By Jonty Banks

22nd May, 2023 | 9:10am

Micah Richards wowed by 'wonderful' Lucas Paqueta in West Ham United win v Leeds United on Match of the Day 2

Match of the Day 2 pundit Micah Richards has waxed lyrical about West Ham United playmaker Lucas Paqueta after his standout display against Leeds United.

David Moyes’ side cruised to a 3-1 victory at the London Stadium on Sunday (21 May), with goals from Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen and Manuel Lanzini taking the Hammers up to the magic 40 points with a single match of their season remaining.

In his analysis of the victory on Match of the Day 2, Richards was in awe of the Brazilian’s “wonderful” assist for the third goal, where he beat several Leeds defenders before putting the ball on a plate for Lanzini with panache and skill.

“Paqueta. He’s absolutely on fire at the moment,” he said. [21 May, 40:45]

“He had a bit of a slow start, we know how good he can be, but he gets the assist for the goal.

“I don’t know how he gets out of this piece of space here, he’s just got wonderful feet, a little flick there, just rolls him, rolls him again, and then it’s the composure.

“We’re talking about skill and again, in slow motion, the roll in the box. That is a man playing with so much confidence.”

Unbelievable performance

West Ham United may be finally starting to realise what the Paqueta hype was all about.

After a somewhat slow and uninspiring start to life at the London Stadium, the playmaker has really stepped up in the last few games, with this performance against Leeds his best yet.

The Brazilian was absolutely everywhere, carving open chance after chance, setting off on countless dribbles and producing this outrageous piece of skill to set up West Ham’s third goal.

This was the Paqueta that fans witnessed at the Qatar World Cup for Brazil, and hopefully, there will be plenty more of this to come in Hammers colours.

With the Europa Conference League final against Fiorentina just around the corner, keeping the midfielder fit and firing will be crucial to the club’s chances.

He was quite simply unstoppable against Leeds and displayed why £51million was spent on his services in last summer’s transfer window.