Diafra Sakho was on target again as West Ham United secured a second straight Barclays Premier League home win by beating Queens Park Rangers 2-0 at the Boleyn Ground.
Sam Allardyce's side may not have impressed as during their 3-1 triumph against Liverpool in their last match in front of their fans but always looked likely winners on Sunday after Nedum Onuoha's early own goal. Sakho scored the second after 59 minutes to put the game beyond doubt, maintaining his record of having netted every time he has started in a West Ham shirt with his fifth goal in as many matches. The West Ham manager will also be happy his team kept a first clean sheet of the season, while QPR have lost all four Barclays Premier League matches on the road since gaining promotion and sit at the bottom of the table with four points.
West Ham made two changes from last week's loss at Manchester United, as Carl Jenkinson replaced the injured Guy Demel and Mauro Zarate returned ahead of Diego Poyet. Former West Ham manager Harry Redknapp gave Onuoha his first start of the season in a defence which contained Rio Ferdinand, another former West Ham employee who was playing in his 500th Barclays Premier League match on the ground where he made his first. Karl Henry and Junior Hoilett were also recalled to QPR’s first XI.
The home side went ahead after just five minutes when a superb Stewart Downing corner sailed over a melee on the edge of the six-yard box and was bundled into his own net by Onuoha.
Enner Valencia shot just wide following good build-up play from Downing and Sakho while, at the other end, Charlie Austin shot straight at Adrian after skillfully getting past James Tomkins. For much of the rest of the first period both sides struggled to produce quality play.
Redknapp brought on another West Ham old boy in Bobby Zamora at the break, replacing Hoilett, and the striker created a chance for Austin at the start of the second half, but the striker fired wide.
Sakho then continued his scoring streak when he headed in from close range just short of the hour after Tomkins had won a far-post challenge and lofted the ball back across the area.
As QPR pressed for a way back, Niko Kranjcar tested Adrian with a long-range free-kick which bounced awkwardly in front of goal and substitute Adel Taarabt fired just wide with another decent strike, but there was no comeback. West Ham substitute Kevin Nolan could have made it three for West Ham late on after being set free by the excellent Downing, but his low shot was straight at Green.
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce: "I think that we were very comfortable, except perhaps for 10 minutes into the second half when they changed their system and we didn't really come to terms with it. That gave us a little bit of a problem for a while, but when the second goal came, it settled us down again and got us back into our rhythm.
"If I was to have a little bit of a criticism, it would be for not punishing them enough with the amount of times we were in or around the final third. Perhaps we could have done a little better with those opportunities, but that's being ultra greedy on the basis that we've won very comfortably and kept a clean sheet, which is what I've been striving for, because you can't score two or three goals every game to win. But this time, we've scored two, kept a clean sheet and it's a perfect result for us."
Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp: "We got off to a bad start and when you've not got a lot of belief and been shipping goals it's very difficult - the last thing you want is to concede a sloppy goal like that from a corner and it certainly didn't help any.
"The second half we started OK and had a great chance with Charlie Austin from Bobby Zamora's cross when we were probably having our best spell, but then they scored another goal. I just feel we're still a bit off the pace with a few of the players, who are not quite up to full fitness. I still think we've got to up our work-rate, we've got to play with more energy than we are doing at the moment.
"We've got to press teams and work, which is what we've been working on in training and talking about, but we've got to put it into practice on the pitch. We're also short of goals and short of goalscorers. We lost Loic Remy on the [transfer] deadline and couldn't replace him, so it's been tough, but there's a long way to go.
"There's no easy games, but we've got to keep going and one win can change everything."
|08 Nov 2014||v Aston Villa (H)|
|29 Nov 2014||v Newcastle (H)|
|07 Dec 2014||v Swansea (H)|
|22 Nov 2014||v Everton (A)|
|18 Oct 2014||v Burnley (A)|
|01 Nov 2014||v Stoke (A)|