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West Ham’s Antonio: It may have been ‘light’ but I thought it was a penalty

PUBLISHED: 12:30 20 December 2016

West Ham United's Michail Antonio (right) and Hull City's David Marshall (left)

West Ham United's Michail Antonio (right) and Hull City's David Marshall (left)

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Hammers winger Michail Antonio talks us through the penalty that crowned a great week for West Ham

West Ham United's Michail Antonio and Hull City's Ahmed Elmohamady West Ham United's Michail Antonio and Hull City's Ahmed Elmohamady

It was one of the few times that West Ham had managed to get into the Hull City box with the ball and Michail Antonio certainly made the most of it.

Just as Winston Reid had won the penalty that led to the winner against Burnley last Wednesday, Antonio twisted in the box, went down and Lee Mason, after a shake of the head, changed his minds and awarded the spot-kick.

“Basically the ball is in the air and I have kind of arched my body and taken a touch and turned to hit it and Huddlestone has taken my leg,” said Antonio.

“Some people may say it was weak, some people may say it was light, but I believe it was a penalty.”

He would say that wouldn’t he? Not many pundits agreed, but perhaps it was justice on Hull City after they were awarded a penalty the previous week after a dive by Robert Snodgrass.

“I didn’t see that last week,” said the 26-year-old who brought the crowd to life with a lung-busting 60-yard dribble up the field to win a free kick.

West Ham United's Michail Antonio West Ham United's Michail Antonio

“It is just one of those things that even each other out. There were a couple of incidents when we won a corner and it wasn’t given and then they did the same and it wasn’t given,” he added. “Decisions sometimes go your way and that happened with the penalty.”

It certainly did. We have seen plenty of occasions when the luck has not gone with the Hammers, so maybe, at long last, the fortunes have changed.

“We definitely haven’t had a lot of luck this season,” he said. “At the beginning of the season every time the opposition attacked we seemed to get punished, even after we had made a good save or something.

“Hopefully now we can start to win games comfortably and we won’t need to have any luck.”

Antonio’s versatility has been one of the keys of the season. At Liverpool he played in three 
different positions and scored a goal.

The former Nottingham Forest man started at right wing-back on Saturday and then went up front to win that penalty.

West Ham United's Mark Noble scores his sides first goal from the penalty spo West Ham United's Mark Noble scores his sides first goal from the penalty spo

“The manager signed me because I can be quite attacking and so at half time he told me to go out there and play up front and use my pace to cause them some damage and that is what I did in that second half,” he added.

It was a hard slog, but it finally worked thanks to Mark Noble’s penalty and it was a result that delighted the versatile player. “It has been a very good week,” he said. “We have got seven points this week and we are up to 13th place, so we will just have to build on that.

“It is the points that lift the pressure for us. As long as we keep picking up the points, however they come, that is the vital thing.”

It certainly is and Antonio has been at the heart of it in both games.

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