Beardsley's double saves Newcastle
RYAN Giggs scored a 77th-minute winner in English Premier League leaders Manchester United's 3-2 victory at local rivals Manchester City yesterday.
But Peter Beardsley's two late goals kept Newcastle firmly in the title hunt with a 2-1 home win over Queens Park Rangers.
Welsh winger Giggs struck decisively after City had twice equalised - the first through debutant Georgian striker Mikhail Kavelashvili.
United stay three points clear of Newcastle.
Newcastle, who have a game in hand, came from behind to beat QPR and shrugged off the disappointment of their 4-3 midweek defeat at Liverpool.
The Merseyside giants threw away the gains of that win in a surprise 1-0 defeat at Coventry.
At Newcastle, evergreen Beardsley scored in the 77th and 81st minutes - his second goal a brilliant solo effort - after relegation candidates Rangers had taken a shock 53rd-minute lead through midfielder Ian Holloway.
Mercurial Frenchman Eric Cantona set the leaders on their way with a sixth-minute penalty after Nicky Summerbee fouled Dennis Irwin.
Although City fought back and deservedly levelled through Kavelashvili, Andy Cole slid in a mishit shot to put United back in front inside 60 seconds.
City manager Alan Ball reshuffled the pack midway through the second period, bringing on Uwe Rosler for the tiring Kavelashvili. And within five minutes the German had outpaced Steve Bruce to hammer the equaliser past Peter Schmeichel.
But with just 10 minutes left on the clock, Giggs lashed home the winner.
At St James' Park, a late tactical switch by Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan changed the course of the match as he withdrew Robert Lee and threw on winger Keith Gillespie.
The youngster's introduction immediately released captain Beardsley into attack and the veteran promptly smacked home two crucial goals.
Liverpool's lingering title hopes all but disappeared at Highfield Road as Noel Whelan's first-half goal, his ninth of the season, lifted Ron Atkinson's Coventry above QPR. The Merseysiders are now eight points adrift of Manchester United.