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West Ham 1-1 QPR: Joe Cole spoils Remy’s dream debut

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West Ham 1-1 QPR: Joe Cole spoils Remy’s dream debut
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West Ham 1-1 QPR: Joe Cole spoils Remy’s dream debut
West Ham came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw against QPR on Saturday afternoon at Upton Park during a closely-fought but scrappy encounter.

The visitors took the lead in the first half after a fantastic piece of finishing from debutant Loic Remy, collecting Adel Taarabt's brilliant pass before firing home, before Joe Cole equalized with a simple tap-in for his first West Ham goal in a decade to level the game.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce made seven changes to the side that lost 1-0 away at Old Trafford to Manchester United in their FA Cup third round replay in midweek, with on-loan Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh handed his first start for the club, with James Collins missing out with a calf injury.

QPR boss Harry Redknapp handed Remy his debut for the club, with Park Ji-Sung making way and dropping to the bench in the only change from the team that drew 0-0 with Tottenham last weekend.

After a bright start from the hosts, some typically tenacious work by Mohamed Diame down the left flank saw his low ball across the box result in a corner, from which Julio Cesar had to be at his best to turn away a Kevin Nolan header from close range.

However, against the run of play, Remy handed the Hoops the lead in the 13th minute after latching on to Taarabt's superb through ball in behind the back four before coolly slotting home past Jaaskelainen.

With West Ham struggling to gain a foothold in midfield and being increasingly forced to utilize the long ball, Chamakh had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Howard Webb after going down in the box under some heavy pressure from Jamie Mackie.

Despite huffing and puffing for the remainder of the half, though, aside from a Diame effort which blazed over the bar and poorly-hit strike from Joe Cole, the home fans had little to cheer about, going it at the break a goal behind.

Manager Sam Allardyce's halftime team talk must have had an impact after the hosts racing out of the traps in pursuit of an equalizer in the second half, with Cole going close before Chamakh saw an effort well blocked by Clint Hill in the six yard box after a scrappy goalmouth scramble.

They didn't have to wait much longer for the equalizer, though, with Cole prodding the ball in after Julio Cesar parried substitute Carlon Cole's towering header after a lovely cross into the box from Matt Jarvis in the 67th minute.

By this point in time, QPR were merely clinging on and West Ham went close through a Winston Reid drive before Joe Cole saw an effort cleared off the line by Fabio after he rounded Julio Cesar on the break.

Despite their lackluster display in the second half, the visitors still posed a threat on the break with Stephane M'Bia doing well to intercept a Kevin Nolan pass before driving up the pitch and playing in Remy only to see Reid get across to block.

Nevertheless, even though they were hugely outplayed in the second half, Harry Redknapp's side managed to hold on to claim a point and ensure that both sides enjoyed a share of the spoils, with the hosts enable to find a way through late on.

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