Alessandro Diamanti scored his third goal in as many games to maintain West Ham's hopes of survival and keep Portsmouth rooted to the bottom of the Barclays Premier League following the 2-0 result.
The Italian struck from the penalty spot at Upton Park midway through the first half of a match short on quality, clear-cut opportunities or reasons to suggest either team deserve to be higher in the table.
Radoslav Kovac added the second just before the end.
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