Cole rescues West Ham draw vs. QPR
Joe Cole denied last-place Queens Park Rangers a vital Premier League win by grabbing West Ham's equalizer in a 1-1 draw Saturday, the former England winger's first goal since returning to his boyhood club.
Remy scored 14 minutes into his maiden appearance following his £8million signing from Marseille, but the Hammers were on top throughout, only to find Julio Cesar in inspired form as he twice denied Marouane Chamakh, who might have had a first-half penalty when Clint Hill wrestled him to the ground.
Chamakh's replacement Carlton Cole also was denied by the Brazilian goalkeeper, but Joe Cole was in the right place to tuck in the rebound after 68 minutes for his first Hammers goal in his second spell at the club.
QPR were looking for a second successive away win following their first of the season at Chelsea, but instead Harry Redknapp had to be content with a draw on his return to Upton Park.
In Remy, who linked well with Adel Taarabt, the Hoops might have found the clinical striker required in their survival fight, but there is still much work to be done.
After QPR captain Hill headed over from a corner in the second minute, Remy's desire to make a swift impression saw him caught offside twice.
Chamakh, in his first start and on his home debut, was similarly keen to please. The striker twice conceded possession early on, but played a part in the move which almost led to the Hammers taking the lead.
He linked well down the left with Mohamed Diame, who got in behind the visiting defence and cut the ball dangerously across the six-yard box. Matt Jarvis got a touch, but saw Cesar, wearing tights to combat the bitter cold, save.
From the resulting corner Winston Reid headed the ball down to Kevin Nolan, who was denied at close range by a smart save from the goalkeeper.
The Hammers were continuing to build the pressure before Remy struck. This time the Frenchman timed his run well to race past Reid and meet Taarabt's pass before finding the bottom corner with a low shot from the edge of the box.
West Ham tried to regain the initiative, but Cesar coped well with the aerial bombardment. Chamakh latched on to a long punt forward which Shaun Derry failed to head clear and saw penalty appeals turned down after the ball bounced up to hit Derry's hand.
There was further penalty box frustration for Chamakh after he wriggled his way around Hill, who appeared to be pulling him back, before Shaun Wright-Phillips did enough to put him off as he shaped to shoot. Again referee Howard Webb determined no foul had taken place.
Diame had a shot blocked by the recovering Stephane Mbia before Chamakh headed high and wide from a Joe Cole free-kick as West Ham continued to press forward without testing Cesar. Jussi Jaaskelainen was untroubled too, with Taarabt firing well off target.
West Ham resumed on the attack but this time tested Cesar. Joe Cole's effort was palmed away before Chamakh had a point-blank header stopped.
Ryan Nelsen blocked Diame's follow-up shot in a congested area and Nolan could only head the ball over. With his team under pressure, Redknapp introduced defender Armand Traore for Wright-Phillips after 58 minutes.
West Ham continued to press forward, with Jarvis' cross met by Chamakh, whose poor header was saved. It was Chamakh's last act as he was replaced by Carlton Cole, who had a major say in the equaliser. Cesar could only palm the striker's powerful header from Jarvis' cross to the feet of Joe Cole for a simple tap in.
It was the former England international's first Hammers goal since January 2003, since a 2-2 draw with Newcastle, also at Upton Park. Reid had a shot from a corner blocked by Mbia, fired into the side-netting soon afterwards and then Joe Cole had Cesar scrambling but saw his shot blocked by Fabio.
Reid blocked from Remy as QPR attempted to counter before the defender headed over from a corner at the other end in the first of four added minutes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.