Javier Hernandez’s controversial goal with his arm contributed to Fulham’s 18th Premier League defeat of the season as West Ham fought back from behind to win at London Stadium.
On initial viewing, it looked like Hernandez had headed in from a yard to punish goalkeeper Sergio Rico’s mistake, but a replay from behind the goal clearly showed the Mexican striker converting via his arm.
Hernandez’s equaliser was followed by Issa Diop’s towering header five minutes before half-time and Michail Antonio nodded in a third late on.
The visitors had started brightly and got off to the perfect start after just three minutes through Ryan Babel’s close-range finish – the Dutchman making amends for a glaring miss within the opening 30 seconds.
Looking to get back into the game in the second period, Fulham skipper Tom Cairney had a low shot smothered by goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, their only real chance of note.
West Ham move up to ninth but Claudio Ranieri’s side stay in 19th place – eight points adrift of safety – missing a crucial opportunity to claw back the deficit on 17th-placed Cardiff who were thrashed 5-1 by Watford.
Fulham need a remarkable turnaround if they are to avoid dropping straight back into the Championship.
The club had high hopes on their return to the top flight after a four-year absence and may well have expected a top-10 finish after becoming the first promoted side to spend £100m or more in a single transfer window.
But the Cottagers have struggled badly and title-winning Ranieri, who replaced Slavisa Jokanovic as manager in November, has failed to shore up a porous defence.