Later News Aug 24

Dirty Dancing Antonio eyes Golden Boot after inspiring West Ham to 4-1 win over Leicester


West Ham United striker Michail Antonio has declared that he will no longer be ignored like a baby in a corner, and will instead take centre stage in the English Premier League (EPL) by finishing as this season’s Golden Boot winner.

 

The 31-year-old made that bold proclamation after scoring a brace in the Hammers’ 4-1 win over Leicester City this morning (SGT), which moved him to the top of the goalscoring charts with three goals after two games.

 

In the process, Antonio also became West Ham’s all-time leading EPL goalscorer with 49 goals – two more than previous record holder Paolo Di Canio.

 

WATCH: Antonio takes on the Touch Challenge

 

While Antonio broke the record with his goal in the 80th minute, it was Pablo Fornals who opened the scoring for West Ham in the 26th minute.

 

Said Benrahma doubled West Ham’s lead nine minutes after the break, sidefooting home from Antonio’s low cross.

 

Youri Tielemans then halved the deficit for the Foxes – who were by then down to 10 men following Ayoze Perez’s dismissal for a reckless challenge – in the 69th minute.

 

But 10 minutes before full-time, the Antonio talent show began, as he swivelled and turned Caglar Soyuncu like they were dance partners, before firing the ball into the back of the net.

 

Antonio’s goal was matched by his equally brilliant celebration, which saw him lift up and twirl a life-size cut-out of himself in a recreation of the famous final dance scene in dirty dancing. At the end of the routine, he planted a kiss on the lips of the cut-out, before unceremoniously tossing it aside like he had suddenly found out it had cheated on him with a Brendan Rodgers portrait.

 

Four minutes later, Antonio scored his second of the game to put the result beyond any doubt. Thankfully, he didn’t celebrate by progressing to second base with his cut-out.

 

After the game, an ebullient Antonio confirmed that his unique goal celebration was inspired by the movie Dirty Dancing. He said: “I thought, I'm making history, I've got to do something special. Did any of you get what celebration it was?

 

“Save the Last Dance [from Dirty Dancing] – the lift from the end! It was an amazing night. The fans enjoyed it, we enjoyed it. There's nothing better than scoring a goal and hearing a roar from the fans.”

 

When asked whether he could win the Golden Boot this season, Antonio declared without any hesitation: “Obviously! And I'm going to put a big distance between us so no-one can catch me!”

 

WATCH: Every goal in Kane's Golden Boot winning 2020/2021 season

 

While Antonio rightly got the plaudits for his match-winning contributions, West Ham manager David Moyes revealed that he was actually unhappy with how the former Nottingham Forest star had played in the first-half.

 

But Moyes praised him for responding positively after the break, as he said: “I didn't think he'd made the right choices with the ball in the first half a few times, but he was a different class after half-time, with his link-up play and positioning.

 

“He's only been at centre-forward for the last 18 months or two years. He's gone on from there and he's looking a real handful. His all-round play has improved so much.”

 

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