Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs accused Jesse Lingard of lacking football ‘intelligence’ after the Red Devils’ 2-0 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates.
Goals from Nicolas Pepe and Sokratis gave Arsenal a deserved win against United, who were well below-par during a disappointing night in north London for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
United were abysmal during a despondent opening 45 minutes but Solskjaer waited until the hour-mark before making any changes. Daniel James made way for Andreas Pereira, while Mason Greenwood came on for Lingard.
Lingard failed to score a goal or provide an assist in the Premier League in 2019 and his performance at the Emirates did little to suggest that he’s turned a corner.
In contrast, Mesut Ozil had his finest game in a red shirt for some time and Giggs says the German showed Lingard how to play the no10 position.
‘He’s an intelligent player and you see the difference between the two No.10s,’ said Giggs. ‘Ozil, even though he has big running stats, when Arsenal had the ball he was actually holding his position.
He wasn’t running towards the ball. So he was probably doing most of his running in a defensive aspect. ‘Whereas Jesse, when United were on the ball, just kept coming towards the ball and closing the space.
Whereas Ozil was patient. And that comes from the coach and looking at the last couple of games, because you have got a talented and intelligent individual’.
Arsenal’s win means they’re just four points off Manchester United and back in the race for the top four. There was a marked improvement in the Gunners’ energy levels and Solskjaer praised Arteta’s side afterwards for being the ‘brighter’ of the two teams.
Credit: Metro Sport