By Beck Pascal

16th May, 2022 | 7:15am

Pep Guardiola gushes over West Ham ace Michail Antonio

Pep Guardiola has gushed over West Ham attacker Michail Antonio after his impressive display against Manchester City on Sunday [May 15]. 

David Moyes’ side held the leaders to a 2-2 draw having taken a 2-0 lead in the first half with Jarrod Bowen notching a brace. 

With the league leaders short for centre-backs due to injuries – Fernandinho deputised in defence – an area the Jamaica international looked to expose.

Speaking post-match Guardiola told Sky Sports via Daily Star: “He goes to the gym every day this guy, he’s so strong.”

He added: “Handling Antonio is not easy. They were brilliant.”

Crucial.

Antonio was brilliant all game. It was hilarious watching Fernandinho and the other Sky Blues defenders bounce off the 32-year-old almost every time they came close to him – he is a beast. 

Bowen will receive all of the plaudits and rightly so with his brilliant two goals but the striker was pivotal to the way the Irons played yesterday.

The visitors had West Ham pegged into their own half for most of the game but when the ball came up to Antonio it stuck. 

He held onto the ball immensely in extremely difficult circumstances – offering his team some much-needed respite whilst allowing them to hurt the Cityzens on the counterattack.  

Moyes will be incredibly disappointed not to have held out for the win having gone 2-0 in the first half. The early goal conceded in the second half really killed them – from then on it was a matter of defending. 

Of course, Lukasz Fabianski did pull off a brilliant penalty save to rescue a point for the Irons with Wolves’ draw against Norwich securing second place. 

The Hammers still have the opportunity to qualify for next season’s Europa League if they win and Manchester United lose on the final day so it is all to play for.

In other West Ham news, Martin Samuel has responded to the latest West Ham London Stadium developments dubbing it the “deal of the century”.

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