West Ham 1-1 QPR

By Ben SmithBBC Sport
West Ham 1 - 1 Queens Park Rangers : Redknapp satisfied with draw

Loic Remy scored on his Queens Park Rangers debut but Joe Cole's second-half strike denied Harry Redknapp a victory at former club West Ham.

The £8m striker had put the Premier League's bottom club ahead 13 minutes into his first appearance, firing home after Adel Taarabt's pin-point pass.

But West Ham dominated a breathless second half, levelling through Cole's close-range strike and going close on countless other occasions.

QPR held on for a draw but stay bottom.

Nevertheless, a point at one his old clubs was another encouraging result for Redknapp's side, who remain unbeaten in 2013.

Having kept back-to-back Premier League clean sheets against Chelsea and Tottenham there was more evidence here of a defensive solidity absent in the early months of the season.

West Ham went close through Mohamed Diame and Kevin Nolan in the early moments and were denied a penalty by referee Howard Webb when Marouane Chamakh stumbled under the challenge of Clint Hill and went down after a tangle of legs with Shaun Wright-Phillips.

But it was clear the arrival of Remy from Marseilles had added to the renewed optimism at QPR. When the Frenchman raced onto Taarabt's beautifully judged through-ball to give the visitors the lead, their burgeoning self-belief was plain to see and Redknapp's side looked an altogether more potent threat as half-time approached.

The second half was a very different story, however. West Ham tackled, denied space and dominated territory and their uncomplicated, direct approach forced QPR onto the back foot.

Les Ferdinand was among the scorers the last time QPR won at Upton Park in August 1993, the first month of the Premier League season, as the snow began to fall, the hosts battled to preserve their impressive record against Rangers.

West Ham dominated QPR - Allardyce

First, Chamakh's close-range header was turned away by visiting keeper Julio Cesar, and Diame's follow-up shot was blocked by Hill before Kevin Nolan headed narrowly over.

Matt Jarvis created another opportunity for Chamakh soon after but the Moroccan's towering header was well saved by Cesar.

Hammers substitute Carlton Cole then forced the keeper into another tremendous save, but the Brazilian was unable to hold the striker's header and Joe Cole turned the loose ball into the net from two yards for the first goal of his second spell at West Ham.

As West Ham sensed a winner, Winston Reid's fierce goal-bound shot was blocked bravely by Stephane Mbia after a goalmouth scramble, before Joe Cole rounded Cesar only to see his shot turned away by Hill as Rangers held on.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce: "We couldn't have created more opportunities to score more goals. We're looking very dejected almost like we've lost in the dressing room, because we knew that performance should've got three points. I said to the lads, 'look, carry on like that and you'll win more games than you'll draw'.

"At the other end all we've got done by is the sucker punch, which we talked about before the game. It's an encouraging performance to do what we did today, but the frustration and disappointment was it didn't lead to what should've been a comfortable victory."

QPR boss Harry Redknapp: "I couldn't fault the effort but we have to keep the ball and play a bit. If we could have got the ball after scoring I felt the fans would have turned on them. But they were teeing off and dropping balls up to front men.

"The players have been excellent we have been on a good little run. We just want to keep that going and keep improving. We are still there [bottom of the table] but we are in much better shape that we were six or seven weeks ago. There will be teams looking over their shoulder."


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