David Moyes' revival of West Ham rolled on courtesy of a 3-0 win at Stoke City, with Mark Hughes running out of time in his attempts to break the torpor at the bet365 Stadium.
Mark Noble scored a first-half penalty on his 300th Premier League appearance before Marko Arnautovic added a second late on, having played pantomime villain throughout against his former club.
To make matters worse for Stoke, Diafra Sakho also hit the target for West Ham - who are now out of the bottom three - with four minutes remaining, prompting further angry chants towards Hughes from an increasingly irate home support.
Kick-off in the Potteries was delayed by an hour due to a power cut, which served as foreshadowing for yet another low-wattage display from the Potters. Their best chances fell to Ryan Shawcross, who hit the post immediately before West Ham countered to win the penalty from which they opened the scoring.
The Stoke fans had spent much of the contest audibly questioning Arnautovic's £25million price-tag, and he could have scored on four occasions before ending the contest 15 minutes from time with a cool finish.
Stoke offered nothing by way of response, ending the match without a shot on target, and Sakho grabbed a third on the counter as the Hammers won on the road for the first time in 10 trips. Moyes is now unbeaten in three Premier League games for the first time since late in his Manchester United tenure.
Hughes was assured by Stoke owner Peter Coates that his future was not on the line in this match, but another lifeless display will do little to help the Welshman's job prospects, with the Potters falling to 17th, a point above the drop zone and below their opponents.
After the long delay to kick-off and a cagey start to proceedings, the game finally sparked into life in the 17th minute as Shawcross hit the post from Xherdan Shaqiri's corner.
Any hopes that it would send a surge through Stoke were quickly defused, however, as Manuel Lanzini buzzed into the area, where he was tripped by Erik Pieters' needless challenge.
Noble stepped up to mark his milestone appearance with a typical goal, sending Jack Butland the wrong way to put the Hammers ahead.
The visiting captain was forced off with an injury after the half-hour mark, replaced by Declan Rice, but West Ham kept Stoke at arm's length and Arnautovic ought to have silenced the jeers rolling down from the stands on his return to the Potteries, but he was spurned one-on-one by Butland, who also kept out Lanzini's fizzing long-range effort.
Arnautovic blazed over after tricking his way through just before the break and the Austrian saw an angled header skim the crossbar five minutes into the second half.
West Ham goalkeeper Adrian remained untested until the 55th minute, when Shaqiri was given room to fire, but his deflected shot looped harmlessly and kindly for the off-balance Spaniard.
The visitors were time-wasting before the clock had ticked onto the hour and Hughes tried to inject fresh impetus by introducing Saido Berahino and Charlie Adam, whose fine delivery led to Shawcross heading over inside the six-yard box.
Still, West Ham created the better openings and Arnautovic went close for a fourth time, checking inside substitute Josh Tymon and slamming against the bar left-footed.
'What a waste of money' was the chant of choice from Stoke's fans but Arnautovic finally had the last laugh when he played a smart one-two with Lanzini, while drifting in from the right, and clipped a low finish beyond Butland.
Sakho was then allowed to roam into the box and find the net, ramping up more and more pressure on Hughes, who looks to be clinging onto his job.
Key Opta Facts:
- Stoke have lost five of their last six matches in the Premier League, winning the other.
- Manuel Lanzini provided two assists and won the penalty in this match – it’s only the second time that Lanzini has assisted two goals in a single PL game (also vs Middlesbrough in January 2017).
- Marko Arnautovic is the third player to score against Stoke in the Premier League having previously played for them in the competition (also Wilfried Bony and Seyi Olofinjana).
