Jesse Lingard has laughed at comparisons between “forcing a friend to talk to a girl” and his Manchester United team-mates pushing him to celebrate his winner against West Ham.
Lingard raised his hand in respect for his former club, after grabbing what turned out was the winning goal.
The 28-year old scored nine goals in 16 games at the London Stadium on loan last season but was forced towards the farewell support of his teammates, including Cristiano Ronaldo.
Lingard shared a hilarious Instagram post with a humorous caption about Lingard’s refusal to get wild with supporters.
Alongside a photo of his muted celebration, the image was captioned: “When you force your friend to go talk to the girl he likes.”
Lingard had said of the goal to MUTV: “They supported me in the loan spell and gave me a great reception, so it was only right to pay them back.
“It was a great reception from the West Ham fans. I had a great time, but I had my part.”
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One former United striker who wasn’t pleased by his actions was Michael Owen, who famously joined United after spells with Newcastle and Real Madrid having made his name at Liverpool.
Owen told Premier League Production : “The finish is absolutely sublime. The only thing that is poor about the whole scenario is that he doesn’t celebrate.
“I can’t believe players don’t celebrate when they score a goal against their old club, he was only there two minutes. If he didn’t want to score, if he’s not that happy don’t pull the trigger, pass the ball, if that’s the case.
“It’s the only thing that lets him down there, because everything else is absolutely spectacular.”
With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saying after the strike against West Ham: “Jesse was quite clear he wants to fight for his place and be part of a Manchester United team that is going places.
“I can’t speak for Jesse now but he’s really contributing, he’ll play on Wednesday as I’ll make a few changes. I am so pleased that he can handle the highs and lows with such ease.
“He’s becoming a grown man and is a very good player.”