Romelu Lukaku has spoken out about his goal celebration during Manchester United’s 4-0 win over Everton in the Premier League, noting it was merely a bit of banter after he fluffed a free-kick moments earlier.
The Belgian, facing his former club, was handed the perfect chance to double Man United’s lead after a Michael Keane mistake put him through on goal in the first half but shanked the opportunity wide.
But he remained patient and was duly given his reward, firing a free kick against the wall, evincing jeers from Everton supporters, before lashing home from close range and wheeling away to shush the travelling supporters for good.
And Lukaku, speaking after the game, was quick to note that the entire exchange was nothing more than a reactionary quip after being jeered.
“I mean, it’s another goal and I’m happy with the win,” he said. “It’s just a bit of banter, after the free-kick I missed.”
The 24-year-old wants you to think that, as Richard Keys once famously said, it was just banter.
But this was not just banter. Lukaku’s reaction to Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s goal, as seen below, was fuelled by something else.
For some inexplicable reason, Everton fans never completely warmed to the Belgian during his time at Goodison Park. Very few will speak of him in completely glowing terms, despite him earning the accolade of top scorer for four seasons in a row.
This assist, which effectively ended the game, was Lukaku’s way of telling Everton fans to be quiet, sit down, and observe the greatness they never fully appreciated when they had him. And his goal was just to make sure they were indeed completely silent and heading for the exits.
Supporters once again saw Lukaku’s prolific side against Everton, but they also saw a nasty, warrior-like side that bodes well for the future.