Jesse Lingard thanks West Ham fans for ‘great reception’ as he explains muted celebrations following winner

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Jesse Lingard did not passionately celebrate scoring against West Ham on Sunday  (Manchester United via Getty Imag)
Jesse Lingard did not passionately celebrate scoring against West Ham on Sunday (Manchester United via Getty Imag)

Jesse Lingard has praised West Ham fans for giving him a warm reception on his return with Manchester United and says his muted celebration was a sign of respect.

The England international, who scored an 89th-minute winner on his return to the London Stadium after reigniting his career on loan at West Ham last season, was given a loud round of applause upon his introduction from the bench in the second half on Sunday.

West Ham had been keen to sign Lingard on a permanent deal after his run of nine goals and five assists in 16 games in 2020/21.

Manchester United stood firm in their stance of the attacking midfielder not being for sale over the summer and Sunday showed why as Lingard cut inside Kurt Zouma and fired past Lukasz Fabianski before holding himself back in the subsequent celebrations.

"They supported me in the loan spell and gave me a great reception, so it was only right to pay them back," Lingard said of the West Ham fans.

"It was a great reception from the West Ham fans. I had a brilliant time here, but I had to do my bit."

Lingard revived his career at the London Stadium last season and it was again a scene of redemption at the weekend.

His winning goal came just days after his mistake gifted Young Boys their own winner as Manchester United suffered a shock defeat in the Champions League.

West Ham boss David Moyes gave Lingard a warm embrace on the touchline after the game and hailed his former player for bouncing back.

"I was laughing [with him] but more importantly I said how well he recovered from his mistake in midweek," said Moyes.

"He makes a mistake which probably cost Manchester United a first win in the Champions League. But that's what football does, you always get a second chance to bounce back.

"Jesse got a second chance to bounce back as a player when he was at West Ham last year so we'll always be grateful for what he did for us. I wish he hadn't scored but we had a chance to get a draw out of it [through Mark Noble’s penalty] and we missed our chance."

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