Newcastle United’s Premier League fate will be decided on the final day of the season after they blew a 1-0 lead at Loftus Road to lose to already relegated QPR.

Emmanuel Riviere gave the Magpies the lead with his first goal in 18 hours of football but his team mates were on hand to put in another pitiful second half performance and squander the chance to secure their safety.

At half-time, Hull City were losing at Spurs and with Riviere’s goal capping a good first half for the visitors, it looked like Newcastle were finally going to pull away from the relegation dogfight that has been eating them up from February.

However, after dominating the first period and restricting the hosts to just one Joey Barton shot on target, John Carver’s team talk killed momentum and QPR bossed the second half and scored through Matt Phillips and Leroy Fer.

Phillips was on hand to head home Charlie Austin’s cross at the back post, before Fer thundered a long-range strike into Tim Krul’s top corner.

The transformation at the break was baffling, if not surprising.

Newcastle looked decent in the first half but still struggled in the final third. Remy Cabella didn’t have much impact on the left and Ayoze Perez found it hard to get into the game. Riviere wasn’t doing enough up front against Richard Dunne and Steven Caulker but got lucky when the chance of his first Premier League goal presented itself after 24 minutes.

Predictably, the goal came with minimum invention. Tim Krul punted a free-kick into the QPR box and after Caulker inexplicably left it, Riviere controlled and fired past Rob Green. Replays showed how lucky the Frenchman was to score, as the right-foot shot cannoned off his left as he slipped, taking it past Green into the net.

The goal lifted Newcastle and for the remainder of the half the visitors continued to threaten. Fabricio Coloccini might have scored at the far post but his header was well smothered from a tight angle.

The good mood carried Newcastle into the break, where Carver seized his opportunity to kill it.

We’ll never know what Carver – a loyal Geordie who loves the club and has no hesitation telling people such – said to the team in the dressing room but the effect it had was disastrous.

Almost as soon as the second period kicked off, QPR went on the offensive. Austin began to look very dangerous and skinned Coloccini in the box but saw the chance go begging.

The Newcastle transfer target then sliced a shot across goal but turned provider for Phillips minutes later.
A good run down the right left Jonas Gutierrez trailing and a superb cross towards the back post was gleefully met by Phillips.

Seven minutes later, the misery reached another level. A loose ball squirted into the middle of the pitch and Ryan Taylor didn’t show enough desire to win it and it fell for Fer. The Dutchman took a touch and slammed it past Krul from all of 30 yards to give the game its singular piece of genuine quality.

Considering the Newcastle goal scored came from a 60-yard hoof from their goalkeeper, the chances of the visitors creating enough opportunities to equalise were slim.

Papiss Cisse and Rolando Aarons were introduced from the bench but neither could inspire a leveller. In all honesty, an equaliser wouldn’t have done much considering Hull’s goal difference is far superior to Newcastle’s; only a win would secure safety.

Cisse did have a chance when he latched onto a cross from the left but a vital block sent it over the bar. Cabella had a shout for a penalty turned down as he was wrestled down by Nedum Onuoha but it always looked like Newcastle were going to squander another opportunity at survival.

The final round of Premier League games sees Newcastle host West Ham and Manchester United visit the KC Stadium to take on Hull. Steve Bruce has never tasted victory over the club where he spent many years as a player but if he can get a win next Sunday, it would surely relegate his hometown club, such as their disgusting recent form.