The East Londoners were forced into a change in goal, with Adrian coming in for Joe Hart - the England stopper ineligible against his parent club.
David Moyes responded by making a triple substitution with Evra, Lanzini and Fernandes simultaneously taken off.
The one goal deficit didn't last long at all after goals from Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho settled the 4-1 victory for Manchester City.
'They have an excellent attacking team, huge talent, players like Kevin De Bruyne, (Ilkay) Gundogan, (Leroy) Sane.
West Ham had been pegged into their own half for considerable periods by the time Sane's speculative drive spun off Evra's head to leave goalkeeper Adrian with no chance. It was remarkably slick and showed Ederson's bravery considering he was seriously injured in a similar incident by Liverpool's Sadio Mane earlier in the season.
And it was soon 2-0. De Bruyne sent over a low cross which Adrian could only deflect towards Hammers defender Declan Rice, whose panicked clearance hit Zabaleta and trickled into the net. The Hammers got with the pace of the game and put some real pressure on City, but Marko Arnautovic had a goal ruled out as he was adjudged to have fouled Ederson, the visitors' keeper. Unsympathetic referee Neil Swarbrick gave a hand ball against him.
West Ham did improve and got themselves back in the match after Cresswell curled a free kick into the bottom corner.
But in truth, the gulf in class was enormous.
The second goal also arrived courtesy of a deflection, two in fact.
The Brazil global slid a brilliant pass down the right channel to Sterling and stole in front of Zabaleta to dispatch the return pass.
The West Ham fans' joy was short-lived, however, as City upped the ante after the break.
When City struck again in the 27th minute, the farcical manner of the goal left the ragged Hammers red-faced. We will have to play good to break the record. West Ham travel to Leicester City in their final away league game on Saturday before hosting second-placed Manchester United and eighth-placed Everton at the London Stadium in their last two matches.