Jesse Lingard expresses enthusiasm ahead of Barcelona clash

by Leo Nieboer

Jesse Lingard has expressed his enthusiasm ahead of Manchester United’s final game of their pre-season tour of the United States against Barcelona on Wednesday night.

The 24-year-old was handed a chance to impress from the start against Real Madrid on Sunday and opened the scoring following some sublime skill from Anthony Martial.

Jose Mourinho‘s men went on to win the game on penalties after Casemiro drew Madrid level, leaving them with four wins on the bounce in the U.S.

And Lingard, speaking to MUTV after the victory, quickly turned his attention towards the upcoming clash with Ernesto Valderde’s men in Washington.

With the Californian sun beating down and Zinedine Zidane only giving his first choice side 45 minutes, this felt like a fragmented, explorative encounter, punctuated by different stages of intensity and meaning.

The first half pitted a strong Madrid side containing Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale against a experimental United side with Andreas Pereira at No.10 whilst a considerable portion of the side’s muscle – Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Antonio Valencia – watched on from the sidelines, and while the La Liga champions carved out openings it was Mourinho’s men who held on to the ball and moved forward with more control, clearly benefitting from having played three pre-season games already.

We then saw an array of energetic Madrid youngsters enter the fray and impress with their crispness on the ball against a United side lacking the same motivation of the first half and, crucially, the tenacious Ander Herrera.

Supporters will hope to see the Spaniard, who went off with injured ribs after just six minutes, recover in time to face the club that attempted to buy him at the start of this window.

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