Team: Smithies, Onuoha, Caulker (Lynch), Hall, Bidwell, Perch (Wszolek), Cousins, Henry, Ngbakoto (Sylla), Chery, Washington
Subs Not Used: Ingram, Borysiuk, El Khayati, Shodipo
Attendance: 17,404 (including 3,005 Newcastle fans)
Jonjo Shelvey scored twice as second-placed Newcastle pummelled QPR to earn a fifth consecutive Championship win.
Shelvey’s deflected shot rewarded early Magpies dominance and, with the tone set, Ayoze Perez made it 2-0 with a low strike at the second attempt. A brilliant third goal arrived courtesy of Shelvey’s stunning 25-yard strike.
Ciaran Clark headed a fourth and close-range efforts by Aleksandar Mitrovic and Grant Hanley ensured QPR’s record home league defeat.
Newcastle’s win – which takes them to within a point of leaders Huddersfield following their defeat at Brighton – was as stylish as it was emphatic and earned them a sixth victory in a row in all competitions.
And it was even more impressive given the back-to-back defeats in their opening two fixtures of the season.
QPR were second best in midfield and devoid of ideas in attack, mustering just one shot on target before the break – and three in total.
Their cause was not helped by having ex-Magpies man James Perch, taken off on a stretcher but by that stage, they were already 1-0 down and being outplayed.
Perez had a goal ruled out offside before Shelvey’s effort took a cruel deflection off Karl Henry to make it 1-0.
Matt Ritchie and Shelvey then both had chances but it was the outstanding Perez who grabbed the second of the night when he calmly found the far corner after his initial effort was saved by goalkeeper Alex Smithies.
The hosts, who have still not managed a goal from open play this season, saw Steven Caulker head their best chance over the bar. But Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez was able to relax almost immediately after the re-start when Shelvey’s sensational strike – the pick of the bunch – found the corner of the net.
Smithies also had to tip a Mitrovic header on to the bar but, after Clark headed number four from Ritchie’s corner, Mitrovic made it 5-0 after good work by Christian Atsu.
Hanley’s simple shot completed the scoring on a wretched evening for QPR, who slip to 14th in the table.
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez: “We can still improve. The team was playing well, everybody was pushing and working hard, but you always make some mistakes.”
“The main thing for us was to get the three points so we could leave our fans happy. We also managed to get the clean sheet.”
“We now have to show we can concentrate in every game. It doesn’t matter if we score six goals, we get three points in the end. Now have to concentrate on the next game and not lose that concentration.”
QPR boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: “Newcastle are a good side and have a striker in Mitrovic, who cost ¬£15m, Shelvey cost ¬£12m, Matt Ritchie ¬£11m – and it could go on.”
“But I don’t want to make excuses. There were things that happened out there that I wasn’t happy with.”
“We were very stretched and it was easy for them to counter-attack us – and it’s very dangerous when they are able to do that. It was easy for them to get in behind us when though, we were playing deep.”
“It’s hard to take, but I must say that Newcastle are a great team with big players and you could see that.”
It also has to be said that it was our worst ever, home league defeat. Previously we had gone down 0-5 to Barnsley back in 1950.
Whereas in 1961 we had let in six against Reading, but put in three in their net as we also did against Coventry City in 1963.
On the back of those two recent awful home performances, some fans were saying before the match that they feared the worst!
And so it proved to be…they had a goal disallowed and we could well have been even further behind at half-time. They were better than us in every department.
A few minutes after the break, Jonjo Shelvey’s goal even provoked some applause from many R’s fans.
They hit the woodwork twice, created 29 goal attempts and Alex Smithies also made some superb saves.
Many fans had arrived late because of the travel problems and many decided to leave early because of the shambles played out before them!
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink hadn’t wised up to our previous poor performances so will he now have a hard look at himself and realise what he is serving up?