation mire.

Sat 22 Dec, 2012
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