Michail Antonio hoping to set unassailable West Ham goal mark after breaking Paolo Di Canio’s record

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Michail Antonio hoping to set unassailable West Ham goal mark after breaking Paolo Di Canio’s record
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Michail Antonio wants to secure his place in West Ham’s history books by getting enough goals to ensure he can never be caught as their ­Premier League record scorer.

Antonio struck twice to move two ahead of club great Paolo Di Canio with 49 goals as a rampant West Ham thumped 10-man Leicester 4-1 on Monday night to move top of the table.

The 31-year-old celebrated by kissing a life-size cardboard cut-out of himself on a special night at the London Stadium that David Moyes said reminded him of Upton Park.

Antonio, who was also on target in the opening-day win over Newcastle, scored the third and fourth goals to secure a victory that shows West Ham will be a force again this season.

Having been used in several different positions after joining West Ham in 2015, Antonio has turned himself into a feared Premier League centre forward and is targeting a big season.

“I don’t just want to beat the record by one or two,” he said. “I want to beat it by loads so the next person trying to get up there isn’t going to beat me.

“I was trying to make history and in the first half it affected me. I beat the record and now I’m beating it by two. It sounds beautiful to be called West Ham’s top Premier League scorer. Hopefully I can beat it by, maybe, 20.

“The fans enjoyed it, we enjoyed it, it was amazing. There is nothing better than scoring and hearing the roar from the fans.

“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.”

It was not just Antonio’s big moment the returning West Ham supporters had to cheer about.

With Pablo Fornals and Said Benrahma excellent in support of Antonio, the Hammers were unplayable at times. Fornals got the ball rolling with a fine goal after Declan Rice snatched possession in midfield, and West Ham’s position strengthened when Ayoze Perez was sent off for stamping on Fornals just before the break.

Benrahma then made it two goals in two games in what has been an ­encouraging start to his campaign. Antonio did the rest.

West Ham finished just two points outside the Champions League places last season and there is real excitement about their potential this term.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Asked if they can finish in the top four, Antonio said: “All we can do is keep turning up and getting the points, I know it is a cliche. We have got the squad. Right now we are top of the table and we are going to enjoy it. We have got belief in ourselves.”

Moyes was delighted with his team. The Scot is targeting new signings before the transfer window closes next week but 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.”

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