Those Claret and Blue passports can all but be locked away after this desperate, dismal defeat at Selhurst Park, where the Hammers chances of European qualification next season were left blowing in the south London wind.

The disappointment of Thursday night’s UEFA Europa League quarter-final exit was compounded by a lethargic, lacklustre London derby display that saw weary West Ham swept aside by the energetic Eagles.

Early strikes by Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze and Jean-Philippe Mateta plus a disastrous own-goal from the recalled Emerson put Palace four-up by the half-hour mark.

And although Michail Antonio reduced the arrears just before the break, Mateta doubled his tally midway through the second period before keeper Dean Henderson’s howler gifted the visitors a late own-goal.  

The heroic yet heartbroken Hammers had gone kicking and screaming out of the Europa League on Thursday night with a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Bayer Leverkusen but there was to be no such intensity as they returned to Premier League action looking to find an alternative route towards a fourth successive season of European football.  

Following that gutsy second-leg draw with the unbeaten Bundesliga champions at London Stadium three days earlier, David Moyes made a trio of changes as he welcomed back Emerson, Lucas Paquetá plus Angelo Ogbonna in place of injured Nayef Aguerd (ankle), Jarrod Bowen and substitute Aaron Cresswell.  

But having headed across the River Thames, West Ham’s fortunes quickly headed south, too, when Eze won possession on the left flank with just seven minutes on the clock.

With Palace neatly working the ball out to the opposite flank, skipper Joachim Andersen flighted an inch-perfect cross towards the edge of the six-yard box, where the inrushing Olise soared between Emerson and Łukasz Fabiański to nod the Eagles into the lead with his seventh goal of the season.

Oliver Glasner’s team were already basking in the glow of last Sunday’s shock 1-0 victory at title-chasing Liverpool and having kicked off in 15th spot – 15 points and seven places below the Hammers – the German had made just one change with Chris Richards coming in for Jefferson Lerma.

Already one down, West Ham were looking set for a long, long afternoon as Tyrick Mitchell burst into the box before wastefully firing high over and then Eze sent another angled shot wide of the far post in a warning that more was to come.

Sure enough, on the quarter-hour mark, Olise sent Jean-Philippe Mateta racing behind the outpaced Ogbonna and, although Fabiański denied the French forward with his outstretched legs, the supporting Eze raced in, unmarked, to meet the looping ball with an acrobatic ten-yarder that almost ripped the net off its hooks as he followed up last week’s match-winner at Anfield with a spectacular eighth goal of the season.

Moyes men had barely got the ball out of their half and just when it looked like their disastrous start could not get any worse, it did.

On 21 minutes, Will Hughes inter-changed passes with Mitchell before lofting the ball towards the near post where Emerson inexplicably stabbed the ball beyond Fabiański as Daniel Muñoz lurked behind.

By now, Fabiański must have felt that he was being used for target practice with the peppered Polish stopper seeing Olise and Eze shooting on sight in Palace’s quest to extend the gulf between the two teams yet further.

With nothing coming his way up front, the frustrated figure of Antonio was booked for tugging back the escaping Olise.

But on the half-hour mark, Olise did manage to break free down the Palace right and with all the time in the world, the France U21 flying machine squared into the danger-zone, where the unmarked Mateta slid home from six yards.

All West Ham could muster in reply to Palace’s frenetic four-strike salvo were two wayward attempts from Ogbonna and Antonio that caused more threat to the home fans in the Holmesdale Road end than their Henderson.

Five minutes before the break, though, the Hammers did finally get a goal on the board, when the consequently-cautioned Hughes tripped Tomáš Souček midway inside the Palace half.

With James Ward-Prowse subsequently squaring the free-kick to Vladimír Coufal, the full-back chipped the ball towards the penalty spot where his Czech mate Souček nodded forward for the airborne Antonio to send a lunging volley past Henderson.

In a niggly first-half finale, Souček and Mitchell were both booked and, having departed still facing a mountainous three-goal deficit, the Hammers were dispatched from their dressing room several minutes earlier than Palace by Moyes, who now introduced Cresswell and Ben Johnson at the expense of Ogbonna and Souček.

Although Glasner was forced to replace the injured Adam Wharton with Naouirou Ahamada there was to be no respite for West Ham’s new arrivals and, midway through the second period, Eze ended a mazy run with an audacious nutmeg on Kurt Zouma.

In what proved his last act of the afternoon, Mateta gratefully collected the ball as it arrived through the Hammers skipper’s legs and sidefooted beyond despairing dive of Fabiański to make it a dozen goals for the season.

There was to be no chance of the match ball, however, given Jordan Ayew and Odsonne Édouard were summoned from the bench to replace the double goalscorer and Olise, while Moyes also made two changes of his own with Kalvin Phillips and Danny Ings coming on for Antonio and Edson Álvarez.

Lacking composure at the crucial moment, Eze and the newly arrived Ayew both squandered good opportunities to make it six of the best for Palace but in the end, it turned into one of the worst for the red-faced Henderson.

Just one minute of normal time remained when Mitchell sent a routine back pass into the path of his keeper, whose air-kick left him entangled in the back of his net after frantically and fruitlessly failing to bring the ball under control.

That own-goal raised a rare Claret and Blue smile on a sullen, sultry Sunday afternoon for Moyes men but with just four games left to play starting with title-chasing Liverpool on Saturday lunchtime (12.30pm), East End hopes of a fourth season in Europe all but disappeared.

“I’m embarrassed and I’m not giving any excuses whatsoever,” insisted the shell-shocked Hammers manager afterwards. 

“I cannot put today into words and feel so sorry for our supporters.”

Crystal Palace: Henderson, Clyne, Richards, Andersen, Wharton (Ahamada 61), Hughes (Schlupp 81), Muñoz, Mitchell, Olise (Ayew 68), Eze (Riedewald 81), Mateta (Édouard 68). Unused subs: Matthews, Ward, Holding, Tomkins.

West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Emerson, Zouma, Ogbonna (Cresswell 46), Álvarez (Phillips 74), Souček (Johnson 46), Ward-Prowse, Paquetá, Kudus (Cornet 85), Antonio (Ings 74). Unused subs: Areola, Casey, Mubama, Orford.

Booked: Antonio (27),Hughes (39), Souček (45+8), Mitchell (45+8), Ahamada (66).

Referee: Graham Scott.

Attendance: 25,145.