Michail Antonio responds after being labelled a ‘cheat’ for Meslier foul

How Michail Antonio responded to being labelled a ‘cheat’ by Leeds fans


West Ham United star Michail Antonio has provided his take on the incident which saw him leave Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier grounded during the meeting between the sides this past weekend.

Peacocks downed

David Moyes’ men of course made the trip to Elland Road on Saturday.

The Irons headed into proceedings brimming with confidence, fresh off the back of a 1-0 win at Old Trafford to book their spot in the Last-16 of the EFL Cup.

And, when all was said and done in West Yorkshire, West Ham’s fine early-season form only continued.

Despite going a goal down early on, the visitors eventually recovered, to emerge on the right side of a 2-1 scoreline.

Star hitman Michail Antonio proved the hero on the day, taking Declan Rice’s pass in his stride to surge into the Leeds box, before slotting home in confident fashion as proceedings rolled into time added on.

‘Don’t think it’s a foul’

As outlined above, though, if some of the home support in attendance at Elland Road had had their way, then Antonio would in fact not even have been on the pitch to bag West Ham’s last-gasp winner on Saturday.

This came after an earlier incident saw the visitors denied a Tomas Soucek goal, after teammate Antonio was spotted by the VAR team landing a forearm into the face of Illan Meslier.

And, evidently, many were of the opinion that the challenge in question should have culminated in an immediate dismissal.

This became clear when, following the full-time whistle, the Hammers’ in-form attacker was targeted with shouts of ‘cheat, cheat, cheat’ and ‘you should have been off’.

How Michail Antonio responded to being labelled a ‘cheat’ by Leeds fans

West Ham United’s English midfielder Michail Antonio (R) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal past Burnley’s English goalkeeper Nick Pope during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and West Ham United at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England, on May 3, 2021  (Photo by JON SUPER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

In turn, speaking in an ensuing interview with WHUTV, Antonio was inevitably drawn on the situation, and the abuse directed at him by Leeds’ supporters.

The 31-year-old, though, was bullish in his response, revealing his opinion that, in fact, the coming together was not even worthy of a free-kick:

‘Basically, I’ve jumped up and the hand that I’ve led with has caught the goalkeeper.’

‘I honestly don’t think that it’s a foul, but I’ve caught him, he’s gone down, and we’ve scored from it. The referee has made the decision and that’s the decision at the end of the day. We’ve managed to get the three points anyway and we’ll keep going.’


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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Liverpool FC 6 11 14
2 Manchester City 6 11 13
3 Chelsea FC 6 10 13
4 Manchester United 6 8 13
5 Everton FC 6 5 13
6 Brighton & Hove Albion 5 3 12
7 West Ham United 6 5 11
8 Aston Villa 6 2 10
9 Brentford FC 6 3 9
10 Arsenal FC 6 -5 9
11 Tottenham Hotspur 6 -5 9
12 Watford FC 6 -2 7
13 Leicester City 6 -3 7
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers 6 -2 6
15 Crystal Palace 5 -3 5
16 Southampton FC 6 -3 4
17 Newcastle United 6 -7 3
18 Leeds United 6 -8 3
19 Burnley FC 6 -6 2
20 Norwich City 6 -14 0
Player Team Goals
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 5
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 5
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 5
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 4
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 4
Benrahma, Said West Ham United 3
Gray, Demarai Everton FC 3
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 3
Lukaku, Romelu Chelsea FC 3
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 3
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 3
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 3
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 3
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 3
Raphinha Leeds United 3
Greenwood, Mason Manchester United 3
Doucoure, Abdoulaye Everton FC 2
Saint-Maximin, Allan Newcastle United 2
Jesus, Gabriel Manchester City 2
Townsend, Andros Everton FC 2

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