West Ham moved out of the relegation zone on Saturday evening, picking up a vital 3 points away to Crystal Palace thanks to a Manuel Lanzini goal.
The Hammers played much better than they have of late, though they were maybe fortunate to pick up the three points after Cristian Benteke fluffed his penalty. With Creswell sent off in the latter stages, it meant West Ham had to hold on to get only their 2nd win of the Premier League season.
They have a lot to thank Lanzini for for winning this game. Not just the goal, but the little Argentine was majestic throughout. He played in an attacking midfield role, mainly on the right hand side but drifted throughout. He helped West Ham retain possession high up the pitch with a brilliant 90% pass accuracy, and linked midfield with attack so well making 4 key passes. He had 2 shots, both of which were on target and one resulting in a goal.
It may be somewhat surprising, but Lanzini actually has a very good workmate and can do a lot of defensive work as well as attacking. We saw that box-to-box ability showcased against Palace on Saturday evening where he put a lot of pressure on the Crystal Palace midfield, in total making 5 successful tackles, a huge amount for an attacking midfielder. It was refreshing to see because in this bad period of form for West Ham, it is important that their players show desire and he epitomised that word in this game.
Here is what the fans have had to say about Lanzini’s performance on Twitter.
Love you Lanzini ? Hammers, we can enjoy the rest of the weekend! ⚒ pic.twitter.com/lyec9JVCZp
— West Ham Social (@WestHamSocial) October 15, 2016
Manuel Lanzini what a player. Insane scouting from Bilic.
— Uber West Ham (@UberWestHam) October 15, 2016
This proves it, Lanzini is world class. What a performance today⚒⚒ https://t.co/3uF4kjHEnA
— Payet FK (@payetFK) October 15, 2016
When he’s motivated, lanzini is a class act. Important goal….now let’s push on hammers.
— Harry White (@harrytwhite) October 15, 2016
After a mixed season on loan last time around, Lanzini seems to be flourishing now that he has signed for the Hammers permanently. He understands the team, his role and seems settled into London life. It is important that Slaven Bilic can continue to get the best out of the youngster as he has a huge amount of potential and with Dimitri Payet aged 29 and perhaps likely to leave next summer, West Ham will need a new star in their midfield and Lanzini looks like he has the potential to fill that void.
It will be important now that Lanzini shows that same desire in future matches for West Ham, as they need him to be as influential if they are to lift themselves into the top half of the table, something that must be their absolute minimum expectation for the season.