By Nick Ware

15th Aug, 2021 | 3:54pm

Andy Hinchcliffe blown away by Michail Antonio goal in West Ham 4-2 win v Newcastle

Andy Hinchcliffe showered West Ham striker Michail Antonio with praise after the 31-year-old’s goal Newcastle United on Sunday.

Despite being behind twice on Tyneside the Irons ran out 4-2 winners at St James’ Park to get their 2021/22 Premier League campaign off to the perfect start.

Aaron Cresswell and Said Benrahma scored equalisers before Tomas Soucek put the visitors in front after capitalising on Antonio’s saved penalty kick.

Antonio swiftly recovered from his own personal disappointment to put the Irons two clear of Newcastle just three minutes after Soucek scored.

“It’s absolutely devastating,” Hinchcliffe said during Sky Sports‘ live coverage of the game.

“When the ball breaks the way of [Said] Benrahma, Michail Antonio’s change of pace and the way he sprints.

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“It’s a sensational counter-attack. Without that sprint forward from Antonio nothing happens because Benrahma hasn’t got a forward pass.

“Antonio covers the hard yards and then absolutely buries it.”

Found his form

Hinchcliffe was critical of Antonio in the first half, dubbing him “selfish” after he failed to pass to Jarrod Bowen.

However, less than an hour later he was left purring by the Englishman’s endeavour and determination.

Antonio burst forward to give Benrahma a forward option before scoring a deserved goal.

It sums the man up – he wasn’t about to let his penalty disappointment affect his game.

Just minutes after he missed his spot-kick, Antonio opened his tally for the new season and pretty much clinched the game for West Ham in the process.

He scored ten in the league during the 2020/21 campaign despite missing 12 games, and he will be hoping to be in and around the 20-goal mark if he manages to stay injury-free this season.

In other West Ham news, the club have made an approach to sign this ex-Irons trialist from a Premier League rival.

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