Andy Carroll scored a stunning overhead kick as West Ham beat Crystal Palace 3-0 at the London Stadium on Saturday.
The victory brought a welcome end to a turbulent week for the east Londoners after manager Slaven Bilic revealed that playmaker Dimitri Payet was refusing to play for the club anymore.
But Carroll shrugged off the Frenchman's absence with a second-half wonder strike in what proved a comprehensive win and a key first victory in four games.
After a quiet opening half, the game sprang to life after the interval when Sofiane Feghouli netted his first Premier League goal to break the deadlock in the 68th minute before a world-class effort from Carroll doubled the lead 11 minutes later.
Manuel Lanzini rounded off the afternoon with a fine counter-attacking goal with four minutes of normal time to play to see the Hammers go nine points clear of the drop zone but leave Crystal Palace just outside on goal difference.
The opening 45 minutes was a very scrappy affair, with the first sight on goal coming in the 28th minute. A great run from Mark Noble on the right flank saw him fire a cross into the box for Carroll, but the striker’s volley just skimmed the crossbar and ended up in the crowd.
Neither goalkeeper had much to do in terms of saves during the first half, but Darren Randolph was called into action four minutes later as a James Collins clearance fell to Yohan Cabaye at the top of the box, but his half-volley was well collected by the goalkeeper.
Crystal Palace’s best chance of the half came with nine minutes to play, as James Tomkins nearly punished his boyhood club. Andros Townsend fired a sublime free-kick into the box that found the foot of the defender, but he slightly skewed the tap-in and it rolled wide of the far post with the incoming Joe Ledley unable to get to it in time.
The Eagles ended the half on slightly better terms and went close again in the 38th minute as Townsend was again involved, firing a delightful cross to the back post from the right flank, but Jason Puncheon could not get the proper contact and the West Ham defence saw the ball out of danger.
Within minutes of the second half, both sides could have broken the deadlock. Carroll took a great turn at the top of the box before firing just wide while Cabaye whistled a chance over the crossbar at the other end two minutes later.
The chances kept coming for Carroll, with Feghouli firing a fantastic cross into the box in the 52nd minute that the striker just headed over before Lanzini sent a fine free-kick to him at the back post that he could only poke agonisingly wide of the upright.
But the goals started flowing for the home side in the 68th minute as Feghouli netted his first league goal since his summer move. A sublime through-ball from Noble set off Michail Antonio into the box, who nicked the ball around an oncoming Wayne Hennessey who was far off his line, and squaring to the Algeria international to slot home into an open net.
Eleven minutes later, Carroll produced an absolute stunning effort to double the Hammers’ lead and end his frustration in front of goal. Lanzini played the ball to Antonio on the right of the box, who put in a fantastic cross to the striker on the right of the box.
Carroll steadied himself before hitting the ball with the sweetest of overhead kicks to send the effort smashing into the back of the net for one of the goals of the season as the London Stadium went wild.
Lanzini rounded off the scoring in the 86th minute, and it was the third assist of the afternoon for Antonio. After Winston Reid clearance at the other end sent Antonio off on a break, bursting down the field before beautifully laying the ball off for Lanzini who continued the run.
Hennessey was again off his line as the Argentine chipped the ball over him into an open net to seal a fine three points for the home side and plunge Palace deeper into a relegation battle.
West Ham: Randolph (5), Collins (7), Reid (6), Ogbonna (6), Antonio (9), Noble (7), Obiang (6), Cresswell (6), Lanzini (8), Feghouli (7), Carroll (8).
Subs used: Byram (7), Fernandes (n/a), Fletcher (n/a).
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (5), Ward (7), Tomkins (6), Dann (7), Delaney (6), McArthur (6), Ledley (6), Townsend (6), Cabaye (6), Puncheon (6), Benteke (5).
Subs used: Lee Chung-Yong (5), Remy (5), Schlupp (4).
Man of the match: Michail Antonio.