West Ham striker Michail Antonio made a bold claim prior to Sunday’s clash between Liverpool and West Ham but he failed to put his words to action at Anfield.
Antonio was full of talk in the week as West Ham prepared to visit Anfield – but might now regret being quite so bullish.
The 33-year-old didn’t hold back in his latest Footballer’s Football podcast, a show he co-hosts with Newcastle striker Callum Wilson. And his words certainly riled Liverpool fans in the build-up to Sunday afternoon’s Premier League game with the Hammers.
“You know what, I think we are going to finish higher than Liverpool this season,” claimed Antonio, despite the 27-point gap between the sides last season.
“I’m putting it out there. I watched the game ( Wolves 1-3 Liverpool) because it was before our game and Wolves could have run away with it.
“They had quite a few opportunities. We’ve got them this weekend and it’s a six-pointer. We’ve got them!”
And early on, the Jamaican international was given the perfect chance to back up his words. He was presented with a header from point blank range, and proceeded to get it horribly wrong as he nodded well wide.
Of course, the miss came back to haunt Antonio and the Hammers. It cost the visitors dear when Mohamed Salah converted a penalty to make it 1-0.
West Ham did respond, with Jarrod Bowen levelling the match just before the break. But in the second half, Darwin Nunez lobbed in after the break before Diogo Jota secured the points late on, as Jurgen Klopp’s men made it 16 points from 18 so far this season.
That leaves them six points clear of the London club, meaning there is already ample work to do if Antonio’s claims are to be justified. The result also extended the wretched record of David Moyes at Anfield, having never won at the ground in 19 visits as a manager.