Avram Grant could not fault the effort of his players on Saturday in producing a battling but ultimately unsuccessful performance at Stamford Bridge.
Although Chelsea ran out 3-0 winners in the end, the Hammers more than matched their hosts for much of the contest, carving out two gilt-edged chances in the first half through the excellent Freddie Sears and Jonathan Spector, before Frank Lampard scored on the stroke of half-time.
Demba Ba also had two fierce efforts well saved by Petr Cech - one in each half - only for the Blues to extend their lead decisively through Fernando Torres - with the sodden pitch playing a part in him getting the better of the West Ham defence.
Substitute Robbie Keane had spurned a glorious chance before then to level the score and the Hammers were to be punished for their profligacy by Florent Malouda's third.
With that Keane miss firmly in mind when he got in behind the home side's outstanding backline, Grant said: "You cannot afford to create chances here and not take them. The team performed very well but at the end of the game we lost the game.
"If you ask me who do I want in that position of course it is Robbie but also Coley and Demba Ba had their chances. It was a good day for Petr Cech. When you hear it was 3-0 you might think it was one way but we had the best chances.
"I can take a lot of positives from the result. We played without the player of the year [Scott Parker] and other players, we lost Mark Noble [to a suspected stomach injury]. If we continue to create chances we will score. The gap between us has stayed at two points.
"You saw today the team came here and fought. You don't see many teams fighting like this [in our position]."