Manuel Lanzini has been found guilty of cheating by The FA and banned for two matches.
He will miss the League Cup quarter-final against Arsenal tonight, as well as the Premier League game against Newcastle on Saturday.
It is still far too lenient a punishment in my opinion, two games missed but that is only when the offence is picked up and only when they have had an advantage from the incident.
Manuel Lanzini did an outrageous dive that won a 19th minute penalty, converted by Mark Noble. Lanzini went on to be man of the match and the Hammers completed the victory with two more goals in the last 15 minutes.
Those three points took West Ham out of the relegation zone and into 15th position on 17 points, with Stoke dropping to fourth bottom and only one point above the relegation places.
Now imagine if there could have been instant justice…
The moral outcome (not necessarily the current laws as no doubt he would only have got a yellow card, if anything) would have seen Lanzini sent off for cheating and getting a 10 game ban (in my opinion), rather than the penalty he cheated to win.
Playing for 71 minutes with only 10 men, West Ham would almost certainly have lost and now you would have the Hammers still second bottom on 14 points and Stoke in 12th spot on 19 points. Who says crime doesn’t pay!
A little bit of poetic justice as well for Newcastle, as it was Manuel Lanzini who made as much as he could have from contact with Aleksandar Mitrovic back in September, leading to a retrospective ban for the Newcastle striker.
FA Official Statement:
‘Manuel Lanzini will serve a two-match suspension with immediate effect after his denial of a charge of ‘Successful Deception of a Match Official’ was rejected.
It follows the awarding of an 18th minute penalty for West Ham United against Stoke City in their Premier League game on Saturday 16 December 2017.
An Independent Regulatory Commission found the charge proven at a hearing today [Tuesday 19 December 2017].’
BBC Sport on Saturday:
Man of the match – Manuel Lanzini
‘Manuel Lanzini may well have gone down dubiously for the penalty that put his side ahead but his performance was compelling with four key passes, two assists and more passes (62) than any other West Ham player.’
“The defender gave the referee a decision to make.
“Manuel Lanzini ran about 70 yards so I think he went over with fatigue rather than a dive.
“I’d be disappointed to give away a penalty like that but sometimes that’s the way it goes.”