Michail Antonio wrote his name in the West Ham record books against Leicester City by overtaking Paolo Di Canio as the club’s all-time leading Premier League goalscorer.
The striker has notched three in the opening two games of the season as the Hammers moved top of the league following their best start to a top-flight campaign since 1997.
The striker’s performance drew praise from his manager David Moyes following his brace: “[In] the second half he was different class, his link-up play, his positioning the way he set up Said for his goal was terrific he offered an awful lot for us, I thought he was very good.”
Moyes was not the only one impressed with Antonio with Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher both singling out the striker for praise.
“We’ve talked about single strikers. Goalkeeper is the hardest position on the pitch, the second one is playing up front on your own. Antonio does it absolutely brilliantly,” Neville said on Sky Sports Monday Night Football.
“He occupies defenders, the running in behind, goal threat, has refined his game and became more polished over the past few years.
“I remember when I was at England with Roy Hodgson and we were looking at him as a right-back, he was playing at the time as a right wing-back, you never thought for one second he’s going to end up this presence that he is now in the Premier League as a forward. He’s absolutely brilliant.”
Carragher was asked why defenders do not like coming up against Antonio and the former Liverpool player was clear in his answer: “Because he’s very good!
“When we go through his goals, both goals, his first touch with his left foot when he spins and scores, then with the touch with his studs as well; he’s a top player, he really is, and I’m a big fan of his,” Carragher added.
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Antonio is pleased with his start to the season but has set his goals high this year and is aiming to double his tally of ten league goals last time out.
“I’ve got to beat what I did last year,” Antonio said. “Last year I was disappointed with my 10 goals, I wanted 15 last year. Now I’ve got three goals in two games, you never know, I could even get 20.”
Antonio was not the only Hammers player discussed by Neville and Carragher with the former Manchester United captain highlighting West Ham’s entire front line.
“The front four, whoever they play, Lanzini, Yarmolenko on the bench, they’re missing Lingard from last season, they’re absolutely electric,” Neville said. “Fornals, Antonio, Bowen, Benrahma, brilliant, really good. They overpowered Leicester and outplayed them.”