On Monday night, Michail Antonio scored a late brace as the Hammers defeated Leicester City 4-1 at the London Stadium and broke West Ham United’s Premier League goalscoring record. Antonio celebrated his record-breaking feat with a life-size cardboard cutout of himself.
Thanks to two spectacular goals from the striker as West Ham earned three points. The first saw him blast the ball past Kasper Schmeichel after a neat turn and swivel to elude the Leicester defence, before flicking the ball over his head and tapping it past the Dane a few minutes later for his second. The Hammers delivered an outstanding performance in front of a raucous crowd holding a 4-1 match score.
Antonio has now racked up 49 Premier League goals for West Ham, two more than club legend Paolo Di Canio. Antonio, who is well-known for his iconic celebrations, was seen conversing with Darren Randolph on the bench prior to the game, seemingly informing him that he intended to use a prop from behind the dugout if he scored. On Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, he told the story of the cut-out.
“So basically, I’ve got to do [an iconic celebration] for the record, and I’ve not been celebrating a lot recently because of VAR. But because it was for history, I thought ‘I’ve got to do it special’,” Antonio explained. “I started off with [iconic] celebrations, I’ve got to finish it with celebrations.”
Michail then asked host David Jones and pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher if they understood the significance of the celebration, but none of them could – though Carragher did suggest that Antonio hadn’t kissed anyone in a long time.
“‘Save The Last Dance’!” Antonio said, referring to the 2001 dance film. “Do you not remember the lift at the end of ‘Save The Last Dance’?” However, Neville assumed he was referring to ‘Dirty Dancing,’ which would make sense given that he picked up the cutout and wrapped it around his head.
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