Jesse Lingard was tidy without the wow factor on England debut... his disciplined display showed why Jose Mourinho has put his faith in him
- Gareth Southgate begun his reign as England boss with victory over Malta
- Jesse Lingard was handed his international debut by new interim manager
- The Manchester United winger, 23, was impressive at a sold-out Wembley
- First-half goals from Daniel Sturridge and Dele Alli helped them to 2-0 win
It's fair to say Jesse Lingard is rather fond of Wembley.
There was his breathtaking extra-time goal to win the FA Cup for Manchester United last May.
And he scored here again in August to give Jose Mourinho a winning start to life at Old Trafford in the Community Shield.
Jesse Lingard was handed his full international debut in England's 2-0 victory over Malta
Manchester United winger celebrates after Daniel Sturridge broke the deadlock at Wembley
There wasn't quite the same adulation on Saturday. No goal. No trophy at the end.
Regardless, this will be a day Lingard never forgets – the attacker making his England debut in this routine win over Malta.
As debuts go, this perhaps wasn't the most explosive.
He did okay; neat and tidy without the wow factor. Was it enough for Lingard to keep his place for Tuesday's clash in Slovenia?
Perhaps, not. But there were enough signs to suggest he can stay in the squad moving forward.
His run in the 20th minute to reach Jordan Henderson's pass was so incisive it split the Malta defence in two, it was a shame he couldn't apply the finishing touch.
The 23-year-old attacker sees a first-half shot well saved by Malta goalkeeper Andrew Hogg
Lingard, who played on the wing for England, reacts after missing chance to score debut goal
His passing was economical and intelligent, his best of the night a beauty to set-up Dele Alli for a chance he really should have buried.
He showed aptitude to get involved, too, moving in regularly from his slot on the left side of England's attack.
Mourinho's arrival at Old Trafford cast doubt on Lingard's long-term future at United.
But, for now, it seems to be the making of him. Mourinho will ensure Lingard knows his defensive responsibilities, and carries them out.
The winger may not have capped off his performance with a goal but was an attacking threat
Gareth Southgate celebrates from the Wembley touchline as he got off to a winning start
This disciplined display an example of why Mourinho has shown such faith in the 23-year-old. Lingard's value isn't always the easiest to spot; but Mourinho certainly has.
So, too, did United legend Ryan Giggs as he explained ahead of Lingard's debut.
'Lingard has progressed, he's not one of the 18-19 year olds that set the world on fire,' said the Welshman.
'He's taken a bit time, gone out on loan to three or four clubs. He's trying to sort out what type of player he is because he can play a number of positions.
Lingard runs to celebrate with goalscorer Dele Alli, who doubled England's first-half lead
Lingard is fouled by Malta defender Steve Borg during England's 2018 World Cup qualifier
'He's a player who gives energy and scores goals but now at 23, he's got to kick on.
'He will run in behind and also get in those little pockets. I coached him when he was 10, and the subject for my 'A' license was coaching a No 10, and it was a nightmare because he did everything right, I had nothing to work with!
'He was an intelligent player, even back then.'
This was anything but a nightmare for Lingard – the England international.
The winger, who has had loan spells with clubs including Brighton and Derby, heads the ball
Lingard runs with the ball at a sold-out Wembley as he looks to impress on his England debut
Most watched Sport videos
- Arturo Vidal scores impossible goal during training
- Bradford goalkeeper Colin Doyle substituted after three minutes
- Sky Sports viewer captures moment Klopp told off for swearing
- 'New Messi?': Celtic youth's 12 year old Karamoko Dembele
- Karamoko Dembele in action at the St Kevin's Boys Academy Cup 2016
- Arturo Vidal scores a brace for Chile during Copa America
- Jesse Lingard welcomes Paul Pogba to Manchester United
- Pep Guardiola speaks post match after Man City Spurs loss
- Pep Guardiola says Toure won't play until agent apologises
- Where's Spurs? Klopp has a map of the English clubs in his office
- Hilarious moment Jesse Lingard nearly breaks golf club
- Clashes erupt among fans after West Ham clash with Middlesbrough