Lingard scored two goals in England’s 4-0 win against Andorra at Wembley on Sunday and dedicated his first international strikes since 2018 to new Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo
Jesse Lingard last night claimed his two goals were a “welcoming gift” for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Lingard helped England maintain their 100 per cent qualifying record with a thumping win over Group I minnows and revealed he had even been practising a new goal celebration this week.
England star Lingard, who scored his first goals for England in nearly three years, said: “Me and Mason [Mount] were thinking of celebrations this week and obviously we mixed my celebration with Cristiano’s I said I’d do it.
“Yeah it’s a little welcoming gift [for Ronaldo] but yeah he’ll settle in quickly he’ll help this team brilliantly.
“It feels amazing, always amazing to put on an England shirt but to score and do well for your country is perfect. I thought the lads played well, it was a professional performance and now we move onto Poland.
“It’s always a great feeling scoring for your country and their moments you don’t forget of course the team helped me do that.”
England boss Gareth Southgate made 11 changes to his starting line-up and saw his team labour for an hour to break down Andorra before bringing on Harry Kane, Mason Mount and Jack Grealish which produced a late goal rush.
But Southgate called Lingard his “brightest spark” and also paid tribute to Bukayo Saka who got a brilliant reception after scoring in the thumping win in his first game back after missing a penalty in the Euros final shoot-out defeat to Italy.
Southgate, whose team now face Poland on Wednesday, said: “He got a fabulous reception before the game, during the game and it’s lovely because you can see how popular he is with the rest of the team as well.
“It’s difficult for the team that we picked, they haven’t had that many games together and play against a team who know how to frustrate and all the goals in their matches come late.
“Poland looked like being the closest challengers in the Group and that has not changed from when we started. But if we can win in Warsaw then we will really be in charge of the Group.”
Poland claimed a 7-1 win in San Marino on Sunday evening but remain second, five points adrift of England.
Paulo Sousa will be able to call upon captain and talisman Robert Lewandowski after the Bayern Munich striker missed the 2-1 meeting at Wembley in March due to injury.
Lewandowski scored twice in the opening 21 minutes against San Marino to edge ahead of Miroslav Klose and become the fourth-highest European goalscorer in men’s international history with 72 goals.
Fellow forward Adam Buksa hit a second-half hat-trick to take his blossoming international tally to four goals in two games, and his physical prowess could cause problems for Southgate and co on Wednesday.
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