Newcastle 1 QPR 0: Derry’s stern challenge puts end to Cabaye’s involvement in triumph

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is hopeful key midfielder Yohan Cabaye did not suffer any lasting damage after finding himself on the wrong end of an X-rated tackle.

The Frenchman left the pitch on a stretcher after being felled by QPR midfielder Shaun Derry’s 20th-minute challenge during yesterday’s victory for the Magpies.

Cabaye reacted furiously, although Pardew, who later revealed the injury did not seem as bad as was first feared, admitted that referee Chris Foy – the man who sent off Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany eight days ago – had probably got it right in only producing a yellow card.

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He said: “It was a strong challenge, but Shaun Derry is a player who makes strong challenges. The referee was right on top of it.

“I thought it was borderline yellow/red, but I think probably it was a yellow. He seemed to get the ball.

“There’s always controversy about tackling. It’s very, very difficult for referees, so I am not going to sit here and criticise that decision.

“But Yohan was upset. He felt it was probably a little bit over-exuberant, but the doc thinks he is going to be okay.”

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Opposite number Mark Hughes, in the Rangers dug-out for the first time after replacing sacked Neil Warnock, was of a similar opinion, although admitted he had not seen a replay of the incident.

He said: “At the time, I thought it was a whole-hearted challenge.

“Obviously, there’s quite a debate at the moment in terms of the interpretation of challenges such as that, but whether or not the referee got that one wrong, I can’t comment, really.”

A tight game was won eight minutes before the break when Leon Best ended his four-month wait for a goal with a neat finish.

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Ryan Taylor found the striker on the left edge of the penalty area and he stepped inside full-back Luke Young before side-footing past goalkeeper Paddy Kenny and into the far corner.

The goal capped a more encouraging period for the home side, who had started poorly to gift the visitors a series of half-chances, although it was after the break that Jay Bothroyd passed up his side’s best two chances, the second of them thanks to a fine save by goalkeeper Tim Krul.

However, as time wore on, the Magpies, despite never reaching the heights of their 3-0 victory over champions Manchester United early in the new year, gradually assumed control and saw the game out to ease themselves above Liverpool into sixth place in the Barclays Premier League table.