Ricardo Vaz Te hit a hat-trick as West Ham maintained their automatic promotion hopes by thrashing a Brighton side whose play-off hopes were dented.
The Hammers, now three points behind second-placed Southampton, took the lead through Vaz Te's early strike.
A Vaz Te header and Kevin Nolan tap-in then put West Ham 3-0 up in 11 minutes.
A bicycle kick from Vaz Te, Carlton Cole's deflected shot off team-mate Henri Lansbury and a Gary Dicker own goal completed the Upton Park rout.
The victory was West Ham's first in eight games at home, while Brighton are five points adrift of the play-off places.
Southampton had been beaten by top-of-the-table Reading on Friday and West Ham made a blistering start as they attempted to capitalise.
Vaz Te broke the deadlock before quickly adding a second as he took his tally to seven goals in the last five games.
Nolan added to Brighton's woes and it could have been worse for the visitors when a deflected Lansbury shot came off the crossbar.
Brighton had a rare chance when Gordon Greer saw a header saved by keeper Robert Green but Gus Poyet's side did not help their cause by giving away possession on a regular basis.
West Ham were a far cry from the team that had drawn six and lost one at Upton Park during the end-of-season run-in as they carried an air of confidence and creativity.
Vaz Te's acrobatic goal in the second half completed his hat-trick before Cole's shot came off his team-mate Lansbury to add to the Hammers lead.
Brighton's misery was compounded when their midfielder Dicker put a Mark Noble corner into his own goal as the Hammers also reduced the goal difference gap on Southampton to three.
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Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.90:00 +0:39
Close range shot by Kevin Nolan misses to the left of the goal.88:08
Corner taken left-footed by Matthew Taylor, save by Peter Brezovan.87:18
Unfair challenge on Henri Lansbury by Liam Bridcutt results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Mark Noble.86:17
Gordon Greer takes the free kick.86:17 Booking
Booking Carlton Cole is shown a yellow card.86:07
Free kick awarded for a foul by Carlton Cole on Alan Navarro.84:21
Close range header by James Tomkins misses to the right of the goal.84:01
Gordon Greer challenges John Carew unfairly and gives away a free kick. Matthew Taylor restarts play with the free kick.83:22
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Liam Bridcutt by Jack Collison. Free kick taken by Gordon Greer.82:47
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adam El-Abd by John Carew. Peter Brezovan takes the free kick.80:21
Free kick awarded for a foul by Alan Navarro on Mark Noble. Mark Noble takes the direct free kick.77:38
Assist on the goal came from Mark Noble.77:36 Goal scored
Goal! - Gary Dicker - West Ham 6 - 0 Brighton An unfortunate own goal is conceded by Gary Dicker. West Ham 6-0 Brighton.77:18
Corner taken by Mark Noble from the left by-line played to the near post.76:29
Free kick taken by James Tomkins.76:29 Substitution
Substitution John Carew on for Ricardo Vaz Te.76:29 Booking
Booking Gary Dicker is given a yellow card.76:24
Unfair challenge on Jack Collison by Gary Dicker results in a free kick.75:11
Gary Dicker takes a shot. Blocked by Matthew Taylor. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Kazenga LuaLua from the left by-line, James Tomkins manages to make a clearance.
The ball is sent over by Jack Collison, save by Peter Brezovan.67:27 Substitution
Substitution Danny Collins joins the action as a substitute, replacing Guy Demel.66:48
The ball is sent over by Ricardo Vaz Te, Peter Brezovan makes a save.64:00
Mark Noble provided the assist for the goal.64:00 Goal scored
Goal! - Carlton Cole - West Ham 5 - 0 Brighton Carlton Cole finds the net with a goal from inside the area high into the middle of the goal. West Ham 5-0 Brighton.63:01 Substitution
Substitution Craig Noone on for Rodriguez Vicente.61:58
Assist by Carlton Cole.61:58 Goal scored
Goal! - Ricardo Vaz Te - West Ham 4 - 0 Brighton Ricardo Vaz Te scores a goal from inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. West Ham 4-0 Brighton.60:32
Mark Noble challenges Rodriguez Vicente unfairly and gives away a free kick. Liam Bridcutt restarts play with the free kick.58:37
Winston Reid challenges Craig Mackail-Smith unfairly and gives away a free kick. Liam Bridcutt restarts play with the free kick.55:59
Alan Navarro takes a shot. Save by Robert Green.54:54
Rodriguez Vicente gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Matthew Taylor. Free kick taken by Robert Green.54:01 Substitution
Substitution Jack Collison comes on in place of Gary O'Neil.52:24 Substitution
Substitution Craig Mackail-Smith replaces Ashley Barnes.52:24 Substitution
Substitution Kazenga LuaLua on for Gai Assulin.51:08
