By Matt Farr
West Ham winger Michail Antonio was sent-off in the 1-1 draw with Watford in the Premier League on Saturday – and fans on Twitter were furious with him.
The 26-year-old was given his marching orders after a deliberate handball four minutes from full-time, an incident which earned him a second yellow-card.
He had earlier been issued a yellow card for a studs-up challenge on Watford’s Valon Behrami in added-time during the first-half.
Prior to his dismissal, Antonio had been one of West Ham’s most influential players on the pitch, and fans were understandably furious at his sending-off at a time when the match was so delicately poised.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
B very unprofessional from Antonio there !
— costahammer (@costahammer) February 25, 2017
Antonio clearly dosent fancy getting smashed 6-0 on a monday night in the soulless bowl
— WHUFC (@WHUFC_boleyn) February 25, 2017
Antonio once again turned up stupid red card to give away but I thought he put in a massive shift today nonstop running
— Edan Cheshire (@Whufc_Cheshire) February 25, 2017
No Antonio for Chelsea *sigh*
— ashley. (@AshleyWHUFC) February 25, 2017
I'd complain about Antonio being out for the Chelsea match, but that likely just means a 4-0 loss instead of 4-1. #WHUFC
— Replacement Level (@NegativeVORP) February 25, 2017
— Sam Inkersole (@Sam_InkersoleTM) February 25, 2017
The dismissal means Antonio will now miss West Ham’s upcoming clash with Premier League leaders Chelsea on Monday 6 March.
Antonio, who will be hoping to be part of England manager Gareth Southgate’s squad next month, has been arguably West Ham’s best player this season.
In the absence of a prolific goalscorer at the start of the season, Antonio stepped-up to the plate, netting eight goals and six assists.
Now the fans will be desperately hoping that Andy Carroll is fit for the Chelsea game, or they could really struggle against the league leaders.
Despite going down to 10-men, the Hammers managed to hold on to claim a point at Vicarage Road, which sees them move up to ninth in the table.
In other West Ham news, Robert Snodgrass has responded to persistent speculation regarding interest from Barcelona.