West Ham United were subjected to a woeful West End walloping at Stamford Bridge, where all lingering hopes of European qualification were all but quashed by the barnstorming Blues.

First-half strikes by Cole Palmer, captain Conor Gallagher and the outstanding Noni Madueke had already put the game out of reach by the interval.

And, on an afternoon when the luckless Jarrod Bowen somehow contrived to rock the crossbar three times, Nicolas Jackson cemented Chelsea’s emphatic five-star slaying with a deadly double after the break.

While the Hammers may have beaten Chelsea 3-1 at London Stadium back in August, they crossed the capital having won just one of their last eight Premier League matches, a slump in form that has seen them struggling to stay in European contention at the business end of the season.

Following back-to-back defeats to Fulham and Crystal Palace plus their UEFA Europa League quarter-final exit at the hands of Bundesliga champions, Bayer Leverkusen, they had at least earned a creditable 2-2 draw with Liverpool last Saturday.

But needing nothing less than victory to leapfrog the Blues and keep any slim qualification hopes alive, David Moyes’ unchanged line-up reverted to type with another disappointing derby debacle.

Indeed, Alphonse Areola had already been called upon to turn Jackson’s angled shot behind at his near post and, on the quarter-hour mark, West Ham then found themselves trailing to Palmer’s 24th goal for the Blues since his £42million move from Manchester City at the beginning of September.

Man of the match Madueke climaxed his tricky run down the right flank with a low cross that saw former Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma lose out in his attempt to clear from Jackson and that left Palmer to stroll onto the loose ball and curl a 12-yarder beyond the diving Areola.

While the Hammers have been heading south in recent weeks, with just one defeat in their last 11 league outings Mauricio Pochettino’s side have been moving in totally the opposite direction, thanks largely to the in-form Palmer’s gluttonous goal-getting.

Indeed, after finally waking from their season-long slumber, Chelsea had already climbed above West Ham with a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday and with his side kicking off in eighth - one place and two points above the Hammers – the Blues boss made just one switch with Thiago Silva coming in for substitute Alfie Gilchrist.

Having broken the deadlock in their second London derby inside four days, Chelsea almost found themselves instantly pegged back when Bowen nodded a corner from former Blues defender Emerson onto the crossbar but that would prove to be the closest the East Enders came to getting back on level terms.

The one-way traffic continuing, Trevoh Chalobah nodded straight into Areola’s clutches and, with the Frenchman finding his goal peppered with long-rangers, it was no surprise when the hosts doubled their lead on the half-hour mark.

Ironically, it proved to be a carbon copy of their opening strike with Palmer crossing into Madueke, who outmuscled the sliding Zouma inside the area and, with the ball squirming to Gallagher this time, the Chelsea skipper whipped an unstoppable 12-yarder past the flat-footed Areola to claim his seventh goal of the season.

It got yet worse on 37 minutes when Madueke – having already played a key role in those first two Chelsea goals – let fly with a low 20-yarder that was deflected just an inch or so past the base of the left upright.

But when Mykhailo Mudryk whipped over the consequent corner, Thiago Silva rose unmarked at the far post to head back across goal and the stooping Madueke made up for his earlier disappointment by racing in to nod home his eighth strike of the campaign.

Being run ragged, West Ham had an escape when the unmarked Gallagher sidefooted onto the crossbar from all of six yards, while at the other end the visitors made a brief appearance in the opposing half where Bowen again hit the same spot of timber that he had struck earlier.

And as a torrid opening period for Moyes' boys drew to close, Lucas Paquetá collected his 13th yellow card of the season for a lunge on Marc Cucurella, who had also been booked for pulling back Mohammed Kudus.

Angelo Ogbonna and Emerson – making it a dozen cautions for the campaign – also went into referee Andy Madley’s notebook during a forlorn 45 minutes that had seen three-goal Chelsea win the shot-count 15-3 and dominate with two-thirds possession.

Moyes withdrew Edson Álvarez for the restart but replacement James Ward-Prowse was still finding his feet on the Stamford Bridge turf, when Chalobah sent dangerman Madueke racing clear.

Both Zouma and Ogbonna were left treading water, once more, as the England U21 international unselfishly invited Jackson to sidefoot his square ball beyond the helplessly-exposed Areola.

On another rare raid forward, Emerson should have marked his return to the Bridge with a consolation effort but with only Djordje Petrovic standing in his way, the Brazilian-born, Italian international recklessly skied his six-yarder high into those West Ham fans still remaining in the upper tier behind the keeper’s goal.

Ward-Prowse did come closer with two 20-yard free-kicks, the first being tipped over by the Serbian stopper and the second curling just an inch or so wide of the left post.

Despite threatening at times, West Ham remained constantly under pressure, though, with Palmer, Madueke and Mudryk all forcing the beleaguered Areola into saves.

After Danny Ings replaced Michail Antonio, Paquetá then hobbled away as Aaron Cresswell was summoned from the bench but after Bowen struck the crossbar for an incredible third time, Moisés Caicedo’s defence-spitting ball from halfway sent Jackson racing clean away with 10 minutes left.

The lonely figure of Areola was left to pick the ball out of the net for a fifth time as, with the shell-shocked Zouma having played him onside, the 13-cap Senegal striker survived a Video Assistant Referee review to hold on to his 16th goal of the season and lift Chelsea into seventh spot.

With just two games remaining – against Luton Town (home) and Manchester City (away) - the Hammers only have personal pride to play for now but in their quest to secure a top-half finish Moyes men must get back to basics starting with the visit of the struggling Hatters on Saturday (3pm).

“I didn’t enjoy this afternoon,” admitted the West Ham boss.

“The manager always takes responsibility for these results but the players need to take responsibility and do their jobs, too.”

Chelsea: Petrovic, Chalobah (Gusto 83), Cucurella, Thiago Silva (Disasi 82), Badiashile, Caicedo, Gallagher, Madueke (Casadei 76), Mudryk (Nkunku 76), Palmer (Gilchrist 89), Jackson. Unused subs: Bettinelli, Sterling, Colwill, Deivid.

West Ham United: Areola, Coufal, Emerson, Zouma, Ogbonna, Álvarez (Ward-Prowse 46), Souček, Paquetá (Cresswell 76), Kudus, Bowen, Antonio (Ings 70). Unused subs: Fabiański, Johnson, Cornet, Earthy, Casey, Mubama.

Booked: Ogbonna (34), Cucurella (38), Emerson (44), Paquetá (45+2).

Referee: Andy Madley.

Attendance: 39,245.