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Football | Barclays Premier League

Cole denies Remy match-winning debut

Joe Cole scored his first West Ham United goal since January 2002 to prevent Loic Remy from netting a precious winning goal on his Queens Park Rangers debut at Upton Park on Saturday.

Remy started for QPR after his £8 million move from Marseille and took just 14 minutes to open his account, only for Cole to rescue a 1-1 draw with his first goal since his return to West Ham.

The Hammers were without James Collins (hamstring) and George McCartney (knee) in defence, and Andy Carroll up front.

But Mark Noble and Joey O'Brien were both fit to start for the East Londoners and Marouane Chamakh made his first start since joining them on loan from Arsenal.

QPR centre-back Clint Hill had the first effort at goal, heading Adel Taarabt's corner a foot or so over the West Ham crossbar.

But West Ham went closer twice in the sixth minute.

First, Mohamed Diame tricked his way in from the left and fired a low cross to the near post.

Winston Reid got a touch a yard out, but Rangers goalkeeper Julio Cesar blocked, the ball trickling across the face of goal and out for a corner on the right.

From the corner kick, Reid glanced a header into the six-yard box, where Kevin Nolan met the ball first-time, only for Cesar to block again, with his knee.

West Ham were in the ascendancy, with Diame impressing in a more attacking role than usual.

QPR could not get the ball out of their half, so it was a surprise when they broke out to take the lead.

Adel Taarabt timed his pass perfectly as Remy made his run, beating Reid's attempt to play him offside.

The Frenchman ran on, taking his shot early from 19 yards and beating Jussi Jaaskelainen's dive to his left.

West Ham tried to hit back, but Cesar handled a series of crosses from both wings with confidence.

Then the home side made two loud claims for a penalty, first when Hill seemed to manhandle Chamakh, then, in the same passage of play, when the Moroccan stumbled as Shaun Wright-Phillips challenged him from behind.

Howard Webb, the referee, had a long look on both occasions but decided that neither was a foul.

Diame then danced past two challenges on the edge of the penalty area before Stephane Mbia swept across to clear, while Cole produced a clever pass on the turn that Chamakh failed to anticipate.

The second half began as the first had ended, with West Ham forcing QPR back into their own penalty area.

There were plenty of battlers in blue and white, but they could not prevent Cole latching onto Chamakh's pass after 52 minutes and hitting a drive that was on its way inside the far post until Cesar dived to his right to save.

In the 55th minute, there was pinball in the Rangers six-yard box as Cesar blocked Chamakh's downward header, Ryan Nelsen got in the way of Diame's follow-up shot, and then Nolan nodded over.

A leveller seemed inevitable and after 68 minutes, substitute Carlton Cole met Matt Jarvis's cross with a leaping header that Cesar could only push out to Joe Cole, who slotted in from three yards out.

West Ham went for the winner, with Mbia blocking a thunderbolt from Reid after Cesar's punch had dropped to him, and when Joe Cole went round the goalkeeper, Fabio was on hand to kick clear.


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