Jesse Lingard has comically revealed the reason why he had to back up Marcus Rashford after the forward got himself involved in a tussle with Manchester City stars at the Etihad on Sunday.
Rashford went down under the challenge of Martin Demichelis, which warranted a number of players from the Citizens to confront the English youngster.
City players thought Rashford took a dive but, on second viewing, the youngster was unfortunate not to earn his side a penalty.
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As City players surrounded Rashford, United ace Lingard quickly got himself involved and was seen pushing Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho.
Lingard has insisted that he had to back up Rashford as it was his duty to 'look after the young lads'. To put things in context, Lingard, at 23-years-old, is recognised by many as a youngster, but, Rashford, at just 18, truly is a raw talent. Anyway, you have to admire Lingard for standing up to the City stars.
Lingard helping out
Speaking to Manchester United's official website, when discussing the incident, Lingard stated: “Yeah, I had to back him up didn’t I and look after the young lads! [Laughs] But I thought it was a penalty as well.”
Lingard impressed on the pitch, too; his hard work and speed helped Louis van Gaal's side secure all three points.
By no means is he the finished article, but he is most definitely heading in the right direction. His teammate Rashford is also very much proving his credentials for the first-team.
The youngster may well have been denied a penalty towards the end of the first-half, but his strike on his first Manchester derby was enough to settle the contest.
Lingard has insisted, however, that he was keeping his teammate grounded following the final whistle.
He continued by saying: “He is buzzing but I was keeping him grounded! He is already grounded anyway to be fair; he is always grounded and has his feet on the ground. He’s looking forward to the rest of his career now.”
Van Gaal's regime hasn't entirely gone to plan, of course, but it's safe to say that he has handed the club a platform to achieve long-term success. The young players at the Theatre of Dreams have great potential and they may well bring the good times back to the club sooner rather than later.
Manchester United fans: do you expect Lingard and Rashford to play at your club for many years to come? Have your say below!