Panel rules Manuel Lanzini 'dived' to earn West Ham penalty

Manuel Lanzini won West Ham a penalty
Image: Manuel Lanzini was given a two-match ban for diving in West Ham' Premier League win at Stoke in December

West Ham forward Manuel Lanzini "exaggerated" and "dived" to earn a penalty in last month's win against Stoke, an independent panel has ruled.

The Argentine became the second Premier League player banned for deceiving match officials this season after an incident in the 18th minute.

West Ham submitted written evidence to support Lanzini after he denied the charge.

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West Ham manager David Moyes thinks a two-match suspension for simulation was harsh on Manuel Lanzini

But an independent commission, comprised of Gareth Farrelly, Stuart Ripley and Paul Raven, unanimously agreed on the two-match ban after they reviewed all available footage.

In written reasons published by the Football Association, the panel ruled: "In the incident in question, the player whilst running at speed in the opponent's penalty area took a final touch with his right foot away from the defender.

"It was at this point that he started to go to ground in an exaggerated manner, which included throwing his arms into the air in an unnatural way, before any contact with the opposing defender.

"In that split second he dived, before the contact from the defender who had in fact withdrawn from the challenge.

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"It is not disputed that there was contact but the player anticipated this, dived towards the defender to initiate the contact and in reacting the way he did, successfully deceived the match official."

West Ham manager David Moyes said he was surprised by Lanzini's charge.

"The referee was 10 yards from the ball, nothing was blocking his vision, the defender made a challenge for the ball and didn't get it," said Moyes.

"So, I think they're going against the referee. The Goals on Sunday panel all said it was a definite penalty. "I think it's strange that three people on Sunday thought it was a penalty and three people today think it probably wasn't."

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