Carlton Cole was crowned king of the Boleyn Ground as his stunning all-round performance inspired West Ham United to a 3-1 Barclays Premier League victory over Chelsea.

The former Blues striker returned to the starting XI to score one goal and make another as the Hammers scored their first win over the Blues since May 2003.

Cole was unplayable, winning headers and free-kicks galore and holding the ball up with outstanding strength and awareness. The No9 netted his first goal since the npower Championship Play-Off final by outmuscling Branislav Ivanovic to equalise just after the hour-mark.

The man of the match then turned provider, chesting down a throw-in before sliding the ball into the path of Mohamed Diame, who slammed past Petr Cech. After Cole had been substitute Modibo Maiga with three minutes remaining, his replacement smashed in the third in added-time.

"With my performance, I turned up today and obviously the result is the most important thing - Even if we had won 1-0 today and I hadn't got on the scoresheet, I'd still have been happy" Cole told West Ham TV. "We just needed the points on the table and we produced today.

"At the start of the game, like any game, you've got to feel out the defenders and see what they're all about. In the second half, we got a little more confident going forward and I got a bit more support with Momo Diame coming on and Kevin coming closer to me.

"Obviously we had the service from Jarvo from the left-hand side and Matty [Taylor] from the right-hand side and they were linking up play really well. All the players did really well and you can't knock anybody today.

"It's a massive win for us. Forget the fact they are UEFA Champions League winners - we just needed the points. We've just come off two straight defeats. We were very unlucky at Old Trafford the other night and we didn't turn up at Tottenham. We're self-critical in the dressing room and we knew that we had to perform today and we did and we got the result that we deserved."

Cole agreed that the introductions of Diame and Taylor at half-time had changed the course of the game, allowing West Ham to bully their opponents and wipe out Juan Mata's 13th-minute opener.

"The changes made a difference and that's what football is about. Sometimes it's about the formation and the personnel and it suited us today and we were really on top of them and everybody was happy with it."

The striker's outstanding performance was epitomised by his goal, which saw him beat Ivanovic to the ball when Matt Jarvis's cross looped high into the air off the head of Gary Cahill.

"Yeah, I wanted to win the ball badly. The referee could have given a free-kick but I think it was my day today. I've had so many free-kicks given against me so it was about time I had one given in my favour. The one today was a goal so I'm really happy about it."

With Andy Carroll set to be out of action for the next six weeks with a knee ligament injury, Cole can expect to play an important role over the Christmas and New Year period.

"Andy is obviously a top-class player and he's going to be sorely missed, but it gives me a chance to try to stake my claim and make myself a nuisance up front the way he has been doing as well. Hopefully I'll score some goals too.

"My heart goes out to Andy and hopefully he'll be back soon scoring goals as well."

Cole also said he would be staying away from eating with close friend and regular dining partner Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole after Saturday's victory.

"Ash wants me to go over to his house but I'm not going. I'm steering clear of him because he'd probably try and poison me or something!"