Jesse Lingard in focus on return to England fold against San Marino

Jesse Lingard in action against San Marino
Jesse Lingard in action against San Marino (PA Wire)
22:17pm, Thu 25 Mar 2021
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Jesse Lingard made his first England appearance since June 2019 as Gareth Southgate’s men thrashed San Marino.

The 28-year-old played the full 90 minutes of the 5-0 victory against the world’s lowest-ranked side.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at how the West Ham attacking midfielder got on.

Goal threat

Jesse Lingard reacts to a missed chance (PA Wire)

Lingard was denied a dream return to the England setup by San Marino goalkeeper Elia Benedettini on more than one occasion. The West Ham loanee saw a superb early long-range strike saved by the keeper, who would again thwart him late in the first half. Lingard was annoyed after miscuing an attempt and there was not enough power in a 64th-minute strike on goal, while he gave the goalkeeper a smile after he again denied him late on.

Link-up play

Lingard’s renewed confidence was clear by his directness and willingness to burst between the lines. Peeling off into space and demanding the ball, his movement proved tough for San Marino to get a grip on. He spent the bulk of the night on the left and produced some fine passes along with some simple ones, including the assist for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to tap home his second early in the second half.

Overall

Jesse Lingard in action against San Marino (PA Wire)

Lingard did his hopes of making this summer’s rearranged Euros no harm on Thursday night. A cutting edge was missing from his game at times, but so too was it from the rest of the starting line-up. Considering this was only his 11th appearance of the season for club or country, Lingard did well.

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