Romelu Lukaku thumped home Manchester United’s fourth goal in a victory against Newcastle United, and impressed.
It was important for the Belgian to get back into goalscoring ways after a month-long drought for Man United since the end of the October international break.
He had netted three times for Belgium in friendlies in the last couple of weeks, but needed a goal on Saturday.
His stats show his role against the Toon, holding up the ball frequently and running wide far more frequently than usual, particularly after the introduction of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Lukaku’s game by numbers vs. Newcastle:
2 aerial duels won
25% chance conversion
100% dribbles completed
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 18, 2017
It will be interesting to see the shape of Man United’s team after Ibrahimovic returned to an excited standing ovation at Old Trafford after being out since April with cruciate knee ligament damage.
How Lukaku and Ibrahimovic’s relationship will blossom or not over the next few weeks will be fascinating, as will Jose Mourinho’s handling of the two stars.
With the attention very much on the return of Ibrahimovic, a Lukaku goal before the Swede came on stops any unnecessary criticism or comparisons in the media and will undoubtedly help his confidence.
The 24-year-old could have had two goals, to be fair, missing a great heading chance and being frequently served by Ashley Young’s good crossing.