West Ham secured a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace on New Year day at Selhurst Park, holding on to a win despite a late scare.

Manuel Lanzini was among the goals, and the Argentine’s strike impressed Garth Crooks, who included him in his official team of the week on the BBC website.

The pundit also had issues with VAR failing to spot a handball, and he reckoned the Hammers could still very much remain in the top-four race going forward in 2021-22.

Crooks said: “What superb feet. It was the control by Lanzini with his right followed by his left foot that provided the opening for such a superb finish. Having performed the most difficult skill by bringing the ball under control, the Argentine then smashes the ball past Vicente Guaita in the Crystal Palace goal.

“Readers will know I am no fan of the video assistant referee but the technology is there to correct ‘obvious errors’ missed by referees and the handball by Luka Milivojevic was missed by Michael Oliver.

“The question now is can the Hammers creep into the top four? A couple of additions in the transfer window and who knows?”

Perfect time

West Ham have now won back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since October, and that helped get their campaign back on track after a recent stuttering form.

The win against the Eagles saw them move to a point within fourth-placed Arsenal after 20 games, and they are still very much in contention for the Champions League spots.

How they fare on and off the pitch this month will go a long way in determining that, and David Moyes and his men have to get it right.

Lanzini should get to start more games with Said Benrahma currently with Algeria at the Africa Cup of Nations, and he definitely made a statement with his brace against Palace.

He has only started five of the 14 league games he has featured in so far in 2021-22, scoring four and assisting once, but that should change in the coming weeks, and the Irons need him to step up.

With Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma out injured, West Ham could do with another centre-back this month, while Michail Antonio also needs a quality striking cover.

In other West Ham news, an amazing attacker is making personal arrangements for Hammers switch in January.

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The post ‘Superb’ – BBC pundit blown away by West Ham ace, shares fresh top-four verdict appeared first on West Ham Zone.


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