Romelu Lukaku delivered a superbly composed performance on the ball during Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
The Belgian held up the ball brilliantly in the first half and provided a reliable attacking axis to give Man United a strong foothold in the game.
And he should have had an assist to his name in the second half when his perfectly weighted through ball found Alexis Sanchez, who some how failed to find the net after rounding keeper Martin Dubravka.
Lukaku’s numbers from the game show clearly that he didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.
Lukaku’s game by numbers vs. Newcastle:
1 key pass
3 aerial duels won
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 11, 2018
Much has been made of Mourinho’s inability to mould a consistently successful attacking dynamic with the current attacking options – deemed sufficient by the man himself last week – at his disposal.
And while the likes of Lukaku, Anthony Martial and Sanchez will need more time to properly click, some better finishing from the latter pair would have seen United’s attacking performance hailed as comprehensive, the Belgian serving as a powerful focal point from which others could benefit going forward.
As it was, Lukaku’s precise hold-up play didn’t receive the end product it deserved, but for all of United’s shortcomings against Newcastle supporters can take confidence from the number of chances their side can create with the striker in such ebullient mood.