Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood both celebrated signing new contracts with goals that propelled the Clarets to another big win over the Hammers.
Last season’s Turf Moor victory over the Londoners at the turn of the year had been the launchpad for the Clarets’ sprint to safety.
And while the need wasn’t quite so great this time around, the combination of Barnes and Wood and an own-goal from goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez brought a welcome end to a three-match losing run.
The Clarets’ strike partnership – re-united following Wood’s return from a two-match absence – took their combined tally for the season to 10 league goals to cap a week in which they had both extended their stay at Turf Moor.
And in truth they could have added plenty more, notably Wood who had underlined his liking for this fixture with his sixth goal in five games against the Hammers with the second goal just before half time that all but sealed the deal as he again ran the Londoners ragged.
Jimenez was at fault for all three of the Clarets’ goals, although it was only his acrobatics late in the piece that prevented a landslide as Sean Dyche’s side produced exactly the response they needed to record an emphatic fourth home win of the season and re-claim a place back in the top half of the table.
In a bid to stop the losing run Dyche made three changes, with full-backs Charlie Taylor and Phil Bardsley returning along with Wood to make their first Premier League starts of the season.
And the Clarets wasted no time in looking to make amends for their first-half collapse at Sheffield United a week ago with an up-tempo opening that had the Hammers immediately on the ropes.
The visitors were without a win in six games and with 10 minutes gone found themselves behind again as Burnley made their early pressure tell.
Goalkeeper Jimenez’s decision to punch, rather than catch, a Dwight McNeil cross proved costly as Bardsley collected the loose ball to fire in a shot which was deflected for a corner.
The ball came off Barnes but Burnley got a lucky break and when McNeil was allowed to deliver the corner beyond the far post James Tarkowski nodded back across goal for the predatory Barnes to poke home his fifth goal of the season and first since August.
The Clarets were asking all sorts of questions of the Hammers’ defence and it took an excellent defensive header from Aaron Cresswell to stop Hendrick connecting with a peach of a cross from McNeil.
McNeil was in magnificent form and when the teenager – who announced his arrival at the top table with his first senior goal in last season’s pivotal meeting – delivered another sublime cross 10 minutes before the break Burnley thought they had a second.
Wood powered a header into the top corner but after a lengthy delay the celebrations were reversed by a VAR decision which showed the Clarets’ striker to be inches offside.
The home supporters showed their frustration but the emotions changed again just before half-time when the Clarets did deservedly go 2-0 up.
Once more it was the McNeil-Wood combination that did the trick – again with the help of Hammers’ keeper Jimenez.
The Spaniard’s throw to Fabian Balbuena did the defender no favours as he lost possession to McNeil, who immediately had no other thought than bursting forward to pull the ball back for Wood to sweep home a lovely left-foot finish in front of watching New Zealand national team boss Danny Hay to make it five goals in five games.
It was turning into an afternoon to forget for Jimenez and the Hammers’ keeper – deputising for the injured Lukasz Fabianski – was again at fault as the Clarets added a third 10 minutes into the second half.
McNeil’s thrusting run earned another corner and when Ashley Westwood delivered, Jimenez, wearing number 13, punched the ball into his own net.
The damage was done, although Jimenez prevented further embarrassment with fine saves to deny Wood and Bardsley a first Burnley goal.
Wood then steered another McNeil delivery over the top and the Kiwi could have had a hat-trick but for another save from Jimenez who remained a central character to the plot.
When he went to ground following another corner, Ben Mee’s headed ‘goal’ was disallowed for a foul on the goalkeeper by Barnes
By contrast, Nick Pope was a virtual spectator at the other end, although the England man made one smart parry from Cresswell and another late on to deny Andriy Yarmolenko to preserve a confidence-boosting clean sheet.
And it was Jimenez who remained the more active with his best save a finger-tip stop to prevent Jeff Hendrick giving the Clarets their biggest winning margin of the season on a near perfect afternoon.
Burnley: Pope; Bardsley, Mee, Tarkowski, Taylor; Hendrick, Cork, Westwood, McNeil; Wood (Brady 90), Barnes (Rodriguez 81). Substitutes: Hart, Lowton, Pieters, Lennon, Long.
Booked: Mee, Westwood
West Ham: Jiminez; Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell; Rice, Noble (Yarmolenko 20); Snodgrass, Fornals (Ajeti 64), Felipe Anderson (Lanzini 56); Haller. Substitutes: Martin, Zabaleta, Sanchez, Ogbonna.
Referee: Kevin Friend