Jesse Lingard claimed two superb goals to send Manchester United to the last eight of the League Cup against Swansea City.
The 24-year-old, who made his first Premier League start of the season last weekend, gave Jose Mourinho’s men the perfect start with a composed finish after being released by Marcus Rashford mid-way through the first half.
But the best was yet to come: a fizzing Matteo Darmian cross was met perfectly by the 24-year-old on the edge of the box to kill the game off completely.
And his numbers from the game shed light on that was a truly commanding performance at the Liberty Stadium.
Lingard's game by numbers vs. Swansea:
100% tackles won
80% shot accuracy
4 on target
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) October 24, 2017
Lingard noted ahead of the 2017/18 campaign that he wanted to add goals to his game but this hasn’t transpired – primarily because he has hardly been on the pitch, making just four starts in all competitions.
And this is purely down to the fact that Lingard simply doesn’t offer the same threat in the final third as other teammates. He can appear too indecisive, too diminutive, and just generally lacking that bite which separates the best from the ‘decent’.
But tonight was a step in the right direction. The Englishman was agile, nimble, impossible to track down and running hard for 90 minutes. And he will see Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s recent shabby form as a potential route back into the starting XI, but he will have to build on what we saw on Tuesday night.