'Touch of class' - pundit lauds West Ham star's key role in defeating Leeds United

Garth Crooks has praised Michail Antonio following Leeds United’s defeat to West Ham.

Monday, 27th September 2021, 1:27 pm
LEEDS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Stuart Dallas of Leeds United looks dejected after their side concedes a second goal scored by Michail Antonio of West Ham United (not pictured) during the Premier League match between Leeds United and West Ham United at Elland Road on September 25, 2021 in Leeds, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Michail Antonio put on a brilliant performance at Elland Road at the weekend, scoring a 90th minute goal that handed West Ham the three points and left Leeds United enduring their third defeat of the season.

The Hammers striker had seven shots on target before a pass from Declan Rice allowed him to knock the ball over makeshift right-back Jamie Shackleton and slot it home past a helpless Illan Meslier.

Antonio was rewarded with a spot in BBC pundit Garth Crook’s Team of the Week – lining up alongside Mohamed Salah and Raul Jimenez.

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LEEDS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: West Ham striker Michail Antonio shoots to score the winning goal past Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier as defender Charlie Cresswell looks on during the Premier League match between Leeds United and West Ham United at Elland Road on September 25, 2021 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

On Antonio’s performance against Leeds United, Crooks said: “The ball from Antonio for Pablo Fornals earlier [in the game] was just brilliant but his finish was indicative of a striker on top of his game.

"He might have been player of the month for August but he was certainly man of the match against Leeds.

"The Jamaica international plays a very physical game but in front of goal there is also a touch of class as well.”

The 31-year-old’s winner against the Whites was his fifth league goal in as many games and he became the third player to score a 90th-minute winner against Leeds at Elland Road in the Premier League – the first since Scott Parker for Charlton Athletic in 2002.

The West Ham forward was vital in their win over Marcelo Bielsa’s side, whilst the Argentine was without his star striker in Patrick Bamford.

The England international sat out of the game with an ankle injury after previously starting all five of their Premier League fixtures this season.

Meanwhile, Leeds were also without Robin Koch, Pascal Struijk, Luke Ayling, Diego Llorente and Jack Harrison.

Despite an impressive first half display from the home side, their injury woes were making life difficult for Leeds United and they will once again hope they can pick up their first win of the campaign against Watford this weekend.

The Yorkshire club currently sit in 18th place in the Premier League – three points behind the Hornets.