Antonio v Manchester United – 10th May 2016
The last ever game at the Boleyn Ground. History was there to be made, with an outside chance of still finishing in the top four. It was a massive match for numerous reasons.
Having taken the lead in the first half, West Ham was on course to get a crucial victory for the club and, most importantly, the supporters.
Then, within a matter of 20 second-half minutes, Louis Van Gaal’s Man United side sucker-punched the Hammers and took the lead, leaving the home side’s dreams to fade and die.
Michail Antonio’s most memorable West Ham strikes.
Slaven Bilic needed a hero to step up to the plate and quickly. Antonio was that man as he leaped to head Dimitri Payet’s ball into the back of the net to tie the score and give West Ham the impetus to go forward and claim a historic victory that will live long in Hammer’s hearts.
“He rose so high, nearly touched the sky,” was exclaimed by the commentator as Winston Reid scored the winning goal, but truly, it was Antonio who did just that on that wonderful final night at Upton Park.
Antonio v Bournemouth – 21st August 2016
From the last game at the Boleyn to the first Premier League game at London Stadium – yet again, West Ham needed a player to step up to cement their place in further history.
With fans still not completely sold on the idea of leaving their beloved home for what was the Olympic stadium, the Hammers needed to ease tensions, at least for a short while, by beating Bournemouth in what was their first-ever league game at their new home.
85 minutes had passed with no sign of a breakthrough with the Cherries down to 10 men until, yet again, Antonio found a way to be the Hammer’s hero.
Gokhan Tore, who the crowd barely ever saw again, whipped a delicious cross into the box before Antonio crept in at the back post and headed into the back of the net.
This type of goal became a trademark of his as he continued to get West Ham out of the mud during such a turbulent season.