EPL star Jesse Lingard shows wall of memorabilia, remembers his FA Cup winner

Lingard celebrates his memorable FA Cup Final winner vs. Crystal Palace. (Picture source: Sportskeeda)

The English Premier League ( EPL ) has returned to small group training for the first time since March, but Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard is remembering better days.

During a video interview with MOTDx's Josh Denzel, they spoke about the history of the FA Cup, discussed his memorable afternoon at Wembley against Crystal Palace in 2016 while Lingard also showed a wall of memorabilia - with shirts and career achievements to date.

On his earliest memory of the world's most prestigious cup competition, there was only one that stood out in mind:

"1999, the semi-final where Giggsy's [Ryan Giggs] famous run. When I was younger, my grandparents took me to the Final against Newcastle. We didn't have tickets but went down for the day, went down to the Old Wembley and I've still got a DVD of that day, a little documentary."

The famous run he's alluding to, was Giggs' solo run and finish against EPL rivals Arsenal during the 1999 FA Cup semi-final replay at Villa Park. They drew 0-0, with the Welsh winger's extra-time strike helping the EPL giants come through unscathed in 120 minutes.

They beat EPL counterparts Newcastle 2-0 in the Final the following month, courtesy of goals from EPL legends Teddy Sheringham and Paul Scholes.

Denzel asked whether Lingard could believe it has been four years since his sweet strike against Palace. Jesse's expression spoke volumes, as time has flown by.

"Four years? Wow. For us to actually win on that day was a perfect feeling, to score the winner in the last-minute, you couldn't have wrote it."

Lingard replaced Juan Mata after 90 minutes in the Final, with the scores finely poised at 1-1 going into extra time. Having started all but one of United's FA Cup games before the showpiece event, the England international was naturally frustrated at being dropped.

"For me, it was heartbreaking because I played in the games leading up to the final and being dropped hurt but as a player, you do it for the team - it's a team game - so I was ready to make that difference.
I went on, Chris [Smalling] got sent off straight away! We dug deep, had that mentality and knew it was a very important game for everyone to win the FA Cup so that got us over the line in the end."

EPL midfielder calls FA Cup winner a career highlight

The EPL playmaker described the goal in detail before admitting he remembers it "like it was yesterday", and said he's never struck a ball cleaner than that during his career - while being in mid-celebration as soon as he let fly, ranking it as "100%" the highlight of his career so far.

Lingard also said he kept his match-worn shirt from that day, complete with grass, mud stains and all - before showing Josh it and other memorabilia on his wall upstairs.

Among his achievements across the wall were his: first United goal against West Brom, England debut shirt, first Three Lions goal, the aforementioned FA Cup picture, "100 and counting" plaque, having surpassed that many EPL appearances before revealing "200 is coming", and will be done after lockdown.

Lingard will be hoping to make up for lost time, once the EPL season resumes.

He's struggled for consistency this season - both in the EPL and other competitions - while his existing deal expires next summer, so critics will continue to scrutinise his displays.

Published 26 May 2020, 00:10 IST