Aston Villa produced their best goalscoring home performance of the season to the delight of manager Graham Taylor.
Taylor, under fire earlier in the season, has been adamant that Villa would find their goalscoring form and he was vindicated by this result.
He said: Â“We have had more shots on goal than any other Premiership team so it was just a case of when we would hit the goal standard.Â” West Ham's defeat, however, puts increasing pressure on manager Glenn Roeder who could only watch his side slump to another heavy reverse.
There were several star performances in Villa's win. Lee Hendrie celebrated his recall by scoring the opening goal and then had a hand in two of the other three goals.
Goalkeeper Peter Enckelman was also outstanding with two brilliant saves early in the second half when Villa were only leading by the Hendrie goal.
Inspired by Enckelman the Midlanders went further ahead through Oyvind Leonhardsen only for Paolo Di Canio to pull back a goal. Dion Dublin and Darius Vassell put the issue beyond doubt with two late strikes.
Bottom but one West Ham, now without a win in their last four games, lacked a cutting edge. Their best chance in the early play fell to Jermain Defoe. The snappy little West Ham striker turned the slow moving Steve Staunton but he screwed his low shot wide of the far post.
Villa's shoot on sight policy produced plenty of action but they too were sadly off target.
Only a timely intervention by Jlloyd Samuel prevented the talented Joe Cole giving the Hammers a 25th minute lead. Enckelman parried a right-wing cross and Cole's header was cleared off the line by Samuel.
It was an extremely fortunate escape as Villa moved into a 28th minute lead through Hendrie.
Christian Dailly was booked for a foul on Hendrie and from a Gareth Barry free-kick the ball was knocked back by Dublin for Hendrie to force his way through the Hammers defence to score with a left-foot shot past his former colleague, David James.
The game continued to flow with Ian Taylor clipping the crossbar and early in the second half Enckelman was superb saving in quick succession from Edouard Cisse and Trevor Sinclair.
But in the second half Villa raced home after Leonhardsen notched the second in the 58th minute.
Di Canio pulled back a goal in the 70th minute only for Dublin to head home a Hendrie free-kick in the 71st minute.
Vassell latched on to another Hendrie pass to fire a low shot past James 14 minutes from time to complete the scoring