Perez brace punishes Cardiff
West Ham United 3 Cardiff City 1
Lucas Perez had waited 700 days to end his Premier League goal drought and then two came along at once as West Ham United secured a second successive victory.
The summer signing from Arsenal, on as a substitute for the injured Marko Arnautovic, found the net twice as the Hammers recorded back-to-back top-flight wins for the first time in almost two years.
Cardiff, still without an away win this season, blew a golden chance to take the lead when Joe Ralls missed a first-half penalty.
And Perez punished them after the break with a quickfire double before Michail Antonio also opened his Premier League account for the season.
Arnautovic thought he had opened the scoring in the 24th minute when he surged into the area and fired across Etheridge, but Sean Morrison got back in time to hack the ball off the line.
Yet West Ham almost paid the price for failing to make their dominance count when Arnautovic shoved Junior Hoillett over in the box to concede a penalty, but Lukasz Fabianski saved Ralls' spot-kick. Within four minutes of the restart, the home side had the lead as Perez lashed the ball past a helpless Etheridge for his first Premier League goal since January 2017.
And within five minutes Perez had his second before Antonio helped himself to the third. Josh Murphy hit a late Cardiff consolation.