The 24-year-old, receiving his first Premier League start since Man United’s 1-1 draw with West Ham United in November, bombed down the flank and chased an Antonio Valencia pass to tee up Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a sensational cross on the half-volley after just four minutes.
You could tell West Brom were stunned and it set the tone for what was a largely trouble-free afternoon for United.
Lingard, speaking after the game, was full of praise for the way his team went about their business against Tony Pulis’ side.
“We dominated the game and got the early goal which killed them. We needed a quick start and the manager told us to look for the balls in behind. I did that and Zlatan Ibrahimovic put it away,” he said.
“He is a great character, very bubbly around the changing room and helps the young lads. His confidence is flowing now and the games are coming think and fast to add to his tally. We are all finding our rhythm now, everyone is gelling together.”
It should be noted that West Brom, going into this game, were in a rich vein of form. In fact, only Chelsea – currently nine points clear at the top – had a better record in the Premier League over the past six games.
Then again, Mourinho’s United made them look like, well, what you’d expect West Brom to look like: crisper on the ball, faster, more precise and clinical throughout. Pulis’ men looked buoyant in the opening minutes, attractively putting together a string of passes, but then Lingard – in a matter of seconds – was up the other end, and the rest was routine.