Goals are better if they mean something, and not only was Manuel Lanzini’s strike against Tottenham back in October an absolute screamer of the highest order, it was also a stoppage-time equaliser.
The Hammers looked like they were on course for a proper spanking in that game, with Son Heung-min putted Spurs 1-0 up inside the first minute. With barely more than quarter of an hour played, a brace from Harry Kane had turned that into a 3-0 lead.
Spurs were unable to build on that advantage, yet the scoreline still hadn’t changed later in the game with only ten minutes of the 90 left to play.
There was West Ham hope when Fabian Balbuena pulled one back in the 82nd minute, while it was panic stations for Spurs when a Davinson Sanchez own goal made it 3-2 moments later. But another eight minutes passed and the would-be equaliser didn’t come.
As West Ham pushed for that equaliser, Gareth Bale even had a glorious chance to make it 4-2 to Spurs and put the game (back) to bed.
When a 94th-minute West Ham free kick into the box was headed clear, the last chance looked to have gone. But as the loose ball rolled out to Lanzini 30 yards from goal, he took matters into his own hand. There was precious little on for the Argentine, not least because he was rapidly closed down by Harry Winks. Trying to control it would likely have meant being dispossessed, while there was no pass on that could have kept the attacking move alive.
Instead, he just put his foot through the ball, first time. It was the perfect connection and the ball rifled towards the top corner. Hugo Lloris got fingertips to it, but it was so perfectly placed that all the Spurs goalkeeper could do was deflect it onto the underside of the bar, sending it ricocheting in off the inside of the post, only adding to the stunning visuals of the goal.
That’s what makes Manuel Lanzini 90min’s pick for Premier League goal of the season for 2020/21.