Sam Allardyce's men claimed all three points against the newly-promoted side as the former Liverpool midfielder struck first before the skipper wrapped up the win
Former Liverpool midfielder Cole gave the hosts the lead after linking with Matt Jarvis before Nolan struck in the second half to wrap up all three points for Sam Allardyce's side.
|By Liam Twomey
Two years ago Cardiff beat West Ham at Upton Park on the opening day of the Championship season, but it was the Hammers who ultimately seized promotion. You sense Malky Mackay would gladly have endured a loss today if it means Premier League survival come May, but in truth there were precious few signs his team are capable.
Even without the ball Sam Allardyce's men were far too comfortable for long periods, and from the moment Joe Cole gave them the lead on 13 minutes it was the score, and not the result, in doubt.
Hammers fans will be pleased their side managed to enjoy a winning start without summer signings Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing or Razvan Rat in the starting XI. Cardiff, too, were deprived of Andreas Cornelius, but one suspects they will need more new faces before the end of August if this first top-flight campaign in over half a century is not to prove a solitary one.
James Collins started for the visitors despite fitness worries, while recent additions Stewart Downing, Adrian and Razvan Rat were all on the bench.
The home side began brightly and were rewarded after 12 minutes when Cole slotted home well from inside the area.
The midfielder was played in after good work from Matt Jarvis on the left, with the former Liverpool man turning and firing past David Marshall.
Despite their rude awakening to Premier League life, Cardiff fought back well and could have been awarded a penalty shortly after when Fraizer Campbell went down under Winston Reid's challenge, but referee Howard Webb waved away home appeals.
With West Ham pouring forward, Mohamed Diame saw his deflected effort edge past Marshall's left post seven minutes from the break as West Ham enjoyed a period of pressure late in the half.
Diame also had the first chance of the second half, shooting over from the edge of the area 26 seconds into the period, with Marshall then tipping Modibo Maiga's strike narrowly past the far post after 61 minutes.
However, after 75 minutes, the home side went two goals ahead thanks to a sweeping effort from Nolan inside the area.
After Mark Noble had jinked forward, he slipped the ball to Nolan inside the penalty area, and the club captain swivelled, before curling the ball past a helpless Marshall.
Nicky Maynard should have pulled a goal back five minutes from time, but the striker could only stab over from close range, ensuring West Ham a comfortable conclusion to a straightforward victory.