Jesse Lingard has been praised for “putting his ego to one side” after an awkward penalty exchange with Declan Rice.
Lingard won a spot kick for West Ham – where he is on loan from Manchester United – after Sheffield United defender Chris Basham clattered into him inside the box.
The Hammers had already been awarded a penalty earlier in the first half when Craig Dawson was fouled – but VAR overturned the decision after replays showed Dawson to be offside.
In that instance, Declan Rice had picked up the ball to shoot from 12 yards with regular taker Mark Noble absent.
But, after he dusted himself off from Basham’s challenge, Lingard went to place the ball on the spot, only for Rice to get in his way.
The duo then had an altercation – presumably over who was going to take the penalty – before a seemingly disappointed Lingard appeared to admit defeat and trudge back to the edge of the area.
Rice scored past Aaron Ramsdale to make it 1-0 – and Lingard was the first of his teammates to congratulate him.
Former Red Devils defender Rio Ferdinand was at the London Stadium with BT Sport, and was impressed with Lingard’s ‘maturity’ at quickly getting over the disagreement – and his overall performance.
“There’s a maturity, he’s not sulking,” he 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.”