Jesse Lingard backed up his match-winning performance against West Ham on Sunday with another lively display against his former side last night.
The 28-year-old’s performance was one of the very few positives to come from our disappointing third round Carabao Cup exit.
There weren’t that many United players who matched the urgency and desire that Lingard showed to turn the tie around.
The majority of United’s attacking threat came through Lingard and it was the attacking midfielder demanding the ball and looking to inject tempo into United’s play that caught the eye.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have brought off the England international when we were still chasing the game, but Lingard will have hoped he’s done enough to to get his Premier League start of the season against Aston Villa on Saturday.
Start for Lingard against Villa?
Nobody registered more shots on target in the Carabao Cup tie than Lingard (2) and he also created two other chances for his teammates.
And maybe if VAR was being used, Lingard would have won a penalty after being tugged back by West Ham captain Mark Noble.
There were times when some of the one and two-touch interplay between Lingard, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial looked to unsettle West Ham, but those phases of play were too few and far between.
With two goals in his last two Premier League games coming off the bench- against Newcastle and then West Ham, Lingard will be hoping his first start alongside the likes of Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t too far away.
In order for that to happen, Solskjaer would have to bring Pogba back into centre midfield alongside most likely either Fred or Scott McTominay.
However, if Pogba is deployed once again from the inside left position, it would make it very hard to see where Lingard’s chance to start is then going to come from.
But Lingard’s impressive run of form barring the mistake in Switzerland which he already atoned for, deserves to be rewarded with his first Premier League start at some point.
Maybe that chance will come against Villa on Saturday at Old Trafford, and with a game upcoming against Villarreal next week, Solskjaer could decide to tweak the side to further rest one of his attacking stars for the Champions League clash.
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