West Ham United recorded a crucial victory in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon as the Hammers beat Aston Villa 2-1 at the London Stadium to keep their top-six hopes alive.
It took David Moyes’ side 70 minutes to break the deadlock in East London when Ukrainian Andriy Yarmolenko controlled Said Benrahma’s pass well and finished accurately, causing emotional celebrations.
Pablo Fornals doubled the hosts’ lead 12 minutes later but 20-year-old Villa midfielder Jacob Ramsey halved the deficit just before added time to make the final minutes nervy for the Hammers.
However, they held on and the victory sees Moyes’ side maintain their position in sixth place, two points ahead of Wolves in seventh and three ahead of Tottenham, although Spurs have two games in hand.
Alas, it’s a crucial win for the East Londoners with most players playing a crucial part. However, some did struggle at the London Stadium with midfielder Manuel Lanzini enduring a mixed performance.
According to SofaScore, the Argentinian only managed to win just one out of an attempted six duels at 17% whilst also losing possession on 12 occasions.
The midfielder, playing in between Pablo Fornals and Said Benrahma, offered little in the defensive department, making just one tackle whilst failing to make a single clearance, interception or block as he also picked up a sixth booking of the season.
Moreover, at the other end of the pitch, the 29-year-old also struggled. Lanzini failed to get a single shot off nor did he attempt a dribble or a cross.
With teammate Ben Johnson the only other player to be rated as low as 6.4/10, it was certainly an afternoon to forget for him.
The only positive of the Argentine’s performance was his 89% passing accuracy and contribution of a key pass as the midfielder played the entire 90 minutes.
Lanzini has seen plenty of game time for the Hammers of late, completing 90 minutes in each of West Ham’s last three league fixtures as well as playing 83 minutes against Sevilla on Thursday evening.
Moreover, since his move from Al-Jazira in 2015, initially on loan, the attacking midfielder has mostly enjoyed a successful Hammers tenure, making 191 appearances for the East London club, with an ACL rupture in 2018 being the major negative of his time in England.
There is no doubt that the Argentinian is still a major part of David Moyes’ plans, with the Scotsman handing Lanzini 33 appearances so far this season.
Furthermore, with the use of either a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 system the attacking midfielder can slot into whichever system the 58-year-old opts to deploy, with the 29-year-old certainly West Ham’s top central attacking midfielder, making Sunday’s performance particularly surprising.
However, a decision on Lanzini’s future will have to be made within the next year as the West Ham midfielder’s current deal at the London Stadium expires next summer. Whether or not the 29-year-old stays beyond this current campaign, will be decided in the summer. Although, with performances like the one against Aston Villa, the midfielder certainly won’t be boosting his claim for a contract extension.