Romelu Lukaku revealed after Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Arsenal that he told Alexis Sanchez on Thursday that he would score against his former club.
They were handed starts at the Emirates and duly took advantage, with Lukaku supplying a wonderful reverse pass for Sanchez to score the opener, before the Belgian added another assist moments later for Lingard.
Speaking after the game, Lukaku noted how he predicted Sanchez – a good friend of his at Man United – would score against his former club.
Lukaku: “I told him (Alexis) yesterday he would score and he did today and I am really happy for him because you know a lot of people tried to come at him, but today it was the success for us and I’m really delighted for him, with his performance.” #mufc [Sport360] pic.twitter.com/W4cxX5FGVH
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) January 26, 2019
To see these two players causing such damage in the first half was a testament to the ubiquity of Solskjaer’s energising influence. Everyone is playing better than they were a month ago, and by some distance.
For Sanchez, it would have been a cathartic experience. One year after leaving the Emirates, with just one goal all season and injured since November, he was back demonstrating to the watching world his inherent quality and composure in the box. That will be a huge confidence booster.
And the same goes for Lukaku, who played out on the right hand side and bamboozled Arsenal’s defence with the diagonal runs he made. He did not offer a direct goal threat but his two assists – both perfectly weighted passes – were pure footballing intelligence, proof that Solskjaer has got every attacking player on the same wavelength.