WEST HAM 4-1 LEICESTER: Antonio’s late double means he is now the club’s top scorer in the Premier League era with 49 goals as West Ham carried on where they left off last season.
This place has rarely been louder since the London Olympics.
Michail Antonio set a new West Ham goalscoring record and got the sort of reception Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford enjoyed when they all won gold on Super Saturday.
Antonio’s late double means he is now the club’s top scorer in the Premier League era with 49 goals as West Ham carried on where they left off last season.
Hammers striker Antonio overtook Paolo di Canio with his first goal and then promptly ran over to the touchline, picked up a life-size cardboard cut out of himself and raised it to the heavens.
It has taken a long time for the London Stadium to feel like home for West Ham and yet, with the first full house in 18 months, it has been transformed thanks to the David Moyes revolution.
West Ham were absolutely terrific, producing a performance full of energy, movement and attacking prowess straight from the club’s finest traditions.
Leicester did play the majority of the match with ten men after Ayoze Perez was sent off for an over-the-top challenge on Pablo Fornals. Leicester were bitterly upset but the replays on the giant screen had the majority of the stadium gasping in horror.
It should also not detract in any way from West Ham as they made it two straight wins and, having got into Europe last season, they are clearly determined not to stop there.
Incredibly, West Ham have not yet spent a penny – the only signing was reserve keeper Alphonse Areola on a free – and Moyes is working another miracle and showing again there is no substitute for class and experience.
Fornals was terrific, Antonio was unstoppable and Said Benrahma also got in on the act with a goal and assist.
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The West Ham fans deserve so much credit because this has not always felt like home and yet, after so long away, they got behind their team with an uplifting noise and positivity.
They were ahead after 26 minutes when Jamie Vardy lost possession in midfield, Declan Rice got things moving forward, Benrahma whipped in a cross from the left and there was Fornals to sweep the ball home.
It got even worse for the visitors just before half time with the sending-off. Perez was knocked off balance by Aaron Cresswell’s challenge, the Leicester forward tried to win the loose ball but ended up going in with an over-the-top challenge on Fornals.
Referee Michael Oliver went over to the touchline monitor and showed no hesitation in producing a red card before the replay was shown on the big screen – the Premier League are the only league to allow in-stadium replays – and the collective wince told its own story.
West Ham went 2-0 up after 56 minutes when Caglar Soyuncu’s blind back pass presented the ball to Antonio who set up Benrahma to steer home. It looked done and dusted.
But Leicester did show some fight and clawed a goal back after 70 minutes. James Maddison’s cross was not cleared, Youri Tielemans saw a shot blocked but then smashed in the rebound.
However, Antonio stepped up with two goals in the last ten minutes. Rice’s cross found Antonio who turned Soyuncu and fired into the bottom corner.
Another followed in the 84th minute. Vladimir Coufal played the ball into the box, Antonio used his strength to hold off two defenders before slotting it past Kasper Schmeichel.