DREAM DÉBUT: Remy opened the scoring in his first start for Rangers
AS EAST London welcomed west, the points were shared when West Ham drew 1-1 at home with Queens Park Rangers.
The pre-match talk was all about Rangers new boy Loic Remy and the Frenchman did not disappoint on his Premier League debut. It was his goal that gave the visitors the lead and left Hoops supporters daydreaming of a much needed three points.
It was Harry Redknapp’s first return to his former club since taking over from Mark Hughes and unlike their previous meeting which ended 2-1 to the Hammers, this QPR are in far better shape.
Having worked on the defence, it was clear the acquisition of Remy was to give the club the goals they need in order to have any hope of staying in the top division.
Redknapp admitted as much, when he said: “Spirit and effort will only take you so far; you need a bit of quality as well.”
The home side started the brighter of the two with Kevin Nolan having two chances saved by the impressive Julio Cesar, before the visitors struck against the run of play.
Remy’s two previous attempts to break the offside trap had failed but it was clearly third time lucky for the former Marseille man in the 14th minute. He latched onto a long cross from Adel Tarabbt before bearing down on goal and placing it just to the left of Jussi Jaaskelainen.
The Hoops fans in the corner of the Trevor Brooking stand went mad and you couldn’t help but feel his strike had immediately bought him a place in their hearts.
Conceding an early goal knocked the wind out of West Ham’s sails and it appeared as if the pace of Remy and Tarabbt would be too much for an injury-plagued West Ham defence.
Sam Allardyce’s men should have had a chance to level the tie on the half hour mark as Clint Hill manhandled Marouane Chamakh in the penalty box. On the Laurent Koscielny scale of 1-10, it was at least a 7.5. But Howard Webb ignored the home side’s pleas as he did for the majority of the game.
The home manager may be buoyed by the fact that they had 13 shots on target, most of which came in the second half. And if it wasn’t for the agility of Cesar they may well have overcome their resolute visitors.
The Brazilian saved shots from Joe Cole, Chamakh and Carlton Cole before finally conceding in the 68th minute.
Matt Jarvis’ cross was met by Carlton Cole, whose header was parried out and met by fan favourite Joe Cole. It was a bit of a scrambled goal, but nothing less than the home side deserved. Not to mention it was Cole's first since returning to his boyhood club.
The former Bolton Wanderers boss said “It was a very frustrating day, but an encouraging performance.”
Before adding: “We have to be massively disappointed that we haven’t made that performance into three points.”
It continued to be all West Ham as they tried to get the win that would increase the gap between them and the relegation zone, but once again they were unable to take their chances.
A habit that could well be the Hammers undoing.