Early Jarvis goal helps Hammers sink QPR
QPR's alarming winless start to the season continued on Monday night as Matt Jarvis' early goal set West Ham on course for a comfortable 2-1 victory in west London.
The £11million summer acquisition headed home his first goal for the Hammers after three minutes. QPR were on the backfoot throughout a first half in which Ricardo Vaz Te doubled the visitors' advantage. Adel Taarabt clawed a goal back for QPR with a superb long-range effort moments after his second-half introduction.
Any comeback was thwarted when fellow substitute Samba Diakite was sent off. Referee Mark Clattenburg handed out 11 bookings in all and eight of those went to players in claret and blue.
The surprise team news was that Andy Carroll was deemed fit enough to be included amongst the substitutes after missing the past four matches with a hamstring injury. Former West Ham goalkeeper Rob Green was on the opposing bench and was taunted from the start by the vocal visiting support, who had a goal to cheer early on.
Kevin Nolan linked up well with Vaz Te down the left but struck a poor scooped effort that was going harmlessly wide until Jarvis snuck in to nod home past Julio Cesar.
Joey O'Brien then reacted to stop James Collins putting into his own goal from an Esteban Granero free-kick that saw an unfortunate collision between Winston Reid and his own goalkeeper. Reid required nearly four minutes of treatment after appearing to be knocked out by Jussi Jaaskelainen and was replaced by James Tomkins.
It was not all positive for West Ham, though, as O'Brien became their second casualty of the first half and had to be replaced by George McCartney 11 minutes from half-time. The injuries were the only blot on a fine opening 45 minutes for West Ham, which got better as Vaz Te doubled the visitors' advantage moments later.
Mark Noble swung in a free-kick and the resulting penalty-box melee was cleared only as far as Tomkins, whose superb first-time cross was met by an equally impressive acrobatic effort from Vaz Te.
Cesar did well to deny Mohamed Diame three minutes after the restart and it took until the 55th-minute introductions of Taarabt and Diakite to change course. The former was welcomed with particularly loud cheers and showed why within two minutes, making space to curl home an exquisite 25-yard effort into the top right-hand corner.
Jaaskelainen spilled a driven Djibril Cisse shot at the near post as QPR pushed for an equaliser, before the hosts' task was made all the more difficult as Diakite received a second yellow a late lunge on Diame.