Michail Antonio breaks club goal scoring record as West Ham thump 10-man Leicester at the London Stadium
|Michail Antonio raises a cardboard cut-out of himself above his head as Said Benrahma congratulates him on becoming West Ham's record Premier League scorer. (Photo credit: premierleague.com)|
Michail Antonio became West Ham's all-time Premier League top scorer in a resounding victory over 10-man Leicester City at London Stadium.
Antonio raised a cardboard cut-out of himself in celebration after scoring his 48th Premier League goal, breaking Paolo di Canio's club record.
Four minutes later, the 31-year-old added a second to cap an impressive victory for David Moyes' side.
It is only the second time in club history that the Hammers have won their opening two Premier League fixtures.
West Ham's first two goals were scored by Pablo Fornals and Said Benrahma as Ayoze Perez was shown a straight red card for a stamp on Fornals.
Before Antonio's late double, Youri Tielemans had briefly given the visitors hope at 2-1.
Antonio dazzles as the Foxes are thrashed
Only Manchester City and Manchester United earned more points away from home last season than Leicester, but the Foxes were outclassed in their opening away game of the new campaign.
Brendan Rodgers put it frankly in his pre-match interview when he stated that his side were "very light" at the back, with new signing Jannik Vestergaard joining Wesley Fofana, James Justin, Ryan Bertrand, Jonny Evans, and Nampalys Mendy on the bench.
On 26 minutes, West Ham finally undid the Foxes' makeshift defence when Fornals scored his third league goal in as many games for the Hammers.
The Spaniard exchanged quick one-twos with Benrahma on the left before continuing his run into the box and sweeping a first-time finish past Kasper Schmeichel from ten yards.
Leicester's evening took a turn for the worse 15 minutes later when Perez was dismissed for stamping on Fornals' ankle as he stumbled forward after a challenge with Aaron Cresswell.
Referee Michael Oliver issued the red card after consulting with VAR officials and viewing a replay. On his 274th appearance in English football, the Spaniard receives his first red card.
Caglar Soyuncu's sloppy backpass was intercepted by the selfless Antonio, who crossed for Benrahma to fire past Schmeichel from 12 yards.
Antonio had equalled Di Canio's lead with a goal against Newcastle in West Ham's season opener, but it appeared as though he would have to wait for his moment of glory after five chances went begging.
However, Antonio turned past Soyuncu in the box following Declan Rice's cross and found the bottom corner.
His night was far from over. While a raucous London Stadium chanted 'ole' with each Hammers pass, Antonio completed a near-perfect evening by flicking the ball above two Leicester defenders, beating both on the turn and stabbing past Schmeichel.
After narrowly missing out on a top-four finish last season by two points, West Ham enter the new campaign optimistic and - even if only after two games - end the day top of the Premier League for the second time in club history.