Michail Antonio is happy to be back in the swim of things with his special celebration after scoring against Burnley as West Ham continue to make a splash in the Premier League
- With celebrations being watched, you knew Antonio would do something special
- As long as he keeps scoring, David Moyes won’t mind what he does to celebrate
- Antonio’s first Premier League start since Nov showed how important he is
- West Ham are making a splash and will be eyeing up European qualification
We’ve had Homer Simpson spinning in circles, Ali G dodging lasers, the Macarena, the Worm, the Carlton Banks dance and now the backstroke.
With so many watching footballers and their celebrations forensically, you knew Michail Antonio would do something special.
It turns out this was a forfeit Declan Rice came up with after Antonio lost a game of Call of Duty. As long as he stays fit and keeps scoring, manager David Moyes won’t mind what his striker does to celebrate.
With celebrations being watched, you knew Michail Antonio would do something special
As long as he stays fit and keeps scoring, David Moyes won’t mind what he does to celebrate
West Ham are making a splash in the Premier League. Continue at this rate and talk will turn to the possibility of Europe for Moyes and his players.
They are in the top half of the table and have lost only one of their last seven league games. This was their third successive win in all competitions, fourth consecutive clean sheet, and Sam Allardyce’s West Brom are the visitors to the London Stadium tomorrow.
Antonio’s first Premier League start since November showed how important he is to this club as he got on the end of a Pablo Fornals cross to win the game.
When the 30-year-old was out, Sebastien Haller failed to fill in to the extent that he was sold to Ajax at a £25million loss. But Antonio, who looked sharp throughout, returned, scored and then celebrated by lying on the ground and pretending to swim backwards.
West Ham are making a splash in the Premier League and will be eyeing up European football
Match of the Day were right to highlight the triangle between centre backs Angelo Ogbonna, Craig Dawson and deep midfielder Tomas Soucek. Burnley strikers Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood had one shot between them.
Every game that 30-year-old Dawson has started this season has resulted in a clean sheet. Moyes likened it to a striker coming into the side and scoring a goal a game.
‘It was a day when I needed my defenders to stand up and be counted, and Ogbonna and Dawson did that,’ Moyes said.
‘We have brought Dawson in and we’ve had four clean sheets in four games. For a centre half to do that is a great achievement.’
Moyes knows he could do with signing a striker this month in case Antonio breaks down again
On Ogbonna, the 32-year-old who joined West Ham from Juventus in 2015, Moyes added: ‘He is a big member of the squad. He’s like Mark Noble and Declan Rice, and he’s been here six years. He was called up to the Italy squad in the last window, so that gives you an idea of where his performances have been.’
But Moyes knows he could do with signing a striker this month in case Antonio breaks down again. Without him, West Ham’s European push would surely suffer.
Burnley boss Sean Dyche will go back to the drawing board after this. Top of his list of priorities is to figure out how to get his strikers scoring. Nine goals in 17 Premier League games is an awful record and they are perilously close to the relegation places.
MATCH FACTS AND RATINGS
West Ham (4-2-3-1): Fabianski 6.5; Coufal 6, Dawson 7.5, Ogbonna 7.5, Cresswell 6; Rice 8, Soucek 6.5; Bowen 6.5 (Yarmolenko 82min), Benrahma 6.5 (Lanzini 68, 6), Fornals 6.5; Antonio 7.5.
Subs not used: Randolph, Alves, Noble, Diop, Fredericks, Johnson, Odubeko. Scorer: Antonio 9. Booked: Soucek, Ogbonna. Manager: David Moyes 7.
Burnley (4-4-2): Pope 6; Lowton 6, Tarkowski 5, Mee 5, Pieters 6; Gudmundsson 5.5 (McNeil 46, 6), Westwood 6, Brownhill 6, Brady 5.5; Wood 5 (Rodriguez 72, 6), Barnes 5 (Vydra 63, 6).
Subs not used: Cork, Stephens, Norris, Bardsley, Long, Benson. Booked: Barnes. Manager: Sean Dyche 5.5.
Referee: Chris Kavanagh 6.
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