Up for the Cup
With just over 10 minutes to play in the FA Cup final 2016, Jason Puncheon scored to put Crystal Palace 1-0 up. Alan Pardew salsa’d at the camera and this may not have led to ridicule we’ve witnessed since if not for Jesse Ellis Lingard.
Juan Mata equalised a few minutes later, after one of the final moments of big stage brilliance we witnessed from Wayne Rooney, to take the game to extra-time.
Chris Smalling became the fourth player ever to be sent off in an FA Cup final, after rugby tackling Yannick Bolasie, and it began to feel like the joy experienced in the semis with Anthony Martial’s late winner was for nothing.
But in the second half of extra-time, the ball fell to Lingard close to the edge of the box and he caught the ball as sweetly as I’ve ever seen. On the volley, he leathered the ball past Wayne Hennessey (of “I’ve never heard of the Nazis” fame) and the United end went potty.
In all my life as a Red, this moment is up there with the very best.
Lingard isn’t especially popular with rival supporters but there won’t be any who hate him as much as Arsenal. In 2017-18, Antonio Valencia put us a goal ahead a few minutes in and Lingard doubled our lead within the first 10 minutes. He won back possession in Arsenal’s half, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial combined, before the latter flicked the ball in to Lingard’s path. His finish was perfect, beating Petr Cech and going in off the post. Lingard ran to the away end and did the Milly Rock in celebration.
In the second half, after Arsenal had pulled a goal back, Lingard made it 3-1 following some great work from Paul Pogba. It was a simple tap in but secured the win for United.
The following season we played Arsenal in the FA Cup and if their fans weren’t fuming enough about Alexis Sanchez scoring the opener, Lingard added insult to injury when he put us 2-0 ahead and then celebrated with a moonwalk. When he posted a picture on Instagram after the game, he tagged the location as Dancefloor.
In 11 games against Arsenal during his United career, he scored five and assisted three, more than he managed against any other club.
When he was just six-years-old, Lingard travelled with his family to London to watch United take on Newcastle in the FA Cup final. United won 2-0 in what was the second trophy won in our Treble winning season.
Imagine telling him then he’d be scoring a few goals at Wembley when he grew up!
Another goal, another trophy
In February 2017 United won the first of two trophies for the season against Southampton in the League Cup.
Lingard put us 2-0 up five minutes before half-time in a game that initially looked as though it would be an easy victory, but after two goals either side of the break we relied on a late Zlatan Ibrahimovic winner.
FA Youth Cup
Lingard’s first piece of silverware with United came in 2011 when we won the FA Youth Cup. Lingard scored a goal in the semi-final against Chelsea as well as in the first leg of the final against Sheffield United.
It was a special moment. Growing up with all of them from U-11s onwards. To lift the trophy with them was really special. It was a really big moment.
Lingard put United 1-0 up in the 2016 Community Shield against Leicester, which we went on to win 2-1 after goals from Jamie Vardy and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He went on a fantastic run, weaving his way through the Leicester defence before slotting the ball past Kasper Schmeichel.
With his goals in the FA Cup final, League Cup final and Community Shield, Lingard became one of just four players to manage this feat.
We’ll take your fucking tables!
United travelled to the Etihad towards the end of the 2017-18 season and it was set up to be one of the most embarrassing days in the club’s history. A win against us would see City crowned champions. They had installed fireworks on the stadium’s roof and printed out t-shirts for the players to wear in celebration which read “We did it on derby day!”.
At half-time, this nightmare was becoming a reality, with City absolutely battering us and going in 2-0 up at the break.
Thankfully, Paul Pogba scored two before Chris Smalling rubbed salt in the wounds with a third to deny City a defining moment in our rivalry.
After the game, United made sure the celebrations were heard in the dressing room. Reports suggested word got out that City had booked a table at Wings that evening to celebrate winning the title. Lingard was quick to wind the opposition up. “Booked tables have you? We’ll take your fucking tables!”