- Stoke have kept just one clean sheet in their last 16 Premier League games.
|London stay was crucial to FA Cup Wembley win - Mourinho|
|Pochettino: Spurs need four more years – with me or another|
|Kaepernick honoured with Amnesty International award|
|He has not delivered optimal performances - Stoger explains Schmelzer omission|
|Kvitova and Pliskova put Czechs in control|
|Modric open to Ibrahimovic union in MLS|
|Spurs can´t keep doing this – Alli|
|Bulls keep Rebels waiting for South Africa win, Sharks beat Stormers|
|Heynckes highlights importance of ´psychology´ before Real Madrid clash|
|United are about winning titles and playing finals, says happy Herrera|
|Pogba and United the comeback kings again|
|Destructive De Villiers demolishes Daredevils|
|Giroud thanks Wenger for making his ´dream come true´|
|Borussia Dortmund 4 Bayer Leverkusen 0: Reus and Sancho star as Stoger´s side go third|
|Manchester United 2 Tottenham 1: Sanchez and Herrera seal comeback to book FA Cup final spot|
|Zaha´s no diver, insists Hodgson|
|Quiros maintains one-shot lead in Rabat|
|Championship Review: Wolves win title, Sunderland relegated|
|Nishikori fights back to reach Monte Carlo final|
|´Nothing compared to that night´ - Masters victory left Allen feeling flat|
|Imperious Leinster ease into Champions Cup final|
|Wilson backs Wenger for international role|
|West Brom comeback branded ´useless´ by Klopp|
|Injured Kyrgios doubtful for French Open|
|Packers QB Aaron Rodgers ventures into ownership, buys stake in NBA´s Bucks|
|Lewandowski breaks Bundesliga record in Bayern Munich victory|
|Watford 0 Crystal Palace 0: Stalemate edges both sides closer to survival|
|Inter not inferior to Roma and Lazio, Spalletti insists|
|Pogba and Sanchez start for Manchester United at Wembley|
|Gayle fires Kings XI to the top of the table|
|Klopp applauds Ings´ performance|
|Hannover 0 Bayern Munich 3: Lewandowski breaks Bundesliga record|
|Livermore urges West Brom to ´keep fighting´ as relegation looms|
|Eagles give QB Nick Foles a pay rise after Super Bowl win|
|Klopp blames ´dry pitch´ and referee for West Brom draw|
|Cardiff Blues book Challenge Cup final berth|
|Salah finds the net again to equal Premier League scoring record|
|Nadal marches on towards 11th Monte Carlo crown|
|West Brom 2 Liverpool 2: Careless Reds drop points to offer Baggies slim survival hope|
|Roma will be eyeing revenge against Liverpool, warns Ancelotti|
|Bayern hand Bundesliga debut to Lars Lukas Mai|
|Costa should be back for Arsenal second leg, reveals Simeone|
|Wenger could coach Paris Saint-Germain, says Emery|
|Crusaders survive the storm, Chiefs inflict more misery on Reds|
|Wenger changed the face of English football - Dixon|
|Rodgers shrugs off Arsenal talk|
|Knights leave it late against Tigers, Cowboys end winless run|
|Austin track a disaster, says Rossi|
|Clash between top two ´more decisive´ for Napoli, Allegri claims|
|Chongqing sponsor ´positive´ over Iniesta deal|
|Valverde´s quiet crisis management leaves Barca ready to clean up|
|Wallabies centre Horne forced to retire|
|Vieira ´flattered´ by Arsenal link|
|Wenger was sacked by Arsenal, Wright claims|
|LeBron James: I won´t throw my team-mates under the bus|
|Dyche eager to feature in ´legendary´ Wenger´s Emirates farewell|
|Khan eyeing Brook fight later in 2018|
|United and City ´a million miles apart´, says Parker|
|Thorman slams dismal Giants display|
|Pogba must ´take more responsibility´, says Matic|
|Padres pitcher Ross´ no-hit bid steals spotlight|
|Cherry-Evans fined by Sea Eagles|
|Cavaliers blow lead as Raptors, Celtics lose|
|White Sox´s Farquhar faints in dugout, taken to hospital|
|Sporting Kansas City 6 Vancouver Whitecaps 0: Russell stars with hat-trick|
|Winslow fined $15,000 for stepping on Embiid´s mask|
|I don´t fear the challenge – Klopp eager to close gap to City|
|Johnson shares lead as Garcia misses cut in Texas|
|Career backup QB Luke McCown retires at 36|
|Texans ´optimistic´ about Clowney contract extension|