David Moyes hailed Michail Antonio as his ‘new Marko Arnautovic’ following West Ham’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City.
The Hammers found themselves in front against Man City within 18 minutes after Antonio brilliantly held off Ruben Dias and executed a wonderful overhead kick to turn home Vladimir Coufal’s cross.
The effort is Antonio’s third goal of the Premier League season so far, with each strike coming against a side competing in Europe this season: Arsenal, Leicester City and Man City.
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It’s been a brilliant way to follow on from a 2019/20 campaign in which Antonio netted 10 times in 24 Premier League appearances, with 19 of those starts. In fact, Antonio is the only West Ham player other than Arnautovic — who joined Shanghai SIPG for £22.4m in July 2019 — to register double-figure goal tallies in the league since Dimitri Payet in 2015/16.
And Moyes was quick to praise Antonio’s efforts as a No.9 following the draw with Pep Guardiola’s side.
“It was a great goal. He’s become really important to the team here,” Moyes said of the converted winger. “A couple of years ago we had Marko Arnautovic – he was incredibly important to the team.
“Michy Antonio is doing the same. Most football club’s need a really good number nine and we’ve got one at the moment.”
Antonio was withdrawn on 52 minutes with a suspected hamstring injury and speaking in his post-match press conference, Moyes confirmed the former Sheffield Wednesday man will undergo a scan to check the severity of the problem, also revealing it appears to be a similar issue which forced him off during West Ham’s 3-3 draw with Tottenham in the previous match.
“We will have a check and scan,” Moyes told reporters. “He came off against Spurs with something similar. He just felt something.
“He didn’t miss training so we hope it’s not much. He is so important to us, we have to be really careful. He couldn’t decide if he was cramping up or not. We will get him scanned over the next day or two and see how he is.”
Antonio has scored 30% of the Hammers’ 10 Premier League goals so far this season and with Jarrod Bowen (also on three) the only other player to have netted more than one goal to this point, Moyes will want the 30-year-old back in action quickly as he looks to extend his side’s four-game unbeaten run.
West Ham face a tough away trip to Liverpool next before a London derby at home to struggling Fulham.