West Ham United piled on the misery for Queens Park Rangers with a 2-1 win at Loftus Road on Monday that left their London rivals rooted to the bottom of the English Premier League.
Sam Allardyce's side moved up to seventh after first-half goals from Matt Jarvis and Ricardo Vaz Te 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 the hosts, who have now lost four and drawn two of their first six matches.
In contrast, West Ham celebrated their third win of the campaign and their first on their travels. There was more good news for the Hammers as England striker Andy Carroll, on loan from Liverpool, returned as a second-half substitute to make his first appearance since suffering a hamstring injury on his debut.
Allardyce's men made a dream start in the third minute when Vaz Te pulled the ball back for Kevin Nolan and the skipper looped a cross towards Jarvis, who was unmarked at the back post and headed home from close-range. Jarvis was only playing because of an injury to Matt Taylor and his first goal for West Ham since his £10.75million pre-season move from Wolves was a well-timed reminder to Allardyce of what he can bring to the team.
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 Jaaskelainen crashed into him, while just minutes later Allardyce also had to replace Joey O'Brien due to an injury.
But those enforced alterations couldn't disrupt West Ham and the east Londoners 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, who marked his 26th birthday with a slightly fortunate goal that deflected off Stephane Mbia and squeezed past the weak attempted save by former Inter Milan star Cesar.
Djibril Cisse threatened to drag QPR back into the game with a fine strike that Jaaskelainen tipped over.
QPR boss Mark Hughes sent on Diakite and Taarabt for Park Ji-sung and Shaun Wright-Phillips in a bid to spark his side into life after the break and the move paid off just 84 seconds later. In the 57th minute, Morocco midfielder 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.