5 October 2014 19:20
Diafra Sakho was on target again as West Ham secured a second straight Premier League home win by beating QPR 2-0 at Upton Park.
Sam Allardyce’s side failed to reach the heights of their impressive 3-1 triumph against Liverpool in their last match in front of their own fans but they always looked likely winners on Sunday after Nedum Onuoha’s early own goal and will also be happy to have kept a first clean sheet of the season.
Senegal international Sakho scored the second after 59 minutes to put the game beyond doubt, maintaining his record of having netted every time he has started in a West Ham shirt with his fifth goal in as many games.
QPR went into the match having lost all three Premier League games on the road since gaining promotion back to the top flight and it was not hard to see why, as they struggled to make any impression up front.
Former West Ham heroes Harry Redknapp and Rio Ferdinand, who was playing in his 500th Premier League match, received a warm welcome back on their return to Upton Park.
However, they were done no favours as a crucial handball was missed by referee Anthony Taylor in the lead-up to the opening goal before Sakho’s strike made the game safe.
West Ham made two changes from last week’s loss at Manchester United, as Carl Jenkinson replaced the injured Guy Demel and Mauro Zarate returned ahead of Diego Poyet.
Defender Onuoha made his first league start of the season for QPR, while Karl Henry and Junior Hoilett were recalled to the first XI.
The home side went ahead after just five minutes when a superb Stewart Downing corner sailed over a melee on the edge of the six-yard box and was bundled into his own net by Onuoha.
Rangers goalkeeper Robert Green appealed for handball after Enner Valencia held his arms aloft following a nudge in the back, but referee Taylor failed to notice a fingertip touch and the goal stood.
Valencia then shot just wide with a more orthodox effort following good build-up play from Downing and Sakho while, at the other end, Charlie Austin shot straight at Adrian after skillfully getting past James Tomkins.
Much of the rest of the first period was played out in a strangely subdued atmosphere, though, as both sides struggled to produce quality play.
Redknapp brought on another West Ham old boy in Bobby Zamora at the break, replacing Hoilett, and the striker created a chance for Austin at the start of the second half, but he fired wide.
Sakho then continued his scoring streak when he headed in from close range just short of the hour mark after Tomkins had won a far-post challenge and lofted the ball back across the area.
As QPR pressed for a way back, Niko Kranjcar tested Adrian with a long-range free-kick which bounced awkwardly in front of goal and substitute Adel Taarabt fired just wide with another decent strike, but there was no comeback.
In fact, replacement Kevin Nolan could have made it three for West Ham late on after being set free by the excellent Downing, but his low shot was straight at Green.