Diamanti headed straight to manager Zola after his brilliant free-kick
West Ham moved out of the relegation zone and eased the pressure on manager Gianfranco Zola with an invaluable win against Birmingham at Upton Park.
Alessandro Diamanti gave the Hammers a deserved lead on the stroke of half-time with a superb free-kick following a foul on Scott Parker by Scott Dann.
Carlton Cole doubled the advantage after the break with a close-range header from Julien Faubert's cross.
A couple of half-chances from Cameron Jerome was the best Birmingham managed.
One victory - the Hammers' first in 2010 - hardly staves off relegation fears but will at least hand Zola a welcome tonic after reports prior to the game suggested he was one defeat away from the sack.
That claim was strenuously denied by new joint owner David Sullivan but the Italian will surely be glad not to have tested his chairman's word.
It was a massive win for West Ham - Zola
Birmingham, who were not at their impressive best, missed the chance to reach the magical 40-point milestone but the mere fact that his side are on the brink of safety at such an early stage of the season will bring a warm glow to boss Alex McLeish.
Talk of the 'Davids' had inevitably dominated the build-up to the game, with new Hammers owners Sullivan and David Gold up against their former club for the first time.
But while the fortunes of Birmingham have risen since their departure, the mood at cash-strapped Upton Park has sunk to worrying depths.
90:00+2:10 Free kick awarded for a foul by Alessandro Diamanti on Stephen Carr. Direct free kick taken by Joe Hart.
90:00+0:06 Effort on goal by Craig Gardner from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.
89:13 James McFadden fouled by Valon Behrami, the ref awards a free kick. James McFadden takes the free kick.
86:15 Free kick awarded for a foul by Matthew Upson on Barry Ferguson. Direct free kick taken by Barry Ferguson.
85:17 Substitution Scott Parker goes off and Mark Noble comes on.
84:31 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michel by Radoslav Kovac. Michel restarts play with the free kick.
84:04 The referee blows for offside. Robert Green restarts play with the free kick.
83:09 Scott Dann fouled by Carlton Cole, the ref awards a free kick. Liam Ridgewell takes the free kick.
82:04 Shot by Barry Ferguson from outside the box goes over the net.
79:37 Kevin Phillips is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Robert Green takes the indirect free kick.
78:15 The assistant referee signals for offside against Cameron Jerome. Robert Green takes the free kick.
76:26 Substitution Lee Bowyer goes off and Michel comes on.
72:46 Valon Behrami takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
71:39 Carlton Cole is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Hart.
66:36 The assist for the goal came from Julien Faubert.
66:36 GOAL - Carlton Cole:West Ham 2 - 0 Birmingham Carlton Cole scores a headed goal from close range. West Ham 2-0 Birmingham.
66:00 Substitution James McFadden on for Keith Fahey.
65:09 Substitution . Mido goes off and Araujo Ilan comes on.
64:18 . Mido takes a shot. Scott Dann gets a block in.
63:23 Free kick awarded for a foul by Craig Gardner on Alessandro Diamanti. Robert Green restarts play with the free kick.
61:44 Free kick crossed right-footed by Craig Gardner, James Tomkins makes a clearance.
61:44 Booking Caution for Matthew Upson.
61:34 Matthew Upson challenges Craig Gardner unfairly and gives away a free kick.
59:39 Effort on goal by Alessandro Diamanti from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
56:22 Corner taken left-footed by Alessandro Diamanti, Roger Johnson manages to make a clearance.
55:15 Outswinging corner taken by Craig Gardner from the right by-line played to the near post, . Mido manages to make a clearance.
53:58 Unfair challenge on Keith Fahey by Radoslav Kovac results in a free kick. Craig Gardner takes the direct free kick.
53:40 Alessandro Diamanti takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.
50:06 Craig Gardner has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide left of the target.
49:34 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lee Bowyer by Radoslav Kovac. Free kick taken by Craig Gardner.
47:32 The offside flag is raised against Carlton Cole. Liam Ridgewell takes the indirect free kick.
45:56 Scott Parker gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Liam Ridgewell. Craig Gardner takes the free kick.
45:01 The referee starts the second half.
45:01 Substitution Herita Ilunga goes off and Jonathan Spector comes on.
45:00+2:05 It is the end of the first-half.
45:00+1:09 GOAL - Alessandro Diamanti:West Ham 1 - 0 Birmingham Alessandro Diamanti hits the back of the net with a goal direct from the free kick from just outside the penalty area to the
top right corner of the goal. West Ham 1-0 Birmingham.
45:00+0:33 Booking Scott Dann goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
45:00+0:19 Scott Dann challenges Scott Parker unfairly and gives away a free kick.
42:00 Free kick taken by Robert Green.
42:00 Booking Lee Bowyer receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
41:49 Free kick awarded for a foul by Lee Bowyer on Alessandro Diamanti.
37:36 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Craig Gardner, Foul by Scott Dann on Robert Green, free kick awarded. Direct free
kick taken by Robert Green.
37:14 Kevin Phillips takes a shot. Save by Robert Green.
34:12 Herita Ilunga fouled by Craig Gardner, the ref awards a free kick. Alessandro Diamanti takes the direct free kick.
33:39 Cameron Jerome takes a shot from deep inside the box clearing the bar.
33:09 Carlton Cole takes a shot. Roger Johnson gets a block in.
31:41 Effort on goal by Carlton Cole from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
29:50 Foul by Carlton Cole on Roger Johnson, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
28:01 Shot by Cameron Jerome from deep inside the penalty area misses wide to the left of the target.
27:00 The offside flag is raised against Kevin Phillips. Robert Green takes the indirect free kick.
26:38 Cameron Jerome takes a shot. Blocked by James Tomkins.
25:22 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Alessandro Diamanti, Cameron Jerome makes a clearance.
25:05 Alessandro Diamanti takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
22:14 Barry Ferguson takes a shot. Comfortable save by Robert Green.
21:43 Inswinging corner taken by Craig Gardner, save made by Robert Green.
21:13 The referee gives a free kick against . Mido for handball. Roger Johnson restarts play with the free kick.
19:28 Corner taken short by Craig Gardner.
Correction - 19:00 Cameron Jerome takes a shot. Blocked by Matthew Upson.
19:00 Cameron Jerome takes a shot. Blocked by Scott Dann.
18:11 . Mido takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a save.
14:13 . Mido challenges Barry Ferguson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Barry Ferguson.
12:25 Craig Gardner concedes a free kick for a foul on Alessandro Diamanti. Free kick taken by Alessandro Diamanti.
11:22 James Tomkins takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
10:51 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Alessandro Diamanti from the left by-line, Roger Johnson manages to make a clearance.
9:14 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alessandro Diamanti by Stephen Carr. Alessandro Diamanti crosses the ball in
from the free kick, clearance made by Roger Johnson.
7:40 Scott Dann concedes a free kick for a foul on Radoslav Kovac. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Alessandro Diamanti
from right channel, clearance by Craig Gardner.
7:00 A cross is delivered by Julien Faubert, Header by . Mido from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
6:08 Foul by Carlton Cole on Roger Johnson, free kick awarded. Joe Hart takes the direct free kick.
5:21 Craig Gardner takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.
4:06 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Craig Gardner, Matthew Upson makes a clearance.
3:30 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Craig Gardner.
2:25 Carlton Cole is ruled offside. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
1:38 . Mido takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a save.
0:52 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Parker by Craig Gardner. Alessandro Diamanti restarts play with the free
0:00 The game kicks-off.
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