The third time was a charm for Loïc Rémy.
He had already been caught offside twice in the opening minutes when he latched on to Adel Taarabt's beautiful, stabbed pass, ran clear of the West Ham defence and stroked a lovely shot past Jussi Jaaskelainen, instantly vindicating Harry Redknapp's belief that Rémy's goals can lead QPR to safety. Given that they remain bottom of the table they will need a fair few of them.
It is never easy for an overseas player to acclimatise to English football – especially when conditions are as arctic as they were on Saturday – but Rémy has hit the ground running, silencing those who claim he is only at QPR for the money after he turned down a lower offer from Newcastle. QPR are already smitten, so much so that Djibril Cissé has been allowed to join the Qatari club, Al Gharafa, on loan until the end of the season.
"It was brilliant to see him take that chance," QPR's captain, Clint Hill, said. "He made a couple of runs and was just flagged offside and then he burst through and took it well. He buried it bottom corner so that shows the quality he has got. For him to get his first goal will be a weight off his shoulders and, if we can keep the ball and create a few more chances for him, he will go on and be a great signing for us."
Sam Allardyce, though, was unhappy with his central defenders, James Tomkins and Winston Reid, for giving Rémy such a hospitable welcome. "It was certainly our fault that he scored," he said. "We made it very easy for him. They tried to play an offside and all they had to do was stay with the runner and it wouldn't have been a problem."
For 20 minutes, Rémy and Taarabt caused West Ham's defence all sorts of problems, although Redknapp is keen to get Bobby Zamora into his side, with the striker not far off a return after a lengthy spell out with a hip injury. "I fancy him [Rémy] and Zamora together," Redknapp said. "I've got to find a way of playing them two, and then Taarabt as well. It will give us a bit of attacking threat. Taarabt could play in a diamond, in behind. I'll find a way of playing trying to get the best out of them. If Bobby is fit it will make a big difference to us. I love him."
QPR also need to find a way of keeping the ball better because while their defence have improved vastly since being embarrassed by Luis Suárez and Liverpool three weeks ago, they still had to rely on a number of saves from Julio César to deny West Ham all the points. However there was nothing he could do about Joe Cole's equaliser, which was the midfielder's first goal for West Ham since 11 January 2003.
Redknapp, who gave Cole his professional debut for West Ham in 1999, had wanted to sign him from Liverpool this month. The bottle of champagne Cole gave his first manager after the match was a minor consolation but at least Redknapp could raise a glass to Rémy.
Man of the match Julio César (Queens Park Rangers)
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