Manchester United entered the game against West Brom 4th in Premier League Table, with goals hard to come by in all competitions. United had failed to score more than one goal in the last six games that they had played.
In their match with West Brom, United dominated possession for the majority of the match, which is not surprising given the way West Brom manager, Tony Pulis, likes to play a compact defence, especially on the road.The Red Devils had to break down a West Brom defence that has kept four out of five clean sheets on the road.
In order to breathe some life into the United attack, Louis van Gaal has been calling on the services of Jesse Lingard. Lingard was instrumental in the Champions League win over CSKA Moscow, as he sent a perfect lob onto the head of Wayne Rooney, which would be the only goal in the match.
With the United attack looking much better during the Champions League match, van Gaal deployed the same lineup, which meant Lingard’s number was called upon once again. The young Englishman would deliver his first goal for the club, which ended up being the game winner.
First signed at the age of 16, Lingard was extremely composed during his wonderful finish into the bottom of the net. Showing great first touch, Lingard’s goal completely changed the dynamic of the game, opening it up a bit more.
Throughout the match, Lingard played some great balls in from the wing and was very direct, attacking the left side with his pace and movement. In comparison to Memphis Depay, who failed to be decisive and make the good decision, Lingard has been showing those important traits on the wing.
The United defence was rarely troubled during the match, and Juan Mata would go on to add a very late penalty kick to make it 2-0. However, scoring his first goal, playing some great balls in, and showing spectacular movement on the wing, made Lingard player of the match for United.
Lingard finished the match with a total of three shots, which was a three-way tie for highest among United players, joining Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney on that list. With international break on the horizon, Lingard’s play will most certainly keep him van Gaal’s future plans.