Manuel Lanzini would love to inspire West Ham United to another memorable win over Chelsea on Monday evening.
The No10 returned to action in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace, appearing as a half-time substitute and helping the Hammers come from a goal down to secure a point.
Lanzini’s ability to keep possession – he completed 34 of his 36 passes – played a big part in the Irons’ second-half improvement, and it was his perfectly-weighted ball that Vladimír Coufal met with a first-time cross for Sébastien Haller’s sensational equaliser.
When I come into the pitch, I try to take the ball, to help the team and help my teammates. I try to do this and it’s good if I can help
“I am very happy to play again,” he told West Ham TV. “I play like this. When I come into the pitch, I try to take the ball, to help the team and help my teammates. I try to do this and it’s good if I can help.
“I think we got a good point against a very strong team. Maybe we deserved three points, but it’s better than losing and we took a good point. We need to keep going like this and to be strong.”
Having made his longest appearance of the season, the Argentinian is hoping for another extended outing at Stamford Bridge – a ground where he scored a sensational goal in March 2016 – and to help his team continue their encouraging 2020/21 season.
“First, we need to rest, because it’s a long season, but now we’re focusing on the next game at Chelsea. It’s a very difficult game there at Stamford Bridge, but we need to keep going like this.
“A win would be the perfect Christmas present for everybody!”
While he was happy to play himself, Lanzini was also pleased for his teammate Haller and hopes the Ivory Coast international’s confidence will be boosted by scoring with an unstoppable overhead kick.
“It was good play,” he recalled. “Also, for Séb, it was good because he deserves it for his confidence. It was good play by the team before the goal, too.
“He can do these things. We know this. It happened because we put the ball in the area and it’s good for Séb. He is our striker and we need Séb to be confident. For every player, when you score a goal it is good for your confidence and this goal was good for Séb.”
Another player whose confidence is rising is Saïd Benrahma, who started for the second game in succession against Palace, and Lanzini is excited by the prospect of playing alongside the Algerian again.
“Of course, I can play alongside Saïd, because he is a player who likes to take the ball, to dribble, to pass and to go,” he observed. “He is a very good player and of course we can play together.”