David Moyes felt like he was back at Upton Park as West Ham moved top of the Premier League table with a 4-1 win over 10-man Leicester on a special night for Michail Antonio.
Antonio’s two late goals fired the striker into the Hammers’ record books. His first saw him overtake Paolo Di Canio as West Ham’s top Premier League goalscorer, and he celebrated in hilarious fashion by kissing a life-size cardboard cut-out of himself.
Moments later he was one short of a half-century of top-flight goals as West Ham maintained their flying start to the season.
The Hammers led through goals from Pablo Fornals and Said Benrahma, either side of a red card for Leicester’s Ayoze Perez.
Youri Tielemans hauled one back for the 10 men but Antonio stole the show with his late heroics.
Speaking after the match, Moyes told Sky Sports: “It’s a super night for us. The team played really well. The sending-off changes the game a little bit we did a lot of good things.
“It reminded me of Upton Park tonight. It was great.
“We’ve been doing a lot of good things. Leicester are a good team, they’ve won the Community Shield and FA Cup.”
— West Ham United (@WestHam) August 23, 2021
On Antonio’s record, he added: “I’m really pleased. I was disappointed with the way he played in the first half but he did enough to shut the manager up after what I said to him at half-time.”
As for West Ham’s targets for this season, Moyes said: “The first thing is to make sure we keep playing like this. I think we’ve got to go up a gear. I’ve challenged the players to find that extra two points that could have been enough to get us in the Champions League.
“I could be asking far too much but what else am I going to do? Stand here and say we want to avoid relegation?
“Maybe I’ll ask the players if they can stay top now.”
Antonio buzzing as new record set
As for Antonio, the Hammers star was buzzing after the match, telling Sky Sports: “It sounds beautiful to be called West Ham’s top Premier League scorer. I feel like first half it affected how I was playing but the gaffer caned me at half-time and I played normally and managed to get my goals.
“It would have been so nice to break it with a goal from outside the box. I’ve broken it though in front of the fans – amazing.”
On the celebration: “We were talking earlier in the week, I said ‘you know what what will be the best – Save The Last Dance’. Maybe somebody could pick me up like Baby, but I got a cardboard cutout and picked that up. My good friend Darren Randolph was looking after it.
“I’m never happy getting just one goal. I don’t want anyone catching me by the time I leave here, I want to be up there in folklore forever.”