Manchester United fans once again found themselves in awe of Romelu Lukaku as the Belgian produced a remarkable performance during a 2-1 win over tournament favourites Brazil to book a semi-final place against France.
Brazil simply couldn’t handle him. The way he held up play, created space for others, ran forward with skill, and generally made life a nightmare for Tite’s side was another glowing example of how much he has progressed since joining Man United.
And nothing typified this better than his electric, unstoppable, guided run out of defence to set up Kevin de Bruyne for Belgium’s second – and decisive – goal.
Man United fans were quick to shower praise on the 25-year-old for what was a truly sensational performance up front.
Watching some clips of Lukaku back. Mourinho better sort out how he plays him next season. Like Arsenal away and tonight, he's brilliant to watch and a threat when running at someone on the counter. Not being isolated up top with the ball lumped to his head.
— Alex Shaw (@AlexShawESPN) July 6, 2018
In this World Cup Lukaku has elevated himself into Kevin De Bruyne’s class: WORLD 🚀🚀🚀
— Jamie Paradise (@JamieParadise_) July 7, 2018
This was the kind of performance, delivered on the biggest of stages, which paints a player in a new light forever. The notion that Lukaku is a player who only scores goals in low pressure games against small teams can be fully put to bed now.
Nobody can sensibly level that charge at him after he took apart the tournament favourites in the biggest game of his career, playing a central role despite not even scoring.
The way he has challenged himself to progress as a player and become a live wire both inside and outside the box is a testament to the work ethic which has impressed Jose Mourinho so much at Old Trafford.