Jesse Lingard urges Man Utd to raise intensity after ’embarrassing’ Anfield loss
Jesse Lingard apologised for Manchester United’s “embarrassing” loss at Liverpool as the attacking midfielder underlined the need to regroup and increase intensity ahead of the crunch clash with Arsenal.
Saturday’s 3-2 win against Norwich, coupled with results elsewhere, injected new life into the Red Devils’ top-four hopes, only the Ralf Rangnick’s men to be brought back to earth with a bump at Anfield.
Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah scored in a remarkably comfortable first half, with the visitors failing to have a shot on goal against their bitter rivals.
United upped the ante after the break only for Sadio Mane to strike superbly before Salah wrapped up a 4-0 win, just six months after Jurgen Klopp’s Reds ran out 5-0 victors at Old Trafford.
Those results highlight the gulf in quality between the clubs, with Liverpool pushing for the quadruple while the Red Devils scramble for Champions League qualification as they prepare to face Arsenal.
Asked if Saturday’s match at their top-four rivals is now a must-win game, Lingard told MUTV: “Yeah, it’s another free hit.
“We’ll go there with the mindset of winning, staying on the front foot, being intense, doing the basics and having that energy to go and win the game.
“We need to work hard first before you can start playing, so win the individual battles and then we’ll win the game hopefully.”
Lingard, who came on as an early substitute for injured Paul Pogba, added: “Every time I put a United shirt on, I want to give 110 per cent, bring that energy to the team, the pressing.
“Obviously Liverpool are a good team but I think second half we started a little bit brighter, we were on the front foot a bit more and it just gives us that little bit more intensity.
“But we can’t be getting beat 4-0. It’s embarrassing, really.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 19, 2022
United’s performance must have had prospective new manager Erik ten Hag wondering what he is signing up for.
Whether or not the Dutchman is joining a Champions League side will become clearer in the coming days, with Lingard calling for increased intensity in training ahead of the key encounter at Arsenal.
“It’s horrible,” he said of the loss. “It’s horrible for the fans.
“You can feel the pain when we’re on the pitch and you see the scoreline. It’s really disappointing.
“We can only say sorry to the fans. I know they back us through thick and thin, which we appreciate as players.
“We go into the Arsenal game now this week. We work hard throughout the week and however we train reflects how we play, so I think we can increase a little bit more intensity and energy in training as well.”
It is shaping up to be a poor end to academy graduate Lingard’s long association with United.
The 29-year-old has made 231 appearances for the club and found playing time restricted in recent years, with the attacking midfielder set to exit at the end of his contract this summer.
“It’s difficult,” Lingard said of his season. “For me, I just want to play football.
“It was great to play against Norwich the other week, I enjoyed it. I was getting into the rhythm of the game, obviously got brought off.
“For this game, of course I was expecting to start again but Paul got injured and I came on early enough to play most of the game anyway.
“I’m always ready, I’m always confident to play and as soon I stepped foot on the pitch I give 110 per cent for the shirt.”