Jan 19 2013 By Tim Street
Loic Remy Image 3
West Ham 1–1 QPR
LOIC Remy netted a lovely goal on his QPR debut – but it was only enough for a point in today's London derby at West Ham United.
Rs had two huge let offs in the space of a minute in the opening exchanges – first when Mohamed Diame got to byline and skipped through a number of weak challenges before pulling the ball back along the goal-line, with no takers, and then when keeper Julio Cesar stopped a point-blank Kevin Nolan effort from a few yards out with his feet.
Nolan then just failed to get his foot to a deep free-kick after losing his marker, but it was the Rs who took the lead on 13 minutes when new signing Remy timed his run to perfection to latch onto an inch-perfect Adel Taarabt through-ball before beating Jussi Jaaskelainen at his near post for a delightful debut goal.
Shaun Wright-Phillips should have done better than firing well over after Taarabt's back-heel found him free on the edge of the area, while Joey O'Brien did well to deflect wide a Jamie Mackie effort after the Rs man cut in from the right.
The visitors were lucky to escape a penalty shout when Hammers debutant Marouane Chamakh appeared to be held by Clint Hill and then brought down by Wright-Phillips, but referee Howard Webb gave a goal kick after having a good look, while it took a last-ditch challenge from Nedem Onuoha to deny Diame as he shaped to shoot.
It was the hosts who started the stronger after the break, and Cesar got down well to deny Joe Cole, before Rs somehow survived a triple assault on their goal. First, Shaun Derry headed back across his own goal and Chamakh's header was clawed off the liner by Cesar. The follow-up was hacked clear by Hill, before the ball came back in and Diame somehow headed wide.
West Ham continued to press, and Cesar got down superbly to keep out Chamakh's header, but the equaliser finally came on 68 minutes when Carlton Cole's header from a cross from the left was pushed out by Cesar, only for the Hammers striker's namesake, Joe, to squeeze the rebound in at the far post.
The hosts almost took the lead with seven minutes left when Winston Reid's goal-bound shot was blocked in the area, before the same player into the side-netting minutes later, and Joe Cole, having beaten Cesar, could not get past Fabio on the line.
But as another Hammers attack broke down, QPR stormed up pitch and had a three-on-two, but Stephane Mbia almost had too much time to think on the edge of the area, his pass to Remy was poor and the chance was gone.
Rs: Cesar, Onuoha, Hill, Nelsen, Fabio, Mackie (Bothroyd 66), Mbia, Derry, Taarabt (Park 81), Wright-Phillips (Traore 57), Remy. Subs not used: Green, Ferdinand, Hoilett, Faurlin.