Romelu Lukaku has finally broken his big-match hoodoo, scoring a well-worked team goal against Chelsea on Sunday, as Manchester United secured a huge three points.
The Red Devils moved back into second-place in the Premier League table, leapfrogging fierce rivals Liverpool who have been in a rich vein of form themselves.
I’ve seen some brilliant centre-forward performances at Old Trafford down the years, but that second-half from Lukaku was wonderful. He held the ball up superbly, brought his teammates into play, took the pressure off his back four and played a huge part in Jesse Lingard’s winning goal.
After the game, Lukaku was talking to the media about the performance. He remained extremely level-headed, explaining why he has to keep working hard.
“I just need to keep working hard,” said the forward to Sky Sports News. “I think I have got a nice record. I’ve scored a lot this season and I just want to keep going.
“I know that I can improve, and I want to improve and really work hard. I want to win trophies. We are still in the fight in two competitions. It’s not going to be easy but it’s a nice challenge.”
Then Lukaku went on to discuss whether he feels people forget how young he is. He replied:
“Yeah, because I’ve been in the game for so long.”
“I started playing when I was 16. Year in, year out people expect 20 goals from me. I’ve been doing it for 10 years straight, so I think I’ve proved myself.
“You expect a bit more respect but it’s the situation we’re in. I don’t listen to it. I just want to improve and show the people what I can do on the pitch.”
Honestly, he does deserve more respect; even from some United fans who still aren’t convinced by his abilities. The former Everton striker is improving with each passing game, becoming a complete forward rather than an out-and-out goalscorer. We’re lucky to have him, and his 22-goal haul is an impressive one considering we’re only in February. If he can finish his debut season with 30 goals to his name it certainly bodes well for the future.