Sunday, 15 October 2017

Lukaku criticism unjustified after rare off day for Belgian striker

It seems unfair for Romelu Lukaku to be criticised after his red-hot start to life at United. 

The Belgian provided - and squandered - the Reds only shot on target in the 0-0 draw at Anfield, when he fired straight at compatriot Simon Mignolet when well placed.

There was just that one opening late in the first half, when his shot had the power but not the placement and it proved a straightforward save for the Liverpool keeper.
United failed to trouble him again, and there is sense of a missed opportunity to take all three points. 

This single moment has already been used by some to continue the narrative that the 24-year-old does not deliver in the high-profile matches.
Yet it's nonsense and, in time, Rom will dispel the myth in the coming months with the trip to Chelsea and visit of Spurs on the horizon.

It should not be used to argue that he is a flat-track bully, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed an equally presentable header in the corresponding fixture last season. 
Nobody would ever accuse the mercurial Swede of not being the man for the big occasion, as he has proved countless times in his glittering and decorated career. 

It's difficult to understand why Lukaku's goal against Real Madrid in the Super Cup - the twice-defending European champions and best side on the planet - is conveniently excluded from this argument.

Lukaku wasted no time in settling in at the club, and has racked up eye-catching stats from the off.
This was only the second match of the campaign in which he's failed to score, including internationals for Belgium, he is now on eleven goals in as many games.

If that ratio continues, Lukaku is surely a shoo-in for the Premier League's Golden Boot. 

Ploughing a lone furrow in attack, he often cut an isolated figure and had to deal with the close attentions of Liverpool centre-backs Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip throughout.
It's fair to say that he was not afforded too many opportunities to show the free-scoring form that has wreaked havoc on opponents so far this season.

His record is simply incredible and his start to life at United can only be applauded. 
He'll be there at the sharp end again against Benfica in Lisbon and will be out to get back on the goal trail.

After all, those who felt that he would not impress in the Champions League have gone quiet after three goals in his first two European matches.
In time, there won't be any debate over his ability to find the net in the biggest of games.



He's at a club where he'll get the chance to do so and have ample opportunity to prove the doubters wrong once and for all. 



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