​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 Theresa May has been replaced by Boris Johnson as the United Kingdom's Prime Minister.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...


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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...



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. 


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​​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.


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