It was an impressive performance for West Ham United playmaker Manuel Lanzini, as his performance tops the first notable day of play for the Hammers abroad in this year’s March FIFA international break.
In continuing to be in the good blessings of new Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli, Lanzini capped off a solid display in his first start for La Albiceleste with a terrific first goal for his country, as they defeated Italy 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium Friday night in Manchester.
Lively throughout, especially in the second half with his patent quick dribbles and occasional nutmeg ability, Lanzini almost scored earlier after the restart but was just too short to head into net an enticing cross from Angel Di Maria.
But Lanzini made sure to place himself in even stronger contention for a place in Sampaoli’s squad for the FIFA World Cup, taking a Gonzalo Higuain pass and superbly finishing past the legend Gianluigi Buffon in the 85th minute for Argentina’s second goal.
With Lionel Messi and Premier League rival Sergio Aguero in the stands enjoying his finish, it was truly a memorable night for the Hammers midfield magician. And Lanzini has another opportunity to further his case for the May plane ride to Russia when Argentina face off against Spain on Tuesday.