Hat-trick hero Jarrod Bowen got West Ham United back to winning ways in spectacular style at London Stadium, where David Moyes men finally kickstarted their 2024 into life with their first-ever Premier League victory over Brentford.
Bowen came racing out of the traps with two goals inside the opening seven minutes before Neal Maupay replied with his customary goal against Hammers to keep this enthralling end-to-end contest delicately poised at the break.
But five-cap England international, Bowen became the first West Ham player to claim a match ball on the green, green grass of Stratford on the hour mark with his 17th goal of the season before Emerson sensationally extended the lead, ahead of substitute Yoane Wissa netting a late consolation for the visitors. 
Without victory in any of their eight fixtures to date during this calendar year, the omens had certainly not looked good for the Hammers, who had suffered their worst home defeat for 60 years with a sorry six-goal loss to Arsenal last time out at London Stadium.
West Ham had also lost their last five league encounters with Brentford, while Moyes had never stung the Bees – the only club he had never beaten out of the 43 teams he has faced as a Premier League manager.
But starting like an express train, the Hammers simply threw both the form books and history books out of the window as they steamed into a two-goal lead inside the opening seven minutes thanks to Bowen’s barnstorming brace. 
Following last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest, Moyes made a trio of changes as fit-again Lucas Paquetá made a welcome and impressive return alongside Konstantinos Mavropanos and Tomáš Souček.
Suspended after being sent off at the City Ground, on-loan Kalvin Phillips missed out altogether, while Michail Antonio and Nayef Aguerd dropped to the dug-out, where they were joined by FA Youth Cup winner George Earthy making his first-ever appearance on the bench.
Mohammed Kudus had already sent an ambitious 25-yarder wildly out for a throw-in before James Ward-Prowse nodded Vladimír Coufal’s right-wing cross into the path of Souček, who somehow blazed high into the East End night from eight yards. 
It had certainly been a lively start and the dial was turned up yet further on five minutes, when Edson Álvarez outmuscled Ivan Toney on halfway to get things going with a swift, slick passing move that saw Paquetá feed Ward-Prowse, who played in Emerson down the left.
And when the 29-cap Brazilian-born Italian international cut the ball back to the edge of the area, Bowen - utilising the outside of his left boot - unerringly stroked a 15-yarder in off the flying Mark Flekken’s right-hand post to give West Ham a dream start to the evening.
With the Claret and Blue roars still subsiding, the decibel levels rose yet higher when another free-flowing attack that saw Zanka lose possession and that allowed Bowen to play the equally impressive Kudus into the right-hand channel. 
The galloping Ghanian duly invited the overlapping Coufal to send a low cross towards the penalty spot, where the busy Bowen arrived back on the scene to sweep his second goal of the evening past Flekken from ten yards.
Although Brentford had won the reverse fixture 3-2 at the Gtech Community Stadium in November, a tricky fixture list had seen them cross the capital having just lost to high-flying Liverpool (4-1) and Manchester City (1-0) in their last two matches.
Kicking off in 16th spot – six places and 11 points below the Hammers – the visitors also made three switches from the side that had narrowly lost to an inevitable Erling Haaland decider at the Etihad Stadium last Wednesday – Maupay, Keane Lewis-Potter and Mathias Jensen each earning call-ups in place of substitutes Wissa, Mads Roerslav and Vitaly Janelt. 
Already two goals adrift and, with West Ham looking to kick on in search of more, the Bees could have simply folded yet, on 13 minutes, Ivan Toney won possession on the right touchline before playing in the supporting Lewis-Potter, who threaded the ball into path of Maupay and he rode a lunge from the grounded Mavropanos to slide a 10-yarder beyond the lone figure of Alphonse Areola. 
That meant that the Frenchman has now scored in all of his five starts against the Hammers but although he had given his side first-half hope, it was Moyes boys who departed at the interval wondering how they had not added to Bowen’s early double-barrelled blast after Paquetá and Kudus had twice gone close with two shots apiece. 
Sergio Reguilón had been booked for upending Kudus before the break and Zanka deservedly followed just after the restart for depositing a high boot onto the stooping Paquetá, while a hobbling Ben Mee was then replaced by Nathan Collins. 
The newly-arrived substitute was still getting acquainted with his fellow central defenders, when Kurt Zouma intercepted inside the Brentford half and, with the ball then finding its way to Coufal, Kudus was invited to whip a hanging, right-wing cross into the six-yard box, where Bowen got in front of Zanka to secure that historic hat-trick with a downward header, on 63 minutes.
The agile Areola athletically clawed the away from the base of his right-hand upright to deny Toney an instant reply but at the other end, Flekken was again picking the ball out of his net on 68 minutes.
This time, Kudus sent over another teasing cross that was only half-cleared by Onyeka to Emerson and to vociferous cries of ‘shoot’ West Ham’s No.33 duly obliged the faithful by unleashing an unstoppable, rising 20-yarder that sizzled under the right-hand angle before ripping into the net.
With Antonio now replacing Paquetá, who departed to appreciative rounds of applause,  there was time for substitute Wissa to thread a low, 18-yarder between Zouma and Coufal to add some respectability to the score-line.
And yet for Areola’s defiance, Brentford might even have reduced the deficit further in the closing stages but with a steely determination in defence now matching their early forward flair, nothing was going to deny West Ham that long-awaited first win of the year, that lifts them into eighth spot ahead of a trip to Everton on Saturday (3pm).  
WEST HAM UNITED: Areola, Coufal, Emerson, Zouma, Mavropanos, Souček, Álvarez, Ward-Prowse, Kudus (Johnson 90+3), Bowen, Paquetá (Antonio 76). Unused subs: Fabiański, Ings, Ogbonna, Aguerd, Earthy, Mubama, Scarles.
BRENTFORD: Flekken, Ajer, Mee (Collins 61), Zanka, Nørgaard, Onyeka (Janelt 73), Lewis-Potter, Jensen (Damsgaard 76), Reguilón (Roerslev 73), Maupay (Wissa 73), Toney. Unused subs: Strakosha, Ghoddos, Baptiste, Yarmoliuk.
Booked: Reguilón (23), Zanka (52), Álvarez (89).
Referee: Simon Hooper.