West Ham United moved up to seventh place in the Barclays Premier League standings after completing a 2-1 victory against ten-man Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.
The visitors took the lead as early as the third minute when Matt Jarvis headed Kevin Nolan's right-wing cross past Julio Cesar from a tight angle. Despite then losing defenders Winston Reid and Joey O'Brien to injury Sam Allardyce's charges doubled their lead through Ricardo Vaz Te on 34 minutes.
Early in the second half Adel Taarabt reduced the arrears for the hosts with a spectacular right-footed strike into the top corner within 70 seconds of coming on but the hosts' comeback was hindered by a combination of the dismissal of Samba Diakite, for a second bookable offence, and the brilliance of Hammers goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Referee Mark Clattenburg handed out 11 bookings in all and eight of those went to players in claret and blue, who will be fined for indiscipline, but the visitors held out for three valuable Barclays Premier League points at the expense of rock-bottom QPR.
Coming into the game, the surprise team news was that Andy Carroll was deemed fit enough to be included amongst the substitutes after missing the past four matches with a hamstring injury.
Nolan linked up well with Vaz Te down the right but struck a poor scooped effort that was going harmlessly wide until Jarvis snuck in to nod home past Julio Cesar.
It was a bolt from the blue, although the Hammers came close to a second in the 11th minute when Mohamed Diame's 25-yard thunderbolt deflected off Ryan Nelsen and flew just wide.
O'Brien reacted quickly to stop James Collins putting into his own goal from an Esteban Granero free-kick that saw an unfortunate collision between Reid and his own goalkeeper.
The New Zealand international required nearly four minutes of treatment after appearing to be knocked out by Jaaskelainen and saw James Tomkins come on in his place.
The break in play did not change the game's momentum, though, as only Stephane Mbia's quick reactions prevented Diame getting a head on a right-wing Nolan cross.
It was not all positive for West Ham, however, as O’Brien became their second casualty of the first half and had to be replaced by George McCartney 11 minutes from half-time.
The injuries were the only blot on a fine opening 45 minutes for West Ham, which got better as Vaz Te doubled the visitors' advantage moments later.
Mark Noble swung in a free-kick and the resulting penalty-box melee was cleared only as far as Tomkins, whose superb first-time cross was met by an equally impressive acrobatic effort from Vaz Te.
Noble and Diame were both booked heading into the break from which West Ham returned on top.
Cesar did well to deny Diame three minutes after the restart and it took until the 55th-minute introductions of Taarabt and Diakite to change course.
The former was welcomed with particularly loud cheers and showed why within two minutes, making space to curl home an exquisite 25-yard effort into the top right-hand corner.
Taarabt was booked for lifting his shirt and was soon joined in Clattenburg’s notebook by fellow replacement Diakite.
West Ham's McCartney was the next, before Jaaskelainen was reprimanded shortly after denying Granero with an excellent stop.
Cole and Nolan both received yellow cards and Allardyce soon brought on Carroll for the former.
Jaaskelainen spilled a driven Cisse shot at the near post as QPR pushed for an equaliser, before the hosts' task was made all the more difficult as Diakite received a second yellow for a late lunge on Diame.
Vaz Te had an excellent strike palmed onto the bar by Cesar after Collins became the seventh West Ham player to be booked.
Cisse and Alejandro Faurlin were both denied by Jaaskelainen as QPR pushed for a leveller that never came as West Ham held out for victory, although not before Tomkins became the final player booked.
|06 Oct 2012||v West Brom (A)|
|21 Oct 2012||v Everton (H)|
|27 Oct 2012||v Arsenal (A)|
|04 Nov 2012||v Reading (H)|
|10 Nov 2012||v Stoke (A)|
|17 Nov 2012||v Southampton (H)|