World Cup roundup: Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku shine, Victor Lindelof suffers heartbreak

by Leo Nieboer

The second round of group match games have been played at the World Cup and the tournament has cranked the noise up even further.

Argentina look doomed, Brazil and Germany both saved themselves from humiliation with injury time goals, lesser sides like Mexico and Russia continue to impress, and England are winning the World Cup.

But how have Manchester United players, who now prepare for the decisive final round of group games, performed in Russia so far?

Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian is scoring goals for fun, claiming another brace during Belgium’s 5-2 win over Tunisia. When the ball is played to him quickly he is ferocious – epitomised by two excellent, arcing runs into the box – something no doubt fostered by the presence of Thierry Henry in the dressing room -and, of course, producing two pinpoint finishes. England will need to be very careful.

Ashley Young

Once again impressed with his ability at set pieces for England in an emphatic win over Panama. Handled the ball calmly throughout the game and didn’t have much defending to do.

Paul Pogba

Supplied a sensational ball through for Olivier Giroud to set up Kylian Mbappe for France’s winning goal against Peru, which took them through to the last 16. Recovered the ball seven times in the first half, dominating the midfield in swaggering fashion, before dipping in the second half as Les Bleus adopted a more defensive approach.

Victor Lindelof

The Swede recovered from an illness to start against Germany and battled brilliantly in the face of constant attacks. Held his position impeccably and was strong in the air, moving the ball cleverly out of midfield at times.

That last minute Toni Kroos sucker-punch was a heartbreaking blow for Lindelof, who didn’t deserve to come out of that game on the losing side.

Jesse Lingard

It was an afternoon Lingard will never forget. Following a poor performance in front of goal against Tunisia, the 25-year-old set about making his mark against Panama, doing so in emphatic fashion.

He won a penalty with a clever run into the box, allowing Harry Kane to put England 2-0 up. But his best moment was yet to come: a beautiful one-two with Raheem Sterling followed by a fizzing, arching finish into the top corner. His first World Cup goal – scored a wonderfully Lingard-esque fashion. The best player on the pitch by far.

David de Gea

The Spaniard was extremely lucky to see VAR cancel out an Iran goal which slipped under his fingers in the second half. Had that gone in, leaving Spain with two points from as many games, the knives would have well and truly been out and waggling. Thankfully he can look back on a clean sheet and will hope for less drama against Morocco.

Marouane Fellaini

Came on in the second half and, despite a lack of game time in recent months, looked fluid in the ball during an albeit languid last 30 minutes, with Belgium in a dominant position at that point. Will probably score the winner against England.

Nemanja Matic

Fought extremely hard from start to finish in a tight, tempered clash with Switzerland, playing an important role defending from corners and stabilising the midfield in the first half. Was understandably aggrieved at the referee’s decision to not award a penalty in injury time. He’ll need a big performance against Brazil.

Marcus Rashford, Marcos Rojo, Fred, and Phil Jones all didn’t feature for their countries in the second round of group games.

You may also like