Hands up if you saw that performance coming after the dismal opening day defeat to Newcastle?
West Ham finally got their Premier League campaign up and running with a superb 4-0 win over Wolves at the London Stadium on Sunday night, with goals from Jarrod Bowen (2), Sebastien Haller and an own goal from Raul Jimenez ensuring they got their first points of the season.
But whilst Bowen capped a fine individual performance with a brace – including an excellent run and finish for his first goal – it was Michail Antonio who set the tone for the Hammers and arguably stole the show.
As per Sofascore, he won a mammoth 14 duels on Sunday which was a game-high, whilst he was also the most fouled player on the pitch, earning five free-kicks.
The 30-year-old never stopped fighting for the cause, and despite having to come up against Wolves’ back-three of Roman Saiss, Conor Coady and Wily Boly, he ran them ragged – the centre-back trio recorded a match rating of 6.2 or less.
Despite having a thankless task and often being asked to do a one-man job as the lone front-man, Antonio rose to the challenge with aplomb.
Even though he lost possession 21 times, it wasn’t for a lack of effort or ability, instead more an indicator of the kind of risks he was willing to take whenever he had the ball – it was no surprise that by the end of the game, his total of six completed dribbles were the highest of any Hammers ace.
So whilst Bowen may be the one to take all the headlines in the aftermath of a stunning victory, Antonio’s display was the epitome of everything that West Ham did well on the night.