Fernando Torres scored twice as Liverpool held off a brave fightback from West Ham to earn a deserved victory in a five-goal thriller at Upton Park.
Torres put the Reds in front in the 19th minute with a fine solo goal but debutant Alessandro Diamanti levelled from the penalty spot.
Dirk Kuyt restored Liverpool's lead in the 40th minute but Carlton Cole levelled again a minute before the interval.
But the irrepressible Torres settled a pulsating contest when he headed home from close range in the 75th minute.
The victory, Liverpool's fourth successive win, lifted Rafael Benitez's side into third place in the Barclays Premier League and left West Ham in 14th.
The first half was full of incident and it was the home side who squandered a great chance to take the lead in the second minute.
Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher dithered over Glen Johnson's pass and let Zavon Hines in.
The striker could not have asked for a simpler chance but although he beat Jose Reina, his shot hit the near post before the Spanish goalkeeper gratefully gathered the rebound.
Another Carragher mistake on the halfway line gave Cole room to run at the Liverpool goal but this time Martin Skrtel made a wonderful saving challenge.