West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has hailed Tottenham destroyer Manuel Lanzini and paid tribute to his youthful exuberance – and eye for goal.
Lanzini delighted Hammers fans with a second-half strike that all but ended Spurs’ Premier League title hopes and gave the London Stadium outfit a hard-fought 1-0 victory.
Bilic’s men put in a totally committed display against Mauricio Pochettino’s title-chasing Spurs in Friday’s win to end the visitors’ nine-match winning streak.
And while the boss points out that Lanzini doesn’t like the defensive aspect to the game, his youth and desire is to be admired, as was his ninth goal of the season. He said: “Lanzini is a young player, but a magnificent player. He works hard, he covers a lot of ground on the pitch and he is very good in the box.
“He’s scored some amazing and important goals for us, he creates goals, the players love him because he is not one of those who wants to be spared the defensive part of the game. He works hard and he’s brilliant to have.”
Reflecting on the victory against the north Londoners, Bilic said that his side acquitted themselves magnificent against a “team who have been the best in the Premier League especially over the last couple of months”.
He added: “They were still up for it because they wanted to put the pressure on Chelsea, but we had a couple of good patterns. Not only the performances in the last four games where we had kept three clean sheets and created enough chances to score goals in every one of those, but also because of our last couple of games against Spurs.
Bilic says the formula laid down to his stars was followed to a treat for the tussle against the Lillywhites. He added: “We had the pattern, we had the gameplan which was working against them and we did the same again on Friday.
“We planned it, but it was the guys who executed it brilliantly. We deserved it – we showed character, we showed determination, we showed team spirit, everything. Most of all, we showed the quality to beat a big team.”