SPECTACULAR: Andy Carroll volleys home
THIS RESULT was particularly sweet for West Ham and their fans. By the time Manuel Lanzini added a layer of gloss with the third goal, Slaven Bilic's side had managed a convincing victory without the assistance of their most-gifted player and, much to the locals' delight, had put one over on former boss Sam Allardyce.
During the first half neither seemed probable. Crystal Palace denied West Ham a shot on target and were both compact and comfortable in frustrating their opponents. There were those before kick-off suggesting that West Ham were there for the taking and if former Hammer James Tomkins had done better with his finish in the 35th minute that notion may have come to pass.
Andy Carroll spurned a chance at the other end and the hosts otherwise looked toothless without Dimitri Payet. The fans marked the Frenchman's midweek mutiny with a weary reworking of their famous ditty that cast their former hero as a base mercenary.
To their credit, West Ham showed greater dash and dare after the interval, with Carroll ably supported by the improving trio of Lanzini, Michail Antonio, and Sofiane Feghouli.
The Algerian forward finished a move of sparkling efficiency to score his first Premier League goal in the 68th minute. Mark Noble chipped the ball into the path of Antonio, who charged past the onrushing Wayne Hennessey and squared the ball for Feghouli, who arrived ahead of the retreating Palace defence. It was the first of three assists for Antonio as West Ham's top scorer turned provider.
Carroll gave the locals something even more exquisite to get them out of their seats 11 minutes later. Aaron Cresswell fed Lanzini down the left, who teed up Antonio to deliver the cross for a goal of the season contender. Carroll blended grace, agility and power to fire a stunning bicycle kick into Hennessey's top corner.
There was no coming back for Palace, who fell apart in a manner at odds with their first half display. Where West Ham had been faced with a wall of yellow shirts in the opening period, there were now large swathes opening up before them.
On 86 minutes Winston Reid intercepted one lukewarm Palace attack and Antonio broke forward and looked up to spot the run of Lanzini. His ball was perfectly weighted and the Argentine's finish, chipping the ball over Hennessey, gave the move the final touch it deserved.
After an uncertain opening half of the season, this result lifted West Ham to 12th and ensured some distance between them and the relegation zone.
Allardyce, who admitted his side may need further reinforcements during the January transfer window, now finds his team sitting outside the bottom three on mere goal difference as 18th-placed Hull moved onto 16 points in dispatching Bournemouth 3-1 at the KCOM Stadium.
The Payet question will return and few opponents will collapse as Palace did but, for now, Bilic can enjoy this win and West Ham's best period of play since moving to the London Stadium.