Is it time to start the Mark Hughes firing watch? Despite spending a ton of money on new players this summer, QPR find themselves bottom of the league after West Ham beat them 2-1 win at Loftus Road on Monday.
Big Sam’s West Ham side are up to seventh after first-half goals from Matt Jarvis and Ricardo Vaz Te was enough put the Hammers firmly in control. QPR got one back through Adel Taarabt after the break, but the late dismissal of Mali midfielder Samba Diakite killed off Rangers, who have yet to win a game this season.
West Ham made a dream start in the third minute when Vaz Te pulled the ball back for Kevin Nolan and the skipper’s mishit shot found Jarvis, who was unmarked at the back post and headed home from close-range.
Mohamed Diame almost doubled West Ham’s lead soon after when his long-range effort took a wicked deflection off a defender and flew over QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar, only to drop just the wrong side of the post.
QPR nearly earned a fortunate equaliser when Esteban Granero’s corner was misjudged by Hammers goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, but the ball bounced to safety off team-mate James Collins. West Ham lost defender Winston Reid in that incident as he was forced to come off after briefly being knocked unconscious when Jasskelainen crashed into him, while just minutes later Allardyce also had to replace Joey O’Brien due to an injury.
But those enforced subs couldn’t disrupt West Ham and the Hammers increased their lead in the 35th minute. QPR were guilty of sloppy defending as a corner was only half-cleared and James Tomkins played the ball back in to Vaz Te, whose shot deflected off Stephane Mbia and past former Inter Milan star Cesar.
QPR were much better in the second half as Mark Hughes sent on Diakite and Taarabt for Park Ji-sung and Shaun Wright-Phillips. The substitutions paid off when Taarabt collected the ball wide on the left, cut inside and unleashed a sublime curling strike that gave Jaaskelainen no chance.
The hosts were only denied an equaliser thanks to Jaaskelainen, who brilliantly pushed away Granero’s shot and Allardyce responded by sending on Carroll for the final 20 minutes.
But Carroll didn’t need to produce any heroics as the match was effectively over in the 75th minute. Diakite had already been booked by referee Mark Clattenburg when he slid in aggressively on Guy Demel, earning a second yellow card in the process and ended QPR’s comeback hopes.