Manuel, Marko on mark; Declan’s fine debut
PUBLISHED: 08:36 24 March 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
West Ham United players impressed on international duty for their respective countries on Friday night.
Manuel Lanzini was given his second start for Argentina, winning his third cap, as they faced Italy at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.
And the 25-year-old playmaker netted five minutes from time to seal a 2-0 victory for his side, after substitute Ever Banega had broken the deadlock with a quarter of an hour remaining.
Austrian Arnautovic, 28, maintained his good scoring form in a 3-0 win over Slovenia, netting in each half to take his international tally to 18 goals before being replaced late on.
And defender Rice was named man of the match on his senior Republic of Ireland debut, which ended in a 1-0 defeat against Turkey.
Rice, having been named Ireland’s under-19 player of the year a few days earlier, was given his first cap by boss Martin O’Neill in Antalya.
And the teenager performed well in a three-man defence, before moving into a midfield role in the second half.
Turkey claimed the only goal of the game on 52 minutes, as Mehmet Topal volleyed home following a corner.
But O’Neill was impressed with the young West Ham man, saying: “Considering it was Declan Rice’s debut and he’s 19 years of age, it was an impressive performance from an impressive young man.”
Loanee Joan Mario started Portugal’s friendly against Egypt, but was substitute just after an hour with his side trailing to Mohamed Salah’s goal.
Two injury-time goals from Cristiano Ronaldo led the European champions to a 2-1 victory.
Sead Haksabanovic, 18, won his third senior cap for Montenegro as a substitute in their 0-0 draw with Cyprus, but Joe Hart and Angelo Ogbonna were unused substitutes for England and Italy, respectively.
The two Hammers team-mates could face one another at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday, though.