Jesse Lingard was back in the Manchester United matchday squad after being left out of the 18 at the weekend.

There was no place for Andreas Pereira, and the options United have makes it possible at least one of them may continue to miss out as the season progresses.

Lingard made it off the bench in the 64th minute to replace Bruno Fernandes, who had orchestrated United’s win.

It was a mixed bag of a performance for Lingard, who ran into dead ends and had a shot wildly fly into the stands without ever looking like testing the goalkeeper.

In the last 10 minutes though it began to click, and Lingard got a little more in sync with his teammates.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

He laid on an impressive assist for Fred, for the most rare of Machester United assist-goalscorer combinations.

This then became a positive night for Lingard, who had been criticised on social media this week for a video of him doing a handstand during a training session.

 

After the game he send a message out thanking fans for their support, focusing on good vibes he was feeling.

Poor record, but a glimmer of hope

Linagrd has a scattering of goal contributions this season but nothing against quality opposition, and none have come in the Premier League.

He has a goal and assist against Astana, an assist versus Rochdale, and a goal against Tranmere.

An assist against an already beaten Club Brugge team doesn’t really change much for Lingard, but he did all he could last night.

Moments like this can rebuild his confidence and allow him to contribute when it really matters.

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

We are not convinced Lingard has a future at United, and a decision may have to be made to move on in the summer.

But if he can make contributions like he did last night on a regular basis from the bench between now and the end of the season, he might stand a chance, and he can help those around him.

It was great to see Fred get his first goal of the season, and then his second. He probably wouldn’t have had the confidence to strike the second so sweetly had Lingard not already given him a boost by setting up his first.

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