The West Ham manager, Alan Pardew, said: "We have a nice little buzz about the place, the staff are enjoying themselves and the players are happy."
Nobody more than Marlon Harewood, who scored twice to add to the hat-trick he got against Aston Villa last week. The second was officially recorded as an own goal as Harewood's shot cannoned off an upright on to the head of the Fulham goalkeeper Tony Warner and into the back of the net. For his alertness, a swift turn and strike, Harewood deserved the credit.
Pardew was full of praise for the burly striker. "When Marlon came to us he was a bit raw around the edges but he had great potential. I will not take any credit for Marlon's improvement, he should take the credit himself." After the striker's slow start to the season, Pardew sat Harewood down for "a quiet chat". He stressed that there was not a great deal to choose between Harewood and Bobby Zamora. In order to hold his place Harewood had to be sharper in front of goal. In response, Harewood has supplied two terrific performances.
Fearing a reaction to last week's victory, Pardew began with Harewood on the right side of midfield with Yossi Benayoun breaking cleverly in support of Zamora, but once it was clear that energy levels remained high he gave Harewood the freedom to operate up front. "I wanted the team to have their heads," Pardew said. "We've brought some young players into the club and they have come into the Premiership full of themselves."
Not that it was all one way. The former Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll made a big contribution to West Ham's cause, with excellent saves from Claus Jensen and Brian McBride in the first 12 minutes. But, as the game progressed, West Ham's fearless attitude became more potent than Fulham's experience. Pardew, so recently a figure of ridicule in East London, will not get carried away by his team's start. He realises that he is playing in an imaginary league that excludes Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool. "Within the Premiership there is another league and our priority is not to let those teams beat us."
The Fulham manager, Chris Coleman, said that the game was "perhaps the most exciting London derby I've been involved in", but he would have preferred the points. "If you don't win these sort of games you find yourself among the strugglers," he said.
Next week West Ham play Arsenal at home. "We'll ask questions of them," Pardew said. "The atmosphere at Upton Park is going to be electric. We're nicely teed up for the game."
Goals: Harewood (46) 0-1; Warner og (52) 0-2; Boa Morte (66) 1-2.
Fulham (4-4-2): Warner; Volz, Knight (Christanval, 80), Bocanegra, N Jensen; Malbranque, C Jensen, Diop, Boa Morte; McBride, Radzinski (Collins John, 67). Substitutes not used: Batista (gk), Helguson, Elrich.
West Ham United (4-4-1-1): Carroll; Repka, Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Konchesky; Harewood (Aliadière, 87), Mullins, Reo-Coker, Etherington; Benayoun (Sheringham, 74); Zamora (Newton, 64). Substitutes not used: Hislop (gk), Dailly.
Referee: G Poll (Herts).
Man of the match: Reo-Coker.
Attendance: 21,907.Reuse content