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24th Aug 2021

Michail Antonio reveals inspiration behind his cardboard cutout celebration

Simon Lloyd

We think he might have the wrong film, but we won’t judge him

As far as starts to the season go, things couldn’t have gone much better for Michail Antonio. Three goals to his name, his team sitting top of the Premier League and even a new record to his name for good measure.

Antonio scored two second-half goals for West Ham as they beat ten-men Leicester 4-1 at the London Stadium on Monday. His first was enough for him to surpass Paolo Di Canio as the Hammers’ all-time leading scorer in the Premier League era.

Having reached the milestone, the 31-year-old decided to mark it with a special celebration. Running to the side of the pitch, he picked up a cardboard cutout of himself, lifting it above his head and spinning it round.

Brilliant stuff.

Speaking to Sky’s Monday Night Football after full-time, Antonio explained the reason behind his choice of celebration.

“I’ve not been celebrating of late because of VAR,” he said. “But I was like, I’m making history, I have to do something special.”

He then asked the MNF panel if they had understood the reference. They had not.

“Save the Last Dance,” he said. “Do you not remember? The lift from the end?”

We’re by no means experts on this sort of thing here – this writer has, sadly, never seen Save The Last Dance – but we suspect he may have been confusing the reference with that iconic lift scene from Dirty Dancing. We won’t judge him. An iconic goal celebration all the same.