CHELSEA found the perfect solution to a potential goalkeeping crisis by making sure they were potent at the opposite end of the field.
A glancing header by Alex from Florent Malouda's cross after 16 minutes set the Blues on their way to a win that takes them back to the Premier League summit.
Didier Drogba nodded in his 20 th league goal of the campaign from point-blank range on 56 minutes – with Malouda again the supplier – to make it 2-1.
And Malouda crowned a man of the match display on 77 minutes when he cut inside Hammers defender Danny Gabbidon before driving in low to Robert Green's left.
Drogba helped himself to his second of the afternoon in the final minute when he pounced after Green had spilled a low drive from Frank Lampard.
Scott Parker had found the net for the Hammers with a long range strike after half an hour when the Blues went to sleep at a throw in.
Already deprived of Petr Cech, a groin strain ruled out stand-in keeper Henrique Hilario, giving Ross Turnbull a league debut for Carlo Ancelotti's men.
But the third choice stopper had a largely untroubled afternoon as the Blues re-asserted the home superiority that deserted them in their last league game against Man City.