Lingard was a surprise inclusion in the starting lineup for Man United as he was rewarded for his impressive second half performance against Everton last weekend. The youngster replaced Juan Mata, starting on the right wing, and put in an encouraging performance on a less than perfect evening for United.
The 22-year-old stood out in the first half as one of the few players in a United shirt who were really looking to penetrate the CSKA defence. Lingard’s dribbling and close control meant he was one of the few positives to take out of a poor display in the first period.
United fans were happy with what they saw from their young winger:
Lingard looks like the only player who isn't playing in reverse
— kenna (@kennagq) October 21, 2015
Lingard started well. Began on right but has popped up on left &down middle. Has been trying to draw CSKA defence out & create gaps for Roo
— Paul Hirst (@hirstclass) October 21, 2015
Lingard will be happy that he is getting opportunities under Louis van Gaal. The Englishman revealed after his appearance at Everton that van Gaal has promised him chances and it is encouraging to see the manager stick to his word.
Van Gaal has come under criticism since taking over at Old Trafford for not sticking with United’s identity of bringing young players through into the first-team. However, his handling of Lingard proves that if youngsters are performing, they will be given their chance.
However, Lingard will be extremely fortunate to keep his place in the side for United’s next game against Manchester City in the Premier League. The Sky Blues visit Old Trafford on Sunday and Mata will be expected to begin the game in place of Lingard for such a crucial match. With Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup next to make the trip to Old Trafford, Lingard will have his sights set on that tie to continue his good run in the side.