West Ham love a wonder-goal against Crystal Palace. There was Dimitri Payet’s gravity-defying free-kick in April 2016, and Andy Carroll’s bicycle kick in January 2017.

Dissecting each moment of Manuel Lanzini’s strike here, it won’t be beaten for ball control.

The way he used his right foot to send Joachim Andersen to the nearby Sainsbury’s. Then his left to lift the ball up ever so slightly. Lanzini proceeded to volley beyond Vicente Guaita, another majestic collector’s item against Palace.

Mauel Lanzini scored a brace as West Ham edged Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on New Years

Mauel Lanzini scored a brace as West Ham edged Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on New Years

Mauel Lanzini scored a brace as West Ham edged Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on New Years

The Argentine's first was the pick, displaying outrageous control to setup a thumping goal

The Argentine's first was the pick, displaying outrageous control to setup a thumping goal

The Argentine’s first was the pick, displaying outrageous control to setup a thumping goal 

Will Hughes was heavily involved as Palace kept pushing forward but they weren't clinical

Will Hughes was heavily involved as Palace kept pushing forward but they weren't clinical

Will Hughes was heavily involved as Palace kept pushing forward but they weren’t clinical 

‘Barcelona, we’re coming for you,’ sang West Ham supporters. They don’t yet know where their European travels will take them in March, though this goal was worthy of the Nou Camp stage.

As was the cross for the opener, with Said Benrahma shoving the ball down the throat of Palace’s goalmouth for Michail Antonio to score, before Lanzini made it 3-0 with a penalty.

Palace tried to produce a comeback, scoring twice late on, though West Ham held on.

Up to fifth they go, still chasing that Champions League place as we head into 2022 and with inviting fixtures to follow against teams at the other end of the Premier League table.

Special mention must go to Declan Rice for his performance here, too. A midfielder mature beyond his 22 years, he played a part in the build-up to the first two goals while providing great protection for Craig Dawson and Issa Diop. 

If it wasn’t him snuffing out danger, it was Tomas Soucek, with West Ham’s only grievance that they conceded two goals to crosses to deny them the clean sheet.

It wasn’t a fun return for Patrick Vieira after his recent Covid-19-enforced absence. He was without Palace’s two best players in Wilfried Zaha and Conor Gallagher, with the club not disclosing whether it is because they are stuck in isolation.

It sounds strange to say Palace were the better team in the first half, considering they went in 3-0 down, though they were on top. Jeffrey Schlupp hit the post within the opening minute when, really, he should have scored. 

Luka Milivojevic then directed a free-kick narrowly over the top-left corner and Schlupp saw his shot deflected behind.

West Ham woke up in the 14th minute with a rare venture forward resulting in a super double-save from Guaita. Vladimir Coufal’s cross found Antonio, who unleashed a vicious volley from 10 yards that was destined to make it 1-0. That is until Guaita got in the way with a strong left hand. Benrahma tried to head in the follow-up but the goalkeeper, again, got in the way.

Yet Guaita was helpless in the 22nd minute when Benrahma’s cross placed the ball in Palace’s six-yard box. Andersen jumped but it flew over him and into Antonio, whose slight touch was enough to earn West Ham a 1-0 lead.

That soon became 2-0. Rice drove at Palace’s defence unchallenged before squaring to Lanzini. With his right foot, he fooled Andersen. With his left, he knocked the ball up just enough to blast a volley beyond Guaita. It was a Goal of the Month candidate, easily.

Palace thought they’d made it 2-1 in the 32nd minute when Odsonne Edouard’s shot came crashing down off the crossbar. Referee Darren England’s watch didn’t buzz. Play continued and Christian Benteke then forced a save out of Lukasz Fabianski.

It was 3-0 before half time with Jarrod Bowen’s header leaving the ball bouncing. Milivojevic tried to chest it but a serious miscalculation saw it strike his right arm instead. England gave nothing, despite being positioned all of three yards away from the Palace captain.

VAR Chris Kavanagh advised the referee to visit his pitch-side monitor where he’d see he’d missed a clear and obvious handball. Milivojevic maintained it hit his chest, bizarrely, which was rather like a robber caught on camera telling the coppers it wasn’t him. He was bang to rights.

Lanzini took the penalty, firing the ball into the bottom-left corner.

It was a busy New Year’s Day for the official Jarred Gillett. He was VAR for Arsenal against Manchester City at Stockley Park – an eventful match, as anyone who watched it on BT Sport will know. A dash to Selhurst Park later, he was fourth official here, and now he’d have an annoyed Vieira to try to calm down. The Palace boss felt the handball call was harsh when, really, it wasn’t.

In the 83rd minute, Edouard stretched to get a toe to Michael Olise’s cross for 3-1.

Another goal would set up a grandstand finish and it did as Palace won a free-kick when Diop flattened Jordan Ayew on the right wing. Olise’s cross flew through the collection of bodies in the box and into Fabianski’s goal.

West Ham hearts were in mouths when Jean-Philippe Mateta tried to send a spectacular scissor kick into the corner, only for it to creep wide. Not the easy 3-0 sweep that David Moyes wanted but they got there in the end.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Daily Mail

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