West Ham had no trouble brushing QPR aside, as Diafra Sakho forced an own goal and scored one of his own to put the Hammers through at Upton Park on a 2-0 scoreline.
The match started in shocking fashion, a beautiful beginning for West Ham as a corner by Stewart Downing came in to the edge of the six-yard box and it came off the knee of Nedum Oduoha in for an own goal. QPR goalkeeper Robert Green really should have collected the ball, instead he sat back and Sakho forced the defensive mis-touch.
The goal allowed the Hammers to continue attacking play, and they got forward with pace. However, there were precious few good chances for either side after the goal, as Charlie Austin didn’t get much service up front for QPR.
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As the first half went on, West Ham looked more and more comfortable to sit back as they felt no threat from the QPR midfield and cut off the feed to the strikers.
The visitors brought on Bobby Zamora after the halftime break, and QPR looked a little more into the game, but still West Ham looked settled. They’d patiently wait for a second, and it would come for the Hammers on 59 minutes.
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The ball ping-ponged around the box and was never cleared, and a shot by Mauro Zarate was blocked only to James Tomkins on a tight angle. Tomkins skillfully popped the ball back over his head in front of the face of goal, and Sakho was there to head it home.
The game exploded open, and a controversial moment blotted the next few minutes. Green took a goal-kick and passed it directly to Enner Valencia, who immediately stuck the ball into the back of the net, but the referee disallowed it to say Valencia is required to leave the penalty area before he can touch the ball.
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Harry Redknapp will be sweating his squad’s table position, still mired in the bottom position and with poor goal scoring and defensive records. Meanwhile, West Ham will pocket the three points to boost the Hammers into the top half of the table.
West Ham: Adrian; Jenkinson, Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell; Song, Amalfitano, Downing; Zarate (Nolan 76′), Sakho, Valencia.
Goals: Sakho 59′
QPR: Green; Onuoha, Ferdinand, Caulker, Traore; Sandro (Taarabt 67′), Henry, Fer; Hoilett (Zamora 46′), Kranjcar (Mutch 78′), Austin.
Goals: Onuoha (og) 5′