Lingard's Best United Moments: Have we Underappreciated Him?

Moowalked at the Emirates

A moment that summed up Jesse Lingard in true Lingard style: a brilliant goal that was topped off with a celebration most of us would only try with a bit of Dutch courage.

The goal would come in the early stages of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United managerial career and it remains one of the Norwegian's best results to date away from home, with thanks to Lingard.

United blitzed Arsenal early on with a goal from Alexis Sanchez, of all people, before Lingard slotted home a tidy finish past Petr Cech to give the Red Devils a 2-0 lead. Lingard would celebrate in the manner he only knew how with a moonwalk that would melt the brains of Arsenal fans even to this day.

The entire Emirates stadium went into a frenzy after the goal, but Lingard just danced away, and, as far as his famous celebrations go, this is likely his most well-known.

Snatching a point against Burnley

Whilst snatching a point against Burnley isn't necessarily something to shout about if you're of the stature of Manchester United, however, this was a huge moment in the career of Lingard.

The 2017/18 was as good as it got for the academy graduate from a personal standpoint at the club, as he netted 13 goals in all competitions. However, 12 of these would come from October through to late February as the England man truly established himself as one of Jose Mourinho's key players and one of the most in-form in the Premier League in general.

It was a time when Lingard only scored spectacular goals and after falling 2-0 behind at Old Trafford to Burnley, he would come on to salvage something in the second half. A goal would follow after a few minutes and it looked as if Lingard would be United's saving grace of that season.

Then, in stoppage time, the Warrington-born executed an exquisite finish past Tom Heaton to salvage a point for the home side, and whilst the result isn't impressive in itself, Lingard practically snatched a point on his own during a time when he was one of the club's best players.

A memorable moment in what is unquestionably his best stint of form in a United shirt.

The birth of 'Messi Lingard' at Vicarage Road

As mentioned, the 2017/18 season for Lingard was his best in terms of goals and the number of games he played as he became integral for Mourinho and even England.

However, his best goal in this season was arguably the moment we see the birth of the tongue-in-cheek name of 'Messi Lingard' against Watford. It was a game United went 3-0 up in after an Ashley Young double and an Anthony Martial goal, however, with the Hornets pulling two back, the Red Devils were up against it for the final stretch.

So, Lingard picked the ball up in his own half, skated beyond four players, sliced through the entire defence and eased the ball past a helpless Heurelho Gomes in the Watford goal.

This was arguably his best goal in his career and it was one which really shone a light on just how good Lingard could be at times. A truly elite goal that left numerous opposition players bamboozled; Messi himself would've been proud.

Seasling Champions League football

There was a market of 40/1 earlier in the 2019/20 season for Lingard not to score or assist in that campaign, and by the midway point, it looked a brilliant bet. The United man would often find himself in the matchday squad, and due to injuries and the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, it was rare that Lingard got any minutes on the pitch at all after Project Restart.

Now, as we were approaching the 96th minute at the King Power Stadium, United were 1-0 up in this must-not-lose game against Leicester City in order to get into the Champions League, and with seconds remaining, the bet and United's entry into Europe was surely sealed.

However, in truly unbelievable style, Lingard would score in the 98th minute and ruin this person's bet which looked nailed on for months. So, in a nutshell, Lingard went from not scoring all season, to tapping home after a Kasper Schmeichel error with the last kick of a football in the 2019/20 season - astonishing scenes.

The goal would also seal United's Champions League spot for 2020/21.

Sensational goal at Stamford Bridge

United haven't won that often at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League era - just twice in last 16 years to be exact - and despite rarely coming close, there have been some memorable moments down the years in west London.

One of these moments is Lingard's sensational strike against the Blues in his breakout season at the club. The goal was just Lingard's fourth in United colours at that point and it is, to this day, one of his finest and an all-time great for the club at Stamford Bridge.

The ball would be whipped in by Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, which fell to Lingard just behind him and the angle formed was then near impossible to get a decent strike on the ball. However, the youth product would have to take one touch to get it under control, and with his back to goal, Lingard had to turn his body a full 90 degrees on the half volley to smash it right past Thibaut Courtois and into the top corner.

It was a magical goal and one which would start the trend of only top tier goals for the United man, as he rarely scored easy ones.

Wins the FA Cup for the first time in 12 years

Despite winning four FA Cups across 11 seasons at one stage during the Sir Alex Ferguson era, the great manager would struggle to bring the trophy back to Old Trafford for the next nine seasons following on from the 2004 FA Cup final win over Millwall until his retirement.

It was Cristiano Ronaldo and Ruud van Nistelrooy that won the famous trophy that day for United, and after years of losing to Arsenal and Chelsea in the final, as well as being on the opposite end of a famous cup upset when Leeds United returned to Old Trafford, the FA Cup just continued to evade the club.

However, in what was a beautifully poetic moment for Lingard and the club itself, a local lad would win the FA Cup for the club for the first time in 12 years and Lingard also became the first academy graduate to score in a cup since Paul Scholes in 1999.

The goal itself was also notable, as it was a rocket from the edge of the box on the half volley. Undoubtedly, this is the best moment in Lingard's United career and the 28-year-old can hang his head high as he remains the only man to score a winning goal in an FA Cup final in the last 17 years.


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