Mark Noble believes that Jesse Lingard has started diving since returning to Manchester United.
Lingard has had an unexpected impact at Manchester United after deciding to stay this summer and fight for his first-team place.
It was thought that the forward would capitalise on a positive loan spell at West Ham in the second half of last season, where he scored nine goals and assisted a further five in 16 Premier League appearances.
But, with a year remaining on his Manchester United contract, he ignored interest from afar and vowed to force his way into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans.
The 28-year-old has scored twice in 45 Premier League minutes – including an excellent late winner against West Ham last weekend – but he could not inspire his teammates past the Hammers again on Tuesday.
Manchester United were knocked out of the League Cup by Manuel Lanzini’s first-half effort and Lingard had four shots and created two chances as perhaps the hosts’ best player.
There was a call for a penalty but Lingard’s former captain, Noble, insisted the England international had “dived”.
“That’s football, he dived and I told him off for screaming,” he told Sky Sports. “Funnily enough he didn’t really do it at our place but he does it here.
“We had a laugh on the pitch today. I love Jesse. He’s a great character and I’m so pleased he’s come here and is getting his chance.
“He’s scored some fantastic goals. Obviously the one against us was hurtful, He’s a great lad and he deserves everything he gets.”
Solskjaer lamented another penalty claim being denied against the Hammers and said that there is “maybe a decision here or there we don’t seem to get at the moment”.
“It’s a clear penalty for Jesse again,” he insisted. “Mark Noble falls and pulls him down. You can’t dwell too much on that.”
The Manchester United manager was put on the spot after the game and asked specifically about Anthony Martial, who led the line at centre-forward but could not make the difference.
“Antho was the same as the rest of the team: we played some nice football, we lacked some of that cutting edge and he knows what we want from him,” he said.
“He’ll keep working and get his chances.”
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