Jesse Lingard was ‘like Diego Maradona’ during incredible solo goal for West Ham – which had ‘everything’

Darren Gough compared Jesse Lingard’s stunning solo effort against Wolverhampton Wanderers to Diego Maradona’s sublime effort against England at the 1986 World Cup.

However, Drive colleague Adrian Durham was quick to ensure expectations of the West Ham United midfielder were measured, despite his incredible form.

Jesse Lingard is spearheading the unlikely West Ham charge to Europe

Since his Hammers debut on February 3, no player has more goal involvements than Lingard in the Premier League and his six goals and three assists have kept the club in an unlikely pursuit of the Champions League.

The forward’s stunning solo goal inspired the nervy Hammers as they survived a Wolves fight back to win 3-2 and move up to fourth in the Premier League.

Lingard also had a key role in first-half strikes for Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen – to put the Hammers 3-0 up – and looks like a completely different player to the one resigned to the bench at Manchester United.

David Moyes’ side are four points behind third placed Leicester – who they host on Sunday – and a point ahead of Chelsea after taking advantage of the Blues’ shock defeat to West Brom.

The Manchester United loanee scored a sumptuous opener for the Hammers against Wolves
Lingard breezed past the tame challenges of Dendoncker and Romain Saiss before firing past Patricio from 12 yards

With Declan Rice potentially out for the season and Michail Antonio a doubt for the game against the Foxes after limping off with just half an hour played at Molineux, Lingard is quickly becoming a talisman for Moyes’ men.

Speaking less than 24 hours after the stunning goal, talkSPORT’s very own Goughie couldn’t help but compare Lingard’s effort to Maradona’s mazy run and finish against Bobby Robson’s men some 25 years ago.

He said: “Lingard, the form he is in, it was like watching Maradona yesterday!

“He got the ball, was running with it at his feet, and they couldn’t catch him. So quick, the trickery, direct… everything.”

Maradona scored the greatest goal ever scored in football history at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico
AFP or licensors

Despite the ecstasy of his broadcast partner, Durham was somewhat more composed in his assessment of the 28-year-old, who has a serious decision to make about his future after such blistering form.

He said: “You can see why he is back in the England squad, but that is really based on Gareth Southgate’s trust in him.

“Let’s just hold off a second; Lingard has been brilliant, but he has played eight games for West Ham United. So I don’t really think we can say he is Player of the Year or anything like that.

“He’s done very well, it’s exciting to watch West Ham, it’s exciting to watch him and it is a feel-good story isn’t it?”

Moyes is leading West Ham’s surprise top four push with Lingard as his No.10

With just eight games remaining and Champions League football a real possibility, the former England international admitted he did not expect Lingard to start for the Hammers, let alone have such a huge impact.

“He’s the boost they needed,” Gough added. “He’s come in at the right time.

“They were playing well at the time and I remember thinking, ‘He’s not even going to get in, probably going to have to come off the bench.’

“But David Moyes knew what he wanted, put him in, he knows how he wants to play and he just gives them that little bit extra.”

Source: Sport

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