Jesse Lingard

Lingard voted Man of the Match after Cardiff rout

Saturday 22 December 2018 21:33

Two-goal hero Jesse Lingard was named Man of the Match after United's 5-1 success at Cardiff, as thousands of Reds voted via the club's official app.

The 26-year-old scored twice and played the killer final pass for Anthony Martial's memorable goal, and later garnered 41% of supporters' votes to seal the award, ahead of Paul Pogba (34%), Marcus Rashford (13%) and Victor Lindelof (11%).
Lingard's first was struck from the penalty spot in the 57th minute when the Warrington-born forward assumed spot-kick responsibilities from Paul Pogba after being brought down inside the area by Cardiff centre-back Sol Bamba.
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Speaking exclusively to MUTV after the match, Lingard explained that instinct led him to demand permission to take the penalty.
"I just thought I had the confidence to go on and take it. I hadn't taken a penalty for ages," Lingard admitted, "but I felt I had the confidence, and after that I wanted to go on and score more goals and I got the second at the end.
"It was a good team performance overall. We didn't panic when we conceded. We kept the right mentality and we pushed on. I think Anthony's goal killed them, for the 3-1, and then we wanted more and pushed on."
Prompted to explain what caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had conveyed to the team ahead of the match, the Academy graduate revealed: "Just to be positive. Take risks. If you lose the ball, win it back, and play the United way - attacking football, entertaining football. For us as players, we enjoyed it today."
Lingard's two second-half strikes added an impressive gloss to the scoreline, but arguably the pick of United's goals came in the minutes leading up to half-time, when our no.14 made the final pass in the build-up to Martial's goal - United's third - after some slick combination play involving Martial and Pogba.
"When we play close, we play one and two-touch, it's enjoyable football," confessed Jesse. "You saw Anthony's goal, it was a great goal, great link-up play, and we did that throughout the game.
"Personally, I think it was the best goal. Everyone was involved, from the back players to the front, and it was finished off in style."
Solskjaer's promising start as caretaker manager inevitably drew a rapturous reception from a boisterous away end at the Cardiff City Stadium, but Lingard was adamant that the players had to move on quickly, if the Reds are to chisel away at the gap between themselves and the top four.
"We look forward to each game now," stressed our Man of the Match. "That game's out the way, we move on and we got the three points, and all eyes on Huddersfield now. After that we move on and we keep picking three points up and moving up the table.
"We like festive football. A lot of games come thick and fast, which we enjoy. We enjoy playing matches, especially in front of our home crowd, so they'll be behind us and support us through them games.
He continued: "It's exciting, of course. Us as players we can't dwell on this match too much. We have to move on - it will be different tactics for Huddersfield, different mindset, different mentality, but as long as we go into that game full of confidence and wanting to get the three points, we should win the game." 
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