Jesse Lingard explains why he enjoyed playing alongside Marcus Rashford gainst Middlesbrough

Jesse Lingard explains why he enjoyed playing alongside Marcus Rashford gainst Middlesbrough

Jesse Lingard has explained why he enjoyed playing alongside Marcus Rashford during Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Middlesbrough in the Premier League, noting that the 19-year-old was “a nuisance” all afternoon.

The 24-year-old netted his fifth goal of the season after 62 minutes to hand Man United a 2-0 lead, rifling home a superb drive past Victor Valdes.

United’s attacking display was largely hallmarked by the persistent interchanging movement between Lingard and Rashford; the latter terrorised Middlesbrough’s back four all afternoon.

And Lingard, speaking after the game, was quick to heap praise on his United and England teammate.

“We had a lot of pace up front with me, Marcus and Antonio [Valencia],” he said.

“But we had the ball-players in midfield to dictate the game, so it was an all-round good game. As I was looking for the pass there weren’t many options open so I took it on myself, and luckily it went in.

“Marcus has put a shift in for the team today. He was a nuisance up front, and it was good playing with him.”

United’s starting XI was initially greeted with palpable levels of scepticism, with many questioning Mourinho’s continued application of a three-at-the-back system, but the Special One’s thinking came clear just minutes in as Rashford skipped away from a series of red shirts and found Lingard in behind the back four.

Placing Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia further up the pitch gave Lingard a chance to abandon his usual approach of essentially running hard on the flank and instead look to inflict damage infield, bringing him closer to the 19-year-old as Middlesbrough’s back four quickly caved in under the combined power and raw energy of the attacking duo.

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Leo is a regular contributor to The Peoples Person's match day coverage and is still mourning the loss of Danny Welbeck to Arsenal.