Jesse Lingard has said his goal celebration for England against Andorra at Wembley on Sunday was a “little welcoming gift” for Manchester United returnee Cristiano Ronaldo.
England boss Gareth Southgate made 11 changes from the side that defeated Hungary 4-0 win on Thursday. And United midfielder Lingard was one of those changes as the Three Lions ran out 4-0 winners.
Lingard opened the scoring and added a second after half-time, while Harry Kane scored from the spot and Bukayo Saka, celebrating his 20th birthday, completed the win with a fourth late on.
It was Lingard’s first start of the season after returning to United in the summer after his loan at West Ham.
The 28-year-0ld hit nine goals and grabbed four assists in 16 Premier League appearances after joining on loan in January.
But his first-team chances back at Old Trafford look slim and he has found himself back on the bench. Lingard has appeared for just four minutes for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men this season. In fact he failed to make the squad against Leeds on the opening day of the season.
And the return of Ronaldo will hardly help his chances of getting into Solskjaer’s first XI. But he looked sharp against Andorra and spoke about his goal celebrations to beIN SPORTS.
JLINGZ x CR7! 🦁
Jesse Lingard combined both celebrations after giving England the lead against Andorra! 🕺
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) September 5, 2021
Lingard said he and Mason Mount had arranged to perform Ronaldo’s iconic ‘Siu’ celebration if he managed to net.
“Me and Mason were thinking about celebrations this week and obviously we mixed my celebration with Cristiano’s and I said I’d do it if I scored,” he said, via Metro.
Lingard feeling ‘perfect’
“It’s a little welcoming gift for him. He’ll settle in very quickly and it will help the team tremendously this season.”
Speaking about his start at Wembley, Lingard added: “It feels amazing. It’s always amazing to put on an England shirt but to score and do well for your country is perfect.
“I thought the lads played well today, it was a professional performance and we go again against Poland.
“It’s always a great feeling scoring for your country. They’re the moments you don’t forget and, of course, my team-mates helped me today with that.
“We had to come into this game with professionalism. And we knew what Andorra were about, we knew they were going to sit back – sometimes press and sometimes sit back in a low block.
“We were patient throughout the game and we managed to move the ball very quickly and find opportunities to break through the defence and score the goals that we did.”