It was huge night for the man that football Twitter loves to hate, as Jesse Lingard ended a 307-day wait for a goal by smashing in Manchester United's opener against FC Astana in the Europa League.
To put this into some sort of context, here are a list of things that have happened since Jesse Lingard last scored against Arsenal in the FA Cup last January.
Tens of millions of human babies have been conceived, developed and born. Theresa May has been replaced by Boris Johnson as the United Kingdom's Prime Minister. And United's strikeforce from that Arsenal game, Alexis Sánchez and Romelu Lukaku have both left the club...
29 - Jesse Lingard has scored just his second goal of 2019 for Manchester United, and his first in 29 appearances in all competitions since netting against Arsenal in the FA Cup in January, 307 days ago - this was his longest run without a goal at club level. Beans. pic.twitter.com/cqZ2wnEZFc— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 28, 2019
Lingard actually scored unbelievable. pic.twitter.com/mf16NZSAHi— RiZzy (@RiZzyUTD) November 28, 2019
A Lingard goal? I know what you're thinking and yes, you're right. It was greeted with an absolute flurry of 'up and coming wonderkid' jokes - and some people are sick of it.
Although it has indeed been discussed to death, the fact that the midfielder turns 27 in December really is quite remarkable...
This Lingard lad looks like a hot prospect! Only 17— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) November 28, 2019
Lingard for Golden Boy award 2020https://t.co/NYugJhngzJ— Troll Football (@TrollFootball) November 28, 2019
We’re a month away from 2020. Lingard being young jokes aren’t funny anymore https://t.co/qYlP0axjjm— Tom (@CynicalLive) November 27, 2019
A stat that beautifully builds into the narrative that suggests it might be time to end the Lingard jokes is that fact that by scoring in Kazakhstan, the 26-year-old remarkably became United's oldest goalscorer of the season.
And better still, the assist for his goal was provided by a 24-year-old Luke Shaw - who tonight is the Red Devils' second-oldest squad member.
Say what you want about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but there can be no denying his attempt to being through the youth at Old Trafford.
Jesse Lingard is now Manchester United's oldest goal scorer this season in all competitions.— Red Devil Bible (@RedDevilBible) November 28, 2019
He is 26 years old. pic.twitter.com/TJUKIEVMvQ
It doesn't happen very often when I can't identify more than 3 players among a Man United team. But today I have no idea. Nevertheless, excited to see the young blood! Come on United!! @ManUtd— Ahad Farhan (@farhan_nihilist) November 28, 2019
The biggest irony of ‘young prospect’ Lingard breaking his 28 game goal drought, is that he’s the oldest Man United goalscorer this season — King Iseunife (@TheShawnife) November 28, 2019
Now, we have some fun at Lingard's expense in this article but what's important to remember is that he probably lived out a boyhood dream on Thursday after being handed the captain's armband for the first time.
He joined United as a nine-year-old and watching him beam as he led out the Red Devils was enough to even warm the cockles of this cynical writer's heart. Fair play Jesse, fair play.
I don't care what you think about Jesse Lingard, this man joined Manchester United's academy at the age of 9, he's captaining his boyhood club on a European stage and he's just scored a beautiful goal.— Devils of United (@DevilsOfUnited) November 28, 2019
He joined United’s academy at the age of 9. Tonight, Jesse Lingard captains United. pic.twitter.com/LSSBLgytul— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) November 28, 2019
Captain Lingard!— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) November 28, 2019