Why Jesse was hungry to help the Reds
Manchester United match-winner Jesse Lingard said he had to do his bit to help the Reds in their 2-1 victory over West Ham on Sunday.
The winger unleashed an exquisite 89th-minute strike to seal victory at the London Stadium, the ground where he had been playing for the Hammers during a loan spell last season.
Despite his affection for the hosts, Lingard says his hunger to help United secure the victory helped him net the decisive finish – after having made a mistake in our European game in midweek.
Speaking to MUTV, he said: “That’s football. It’s the highs and lows of football, and the lads and the staff and fans have been behind me all week and it’s great to get minutes today and come on.
“It was a great reception from the West Ham fans. I had a brilliant time here, but I had to do my bit today.”
Lingard added: “West Ham are always hard to break down and when you find space like that in the box and get 1v1, you’ve got to try and make half a yard, and I like that finish into the far corner, so as soon as I got half a yard and the space opened up, I knew what I wanted to do.”
Explaining his slightly muted celebrations, Lingard said: “They supported me in the loan spell and gave me a great reception, so it was only right to pay them back.”
There was more drama to come after Jesse’s strike, however, when West Ham were given a penalty deep in stoppage time. Mark Noble was subbed on to take the spot-kick, but David De Gea pulled off a magnificent stop to keep the scores level, prompting jubilant scenes from all the United players and staff on the pitch at full-time.
“David’s always been a great penalty stopper and we had confidence in him and we trusted him to make the save, which he did,” said Lingard.
“There’s been a real togetherness and everyone’s playing for each other; we’re playing to win games and playing for our fans and staff, so everyone’s ready to play.”
The result means the Reds now have 13 points, the joint most in the Premier League, ahead of another clash with David Moyes’s West Ham in the Carabao Cup during the week.
Jesse added: “You’ve got to always start well and make a statement to the rest of teams and that’s what we’ve been doing.
“The main aim is to obviously win a trophy this season and I think we’ve got the squad depth to do that. The talent, everyone’s hungry to play and everyone’s working hard in training to get in that matchday squad.
“Everyone’s always ready to play, so the subs have got to be ready to make a difference.
“They’re always tough games against West Ham and to play them back to back is a little bit different, but we’ll go into that game full of confidence.”