Scroll to Photostream above left for match photos. Match reaction below
Joe Cole’s first West Ham United goal for 10 years earned the hosts a point in a 1-1 draw as Loic Remy was denied a dream debut for Queens Park Rangers in the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park.
Remy scored 14 minutes into his maiden appearance after his signing from Marseille but West Ham were on top throughout, only to find Julio Cesar in inspired form as he twice denied Marouane Chamakh, the forward on loan from Arsenal. Chamakh’s replacement Carlton Cole also was denied by the Brazilian goalkeeper but Joe Cole was in the right place to tuck in the rebound after 68 minutes.
QPR were looking for a second successive away win after their first of the season at Chelsea but instead Harry Redknapp had to be content with a draw on his return to Upton Park. In Remy, who linked well with Adel Taarabt, QPR might have found the clinical striker required in their survival fight but there is still much work to be done.
After QPR captain Hill headed over from a corner in the second minute, Remy’s desire to make a swift impression led him to being caught offside twice.
Chamakh, in his first start and on his home debut, was similarly keen to please. The striker twice conceded possession early on but played a part in the move which almost led to the Hammers taking the lead. He linked well down the left with Mohamed Diame, who got in behind the visiting defence and cut the ball dangerously across the six-yard box. Matt Jarvis got a touch but saw Julio Cesar save.
From the resulting corner Winston Reid headed the ball down to Kevin Nolan, who was denied at close range by a smart save from the goalkeeper.
The Hammers were continuing to build the pressure before Remy struck. This time the Frenchman timed his run well to race past Reid and meet Taarabt’s pass before finding the bottom corner with a low shot from the edge of the box.
West Ham tried to regain the initiative but Julio Cesar coped well with the aerial bombardment. Chamakh latched on to a long punt forward which Shaun Derry failed to head clear and saw penalty appeals turned down after the ball bounced up to hit Derry’s hand.
There was further frustration for Chamakh after he wriggled his way around Hill, who appeared to be pulling him back, before Shaun Wright-Phillips did enough to put him off as he shaped to shoot. Again referee Howard Webb determined no foul had taken place.
Diame had a shot blocked by the recovering Stephane Mbia before Chamakh headed high and wide from a Joe Cole free-kick as West Ham continued to press forward without testing Julio Cesar. Jussi Jaaskelainen was untroubled too, with Taarabt firing well off target.
West Ham resumed on the attack but this time tested Julio Cesar. Joe Cole’s effort was palmed away before Chamakh had a point-blank header stopped. Ryan Nelsen blocked Diame’s follow-up shot in a congested area and Nolan could only head the ball over.
With his team under pressure, Redknapp introduced defender Armand Traore for Wright-Phillips after 58 minutes. West Ham continued to press forward, with Jarvis’s cross met by Chamakh, whose header was saved. It was Chamakh’s last act as he was replaced by Carlton Cole, who had a major say in the equaliser. Julio Cesar could only palm the striker’s powerful header from Jarvis’ cross to the feet of Joe Cole for a simple tap-in. It was the former England international’s first Hammers goal since January 2003, since a 2-2 draw with Newcastle United, also at Upton Park.
Reid had a shot from a corner blocked by Mbia, fired into the side-netting soon afterwards and then Joe Cole had Julio Cesar scrambling but saw his shot blocked by Fabio.
Reid blocked from Remy as QPR attempted to counter before the defender headed over from a corner at the other end in the first of four added minutes. The Hammers were unable to fashion an equaliser as they had to settle for a point.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce: "We haven't quite dominated like that this season, our outstanding performance today should have reaped more than we got. It's a disappointing end to a very encouraging and entertaining performance. We let them break out just the once and [Loic] Remy scored.
“We upped the tempo second half and it looked like it might be a victory but they kept getting bodies in the way, the 'keeper kept saving it, you just have to keep trying and hope the results go your way. Our Achilles heel is that we created so many chances but haven't come away with all three points.
“It’s been a frustrating day for us but if you play like that you’ll win more than you don’t.”
QPR manager Harry Redknapp: “We got 1-0 up and looked OK at that stage. We looked like we had more goals in us on the counter-attack with Remy and his pace, and Adel [Taarabt] playing in behind. But then we started giving the ball away, came under a lot of pressure and dropped deeper and deeper.
“In the end we were under pressure and found it very hard to get out, it was difficult. We fought for our lives and we’ll take a point. That’s five games unbeaten, that’s a big improvement.
"You want to get players [such as Loic Remy] off the mark and scoring, especially when they’ve cost a big transfer fee. I’m sure all other clubs in the league would feel under pressure after bringing someone in who costs that much. But there’s no doubt he’s a good player and he’ll score goals, as he proved today. With the right service around the right players he’ll continue to do so.”
|23 Jan 2013||v Arsenal (A)|
|30 Jan 2013||v Fulham (A)|
|02 Feb 2013||v Swansea (H)|
|10 Feb 2013||v Aston Villa (A)|
|25 Feb 2013||v Tottenham (H)|
|02 Mar 2013||v Stoke (A)|