Filed: Tuesday, 2nd October 2012
By: Staff Writer
West Ham are celebrating their first away win in the Premier League since February 2011 after beating Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road tonight.
A scintillating first half display was the foundation upon which United's first away win of the 2012/13 campaign - and the first since winning 3-1 at Blackpool under Avram Grant - was built.
Goals from Matt Jarvis and Ricardo Vaz Te saw the Hammers take a 2-0 lead into the break and although they conceded early on in the second period, the Hammers clung on to rise to seventh spot in the table.
Rangers, who have endured a shocking start to the campaign offered little and ended the match with ten men after substitute Diakite - who had only been on the pitch for 19 minutes - received his marching orders with quarter-of-an-hour to go.
Trigger-happy referee Mark Clattenburg booked ten players on the night - an astonishing EIGHT of which were from West Ham - yet somehow Sam Allardyce's team managed to finish the game with all eleven still on the field.
He was also criticised for playing six minutes of extra time when there had been few reasons to add on time in the second period bar substitutions. However West Ham amanged to cling on to record a much deserved win regardless.
The healthy and vocal travelling contingent, which had made the short trip across London waited just three minutes for the first goal of the night to arrive.
Skipper Kevin Nolan's initial shot - the result of some interplay between him and Ricardo Vaz Te - was heading wide of the target before club-record signing Jarvis appeared at the back post to send a deft header across Rangers 'keeper Julio Cesar into the far corner.
The Hammers almost scored a second on 11 minutes when Momo Diame's 25-yard effort dipped just over the crossbar. However they were forced to wait until ten minutes from the break before eventually doubling their lead.
Mark Noble's free kick found its way out to James Tomkins, on as a substitute for the injured Winston Reid. The central defender lobbed the ball back into the mix where Vaz Te stole in at the far post to find the net with a deft flick that took a slight deflection on the way in.
The goal was met by a wry smile from former West Ham number one Rob Green - who has already lost his place at his new club - and captured perfectly by the TV cameras.
The only sour note of an otherwise excellent first half was the injury to Reid which occured after he collided with Jussi Jaaskelainen as the two sought to clear a ball into the box. The New Zealander lay prone for several minutes before being replaced by Tomkins.
The home side halved the deficit just 12 minutes into the second half when substitute Taarabt found the net with an impressive effort from outside the box.
And although Jussi Jaaskelainen had to be alert to keep West Ham ahead on a couple of occasions thereafter, it was West Ham who went closest to adding what would have been the game's fourth goal when a rejuvenated Vaz Te saw a wonderful dipping volley turned against the cross bar by Cesar.
* View highlights - including all the goals from last night's game - right here.
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