A rash challenge from Gary Cahill in the last few minutes of the game prompted a series of altercations between both sets of players.
Slovenian defender Aljaz Struna, amid all the handbags and scuffles, attempted to grab Marcus Rashford‘s neck, causing Lingard to react furiously.
United fans were quick to praise Lingard’s tenacity when it came to standing up for the youngster.
— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) October 12, 2016
Love How Rashford and Lingard are proper close, hope thy stay tight and develop into top players
— Hamaad (@HamaadB1) October 12, 2016
Can't fault lingard looking out for rashford last night
— Trev UTID 🔰🇾🇪 (@knaggsy097) October 12, 2016
Lingard doesn't care if he is up against Brock Lesnar… He will always defend Rashford.
— Cruise Geng (@donvic17) October 12, 2016
Only interesting thing during the England game last night was when lingard steamed in to defend Rashford again. YCSYFEUYA 🇾🇪🇾🇪
— John (@NozzerJohn) October 12, 2016
Question Lingard’s technical capacity as a footballer if you please, but never question his commitment to the cause. His reaction to Struna’s unnecessary grab was an illustration of what football means outside of results and points: that the beautiful game is about brotherhood – coming together as a collective, striving towards one goal in perfect tandem with each-other.
One feels that Lingard acknowledges this; the 23-year-old places value in standing up for those who wear the same badge, as also shown during the Manchester derby back in March. Above anything, football is a strictly primal enterprise, comprising of two entities trying to wipe out the other. And sometimes, even in today’s globalised, strictly commercial form of the game, that raw emotion erupts to the surface.