Lanzini starts for Argentina in World Cup warm-up win
Manuel Lanzini helped Argentina to a 4-0 FIFA World Cup warm-up win over Haiti in Buenos Aires on Tuesday evening.
The West Ham United attacking midfielder was named in the starting XI by manager Jorge Sampaoli and played for the opening 58 minutes at Boca Juniors’ Bombonera stadium.
The 25-year-old played alongside Paris Saint-Germain’s Giovani Lo Celso and ahead of former Hammer Javier Mascherano in central midfield, with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Lo Celso’s PSG teammate Angel Di Maria supporting Juventus’ Gonzalo Higuain in a star-studded attack.
It was Messi who took centre-stage, scoring his sixth international hat-trick, with Lanzini starting in the move for his third goal. The West Ham player found the overlapping Higuain, whose cross was headed goalwards by Lo Celso. Haiti goalkeeper Johnny Placide saved well, but Messi was on hand to score his 64th international goal.
Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero climbed off the substitutes’ bench to net the fourth and final goal midway through the second half.
By then, Lanzini’s work had been done against a Haiti team who were outclassed by two-time World Cup winners, as he was replaced by Independiente’s Maximiliano Meza just before the hour-mark.
After the match, Sampaoli highlighted Lanzini's performance, saying that both him and Lo Celso 'showed during the match that they have the talent to improve the overall level of the team'.
Lanzini, who won his fourth cap in his home city, will harbour real hopes of starting Argentina’s opening World Cup Group D fixture against Iceland in Moscow on Saturday 16 June.
Before then, La Celeste face Israel in Jerusalem in their final warm-up fixture on Saturday 9 June.