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Champions League

Jesse Lingard masterclass leaves Gary Neville red-faced as his prediction is left in tatters

Gary Neville was left red-faced after Jesse Lingard ensured his prediction that Wolves against West Ham would be a “difficult watch” was left in tatters.

Ahead of the game at Molineux the Hammers were looking to continue their quest to finish in a Champions League qualification spot, while Wolves were attempting to get back to winning ways after four games without victory.

But speaking on Sky Sports ahead of kick-off, Neville did not predict a thriller, saying: “I imagine it’s going to be quite cagey and tight. I look at this game tonight and think ‘this could be a difficult watch at times.’”

Host David Jones then interrupted: “That’s a great seller, thanks a lot,” before laughing.

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Jesse Lingard scored a sensational opener for West Ham
Jesse Lingard scored a sensational opener for West Ham

Neville continued: “I don’t normally do that! Wolves are quite compact and quite safe in the way in which they play. However, I would like to think the game could surprise us.”

Indeed, the game did surprise him as a Lingard wonder-goal opened the scoring after six minutes before Pablo Fornals added another just eight minutes later after more superb work from the England star, who put in a scintillating performance.

Jarron Bowden got a third for the Hammers before Leander Dendoncker grabbed one back for the home side in what was a thrilling first half.

Neville’s co-host Jamie Carragher couldn’t resist the opportunity to mock his prediction, and tweeted after West Ham’s second: “0-2 after 14 mins! @GNev2 is having a nightmare tonight!!!” along with a clip of his initial comments.

Gary Neville was left looking foolish after his prediction
Gary Neville was left looking foolish after his prediction

And at half-time Jones joked: “So that’s four goals, 20 attempts… it’s been dull as anything this first-half, Gary!”, to which Neville responded: “I did say it COULD be a thrilling game!”

And when later asked for his thoughts ahead of the second-half Neville simply said: “At this point, I’m done,” which brought huge laughter from Carragher and Jones.

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Neville finished by tweeting: “Under promise/Over deliver” in response to a fan mocking his forecast of a boring game.

Despite Fabio Silva grabbing another for Wolves in the second-half West Ham managed to hold on for a vital three points in the 3-2 victory, a result which moves them up to fourth place in the table.

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