Jesse Lingard jokingly confronted in West Ham dressing room over ‘ego’
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Declan Rice was having none of Jesse Lingard’s protestations that he should step up for West Ham’s first penalty of the season on Monday night.
The high-flying Hammers finally got a decision go there way when Manchester United loanee Lingard was hauled down by Sheffield United’s Chris Basham.
David Moyes’ team had the ideal chance to take the lead at the London Stadium against the Premier League’s bottom side just before half time.
And while England midfielder and West Ham captain Rice had emerged as the new primary penalty taker without Mark Noble on the field, Lingard pleaded his case.
The 28-year-old spoke with Rice, who had the ball in his hands waiting to take it, but Lingard was unsuccessful in his bid to persuade the skipper he should step up.
Rice made no mistake and buried his effort into the bottom corner, and Lingard was the first to celebrate with him too.
West Ham went on to win 3-0 and temporarily put themselves fourth in the table before Chelsea leapfrogged them by beating Newcastle, but fifth place shows how far the team have come under Moyes.
Rice shared some footage from behind the scenes after the match, filming Lingard who was enjoying his post-match bath in the dressing room while on his phone.
The Hammers’ No.41 catches Lingard by surprise, shouting: “He knew he had to give me the pen! He knew!”
The pair then burst out laughing and high five, showing no bad blood was felt about the potentially frosty incident.
Lingard was Man of the Match thanks to his latest impressive display in a claret and blue shirt, and he certainly looks like a player with a point to prove in east London.
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Ex-West Ham and Red Devils star Rio Ferdinand, who was doing punditry on BT Sport for Monday evening’s game, was pleased with what he saw from Lingard.
Rather than criticising Lingard for trying to take the spot-kick away from Rice, Ferdinand focused on how he accepted the decision and did not let it affect his game.
“There's a maturity, he's not sulking," Ferdinand said. "Some players would have sulked in that situation: 'I want it, I want it'. It's an ego thing. But he's put his ego to one side.
"More importantly, he's been the bright spark for West Ham. We said they haven't got a traditional No.9 now [Michail] Antonio is out and [Sebastien] Haller has been let go.
"This kid has been the person they have looked to when they have needed a bright spark."
Lingard, Rice and Co face a huge test of their Champions League qualification credentials next on Sunday (12pm) when they host struggling arch-rivals Tottenham.
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