Ricardo Vaz Te takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Save made by Peter Brezovan.50:29
Carlton Cole takes a shot. Save by Peter Brezovan.49:43
The ball is sent over by Ricardo Vaz Te, Marcos Painter makes a clearance.49:18
Matthew Taylor produces a cross, blocked by Inigo Calderon.48:50
Unfair challenge on Rodriguez Vicente by Matthew Taylor results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Liam Bridcutt.47:33
The ball is crossed by Guy Demel, Adam El-Abd makes a clearance. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Matthew Taylor from the right by-line, Inigo Calderon makes a clearance.45:42
Shot by Liam Bridcutt from outside the area goes high over the crossbar.45:01
The referee gets the second half started.45:00 +1:41 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.45:00 +1:38
Effort on goal by Henri Lansbury from inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the bar.44:44
Kevin Nolan concedes a free kick for a foul on Marcos Painter. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Rodriguez Vicente.43:10
Ricardo Vaz Te takes a shot. Save made by Peter Brezovan.40:26
Winston Reid concedes a free kick for a foul on Rodriguez Vicente. Rodriguez Vicente delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, clearance by Kevin Nolan. Inswinging corner taken by Gary Dicker from the left by-line, Gordon Greer takes a shot. Save by Robert Green. Rodriguez Vicente decides to take the corner short.39:46
Marcos Painter sends in a cross, Winston Reid makes a clearance.39:23
The ball is crossed by Inigo Calderon, Guy Demel makes a clearance.38:31
Inigo Calderon takes a shot. Matthew Taylor gets a block in.37:53
Gai Assulin takes a shot. James Tomkins gets a block in.35:02
Foul by Carlton Cole on Liam Bridcutt, free kick awarded. Peter Brezovan restarts play with the free kick.32:28
Carlton Cole challenges Marcos Painter unfairly and gives away a free kick. Marcos Painter restarts play with the free kick.31:40
Gary Dicker sends in a cross, save by Robert Green.28:33
The ball is delivered by Rodriguez Vicente, blocked by Guy Demel. Outswinging corner taken by Rodriguez Vicente from the left by-line played to the near post, Shot from inside the six-yard box by Inigo Calderon goes wide right of the goal.27:58
A cross is delivered by Guy Demel, save made by Peter Brezovan.27:17
Ashley Barnes is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Robert Green.26:32
Handball decision goes against Matthew Taylor. Liam Bridcutt restarts play with the free kick.24:53
A cross is delivered by Inigo Calderon, James Tomkins makes a clearance.19:47
The offside flag is raised against Carlton Cole. Gordon Greer restarts play with the free kick.17:02
Gary O'Neil takes a shot. Save made by Peter Brezovan.16:16
Carlton Cole crosses the ball, clearance made by Liam Bridcutt. Corner from left by-line crossed in by Mark Noble, clearance by Adam El-Abd.15:44
Carlton Cole takes a shot. Peter Brezovan makes a save.15:35
The ball is delivered by Marcos Painter, James Tomkins makes a clearance.14:55
Matthew Taylor sends in a cross, Adam El-Abd manages to make a clearance.13:02
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Rodriguez Vicente by Mark Noble. Alan Navarro restarts play with the free kick.10:51
Assist on the goal came from Carlton Cole.10:51 Goal scored
Goal! - Kevin Nolan - West Ham 3 - 0 Brighton Kevin Nolan grabs a goal from close range to the top left corner of the goal. West Ham 3-0 Brighton.10:06
Gary Dicker challenges Carlton Cole unfairly and gives away a free kick. Matthew Taylor takes the free kick.9:40
Unfair challenge on Rodriguez Vicente by Kevin Nolan results in a free kick. Alan Navarro takes the direct free kick.9:25
The referee blows for offside against Carlton Cole. Peter Brezovan takes the indirect free kick.7:48
Assist on the goal came from Guy Demel.7:48 Goal scored
Goal! - Ricardo Vaz Te - West Ham 2 - 0 Brighton Ricardo Vaz Te finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. West Ham 2-0 Brighton.7:18
Kevin Nolan takes a shot. Adam El-Abd gets a block in. Guy Demel delivers the ball,6:49
Centre by Mark Noble, Carlton Cole has a header from close in and clears the crossbar.6:21
The ball is crossed by Guy Demel, Kevin Nolan takes a shot.5:49
The ball is delivered by Matthew Taylor, Kevin Nolan takes a shot. Save by Peter Brezovan.4:01
James Tomkins delivers the ball, comfortable save by Peter Brezovan.2:39
Kevin Nolan provided the assist for the goal.2:39 Goal scored
Goal! - Ricardo Vaz Te - West Ham 1 - 0 Brighton Ricardo Vaz Te fires in a goal from outside the penalty box low into the middle of the goal. West Ham 1-0 Brighton.0:30
Mark Noble challenges Alan Navarro unfairly and gives away a free kick. Marcos Painter restarts play with the free kick.0:17
Henri Lansbury takes a shot.0:00
The referee gets the match started.
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