In the absence of Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez last Sunday, Michail Antonio started up front.

Antonio played as the lone central striker in a 4-3-3 formation. But he failed to get on the score sheet or impress as the game ended 0-0.

It was a terrific team performance from a battling West Ham side. The likes of Lukasz Fabianski, Fabian Balbuena, Pablo Zabaleta, Declan Rice and Issa Diop were immense.

However, Antonio struggled to get into the game and he has surely blown his last chance to prove to Manuel Pellegrini that he is a striker.

Missed chances

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 23: West Ham United’s Michail Antonio after a first half miss during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Chelsea FC at London Stadium on September 23, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Antonio had two glorious opportunities to score. Both chances fell to him in the box in the first-half.

Firstly, a dazzling Felipe Anderson run and a perfectly weighted pass found Antonio alone in the box.

But the 28-year-old sent his left-footed shot high and wide of the goal and failed to test Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Moments later, Andriy Yarmolenko dribbled into the box. The ball dropped at the feet of Antonio, who hit it first time from inside the six yard box.


He forced a good save from Kepa at point-blank range but he could arguably have done better with the chance.

His overall game was mixed as well. The Antonio of old was not quite on show.

We didn’t see any lung-busting runs and he rarely terrorised the Chelsea back-line with his searing pace and emphatic strength.

His work rate dropped and he was replaced by Lucas Perez in the second half, having failed to impress.

Returning stars

Antonio wants to be regarded as a striker. But after Sunday’s showing he may just have spurned his final chance.

Arnautovic and Hernandez could return to the first-team fold soon. And Perez is also knocking on the door to start as a centre-forward.

It will be interesting to see if Pellegrini will give Antonio one more opportunity against Macclesfield Town in the cup.

But he may well choose to give Perez the chance to impress, leaving Antonio’s chances of playing up front for West Ham bleak.

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