A reborn Romelu Lukaku continues to show his class for Inter Milan, while leaving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hot under the collar at Manchester United.
Sunday night saw Romelu Lukaku crush his doubters once again to help Inter defeat AC Milan 4-2. It fueled the growing belief that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to offload him was a bad one.
Seeing Lukaku’s performance in the Milan derby would have given any Red Devils supporter a headache.
Milan Derby was a Lukaku link-up play masterclass:
1.Set up a big chance for Vecino in the 1st half with great wing play
2.Sets up a big chance for Barella with good hold-up play in the 2nd half.
3.Involved in build-up to his own goal by bullying Kjaer & playing in Brozovic.
— Premier League Panel (@PremLeaguePanel) February 9, 2020
Romelu was always a threat on the ball and caused the Milan defence problems all night. What caught everyone’s eye, though, was his constant work-rate and desire to aid his teammates.
It’s further showed how much he’s developed as an all-round attacker over the last six months.
The Belgian did a brilliant job and deservedly got on the scoresheet in stoppage-time upon heading in Victor Moses’ cross. It wrapped up all three points in a thrilling comeback victory.
That was Lukaku’s 21st goal of the season in all competitions for the Nerazzurri. Not even the legendary Ronaldo Nazario and Adriano enjoyed such prolific starts to their respective San Siro careers.
But the main talking point was how Lukaku took his shirt off and hung it on the corner flag. He later aimed a dig at former United teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored Milan’s second, on Twitter.
there’s a new king in town pic.twitter.com/w9yv4cVzrJ
— R.Lukaku Bolingoli9 (@RomeluLukaku9) February 9, 2020
The three points on Sunday saw Inter leapfrog Juventus onto top spot in the Serie A standings on goal difference.
“I think that everyone has seen this team’s mentality,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“We never give up and we’re always looking to win. I’m here to win and my only aim is to help the team get results.
“I want to thank all the fans, my teammates, Mister [Antonio] Conte and all of his backroom staff for the support that they’re giving me.”
Conte key behind resurgence
42 goals and 13 assists in 96 appearances was a decent return on Romelu Lukaku’s behalf for Manchester United.
The Belgian enjoyed a decent start to his Red Devils career by scoring 27 goals in all competitions. He became one of only 11 players to hit the mark over 25 times since 1992/93. Not even Solskjaer achieved that during his playing days.
But things at Old Trafford never really clicked for club and player, with Solskjaer’s arrival effectively ending the relationship.
The Norwegian never denied Lukaku’s quality and once labelled him one of Europe’s best ‘target man’ strikers. For the big call, however, he stuck with Marcus Rashford.
Some frustrated supporters hurled insults in the striker’s direction in light of this development. True, they weren’t all unfounded but were still mostly unfair. Man United’s problems are pretty much all of their own undoing, after all.
Following this turn of events, Lukaku sealed a club-record €65m transfer to Inter last summer. But doubts poured in from the very minute he set foot in Milan.
Six months later, though, Romelu is in the best form of his entire career.
A big reason for this impressive turnaround is Antonio Conte, who had wanted to sign Lukaku since 2014.
The Inter coach already had a plan in mind to improve on Lukaku’s all-round game by working on his tactical awareness. It didn’t long either for the player to get sold by these ideas.
Therefore, he pushed hard for an Inter move despite interest from Italian champions Juventus. It didn’t matter what was on the table, Lukaku knew that joining Conte was his best option.
The 26-year-old has since become a key part of Conte’s San Siro revolution and will continue to do so.