Romelu Lukaku continued his stellar debut campaign by breaking two more records during Inter’s quarter-final win against Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League.
Lukaku was pivotal in both goals as Inter Milan sealed a spot in the Europa League semi-finals on Monday night following a 2-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in Dusseldorf.
The Belgian’s blocked shot in the opening 15 minutes fell into the path of Nico Barella, who scored from 20 yards out. He then held off Edmond Tapsoba before turning and putting the ball into the back of the net. That was his 31st goal of the season in all competitions.
What made Lukaku’s goal in Germany so significant, however, was that it made him the first player to score in nine successive Europa League matches. He was previously tied on eight with Alan Shearer, who reached the feat for Newcastle in 2005 back when the competition was still known as the UEFA Cup.
The other record Lukaku broke was becoming the first Inter player to score in six consecutive European games.
The 27-year-old also equaled Stefano Nyers’ record from the 1949/50 campaign in scoring 15 away goals for the Nerazzurri.
Despite his feats in Germany, though, Lukaku humbly played them down. He instead named Barella as the man of the match.
“Records are records, but the victory was so important,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“Leverkusen are a team with great quality and an excellent coach. We made too many mistakes upfront, as we didn’t finish the chances and could’ve won by more.
“The defense did a great job and in my view man of the match was Barella. As in recent weeks, he has been just fantastic, he’s everywhere.”
While 31 goals is not only a career-best tally for Lukaku, it’s also the first time a striker has hit the 30 goal-mark for Inter since Samuel Eto’o in 2010/11. The Cameroonian famously scored 37 goals back then.
Kai Havertz was the goalscorer for the defeated Leverkusen. The German club will be back in the Europa League next season after finishing fifth in the Bundesliga.
Lukaku and Inter, meanwhile, will discover their semi-final opponents tonight as Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Basel go head-to-head.