It might have been the case that Jesse Lingard’s previous performances against Arsenal prompted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to start him last night.
On current form there was little case to bring him back in, and the United man did not justify his selection.
Lingard was substituted just before the hour mark, and he was lucky to last this long. A more ruthless manager would have hooked him at half-time, or even before.
At a stadium where he has exuded so much confidence on previous occasions, Lingard looked like a player who did not know what he wanted to do on the rare occasions he got on the ball.
The selection was made even more curious by the fact Andreas Pereira had two assists in his previous two games, and even Juan Mata looked better in his brief cameo.
Lingard was not the only United player to perform poorly. It was a flat display all round and Arsenal deserved their victory.
The position Lingard plays is so important to the rest of the attacking players and when he is in the team, United look worse off.
He managed only 31 touches before being taken off, having completed just 76 per cent of his passes.
Lingard’s only shot was off target, with his wait for a first goal since last January dragging on and on.
He still has the faith of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and the manager needs to be more ruthless.
Lingard needs to do better and from early on, it was clear he was off his game. There was no dancing for him this time.
Fans vented their frustration at his performance and selection until his eventual substitution, by which time United were 2-0 down.
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