Jesse Lingard ultimately inspired West Ham United to Champions League places in Molineux – but only after Wolves scared them.
The Manchester United loan midfielder scored one and assisted in goals for Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen as David Moyes’ side ran Wolves to shreds in the first half.
But the Wolves rallied and after pulling out a before half-time from Leander Dendoncker, gave the Hammers nervousness with a response from Fabio Silva.
West Ham was quickly at the forefront from the start, with Michail Antonio’s superb 25-yard curling effort knocked over the post by Rui Patricio.
Lingard gave the Hammers a lead in the sixth minute with a formidable individual effort.
Taking a pass from Vladimir Coufal 10 meters in his half of the field, he made his way in front of Dendoncker then Romain Saiss before burying a shot with his left foot.
The goal was Lingard’s sixth in eight games since arriving at London Stadium – and surely his best.
West Ham doubled their lead with another sumptuous goal, this time devised by Lingard in the 14th minute.
The England international threw the ball past Nelson Semedo and Arthur Masuaku crossed for Pablo Fornals to spin the ball past Patricio.
West Ham lost influential Antonio to injury in the 36th minute.
But his replacement Bowen was soon giving them more headaches.
Barely 154 seconds after his arrival, he made it 3-0.
Again, the architect was Lingard, who provided the killer pass despite the presence of four Wolves players.
From there, Bowen flew a yard over Aït-Nouri before beating Patricio at his near post with a fierce left-footed drive.
The home side gave themselves a potential lifeline in the 43rd minute.
Adama Traoré whipped a cross with his left foot and Dendoncker passed powerfully in front of Fabianski.
West Ham were rolling 3-0 but with Nuno Espirito Santo’s side on the front foot and the Hammers giving up an identical lead against Arsenal last time around, the alarm bells might have sounded for Moyes’ side.
West Ham were denied a fourth goal in the 59th minute when Soucek dealt before scoring after Patricio saved Bowen’s shot.
WOLVES (4-2-3-1): Patrício 7; Semedo 6, Coady 6, Saïss 6, Aït-Nouri 6; Dendoncker 7, Neves 7; Neto 7, Podence 6 (Silva 46 min, 6), Traoré 6; Jose 6 (Vitinha 72 min, 6).
WEST HAM (4-2-3-1): Fabianski 6; Coufal 7, Dawson 6, Diop 6, Cresswell 6; Soucek 6, Noble 6; Fornals 7 (Benrahma 78 mins, 6), Lingard 9, Masuaku 7 (Johnson 67 mins, 6); Antonio 7 (Bowen 36 minutes, 8).
Arbitrator: Michael Oliver.