Questions were asked of Romelu Lukaku’s ability in big games ahead of this weekend’s clash with Liverpool, and those questions certainly weren’t answered afterwards.
The Belgian striker was undoubtedly a victim of Manchester United’s defensive tactics on Saturday but it’s difficult to hand out much sympathy when both goalkeepers accumulated more touches.
In fact, it took 17 minutes for Lukaku to register a touch of any kind at Anfield.
Nevertheless, you only need one chance to score and – for all his anonymity – Lukaku was presented with arguably United’s best chance of the game just before half-time.
Joel Matip had freshly forced David de Gea into one of the finest saves of his career when the United striker was presented with a free shot at goal, after a brilliant one-two with Anthony Martial.
Considering this the man topping the Golden Boot standings and with 11 goals in as many games, you would expect him to place the ball past Simon Mignolet and open the scoring.
Instead, Lukaku snatched at the ball, producing a disappointing strike that was ultimately a very comfortable save from the Liverpool ‘keeper.
With the score eventually finishing 0-0, it proves a moment Lukaku won’t look back on with much pride.
Thierry Henry was reporting on the game for Sky Sports and had an interesting theory on what went so painfully wrong for the 24-year-old when his big chance arrived.
The Sky pundit endures as one of the greatest strikers in Premier League history, remains Arsenal’s all-time top scorer and regularly works with Lukaku for the Belgian national team.
The moral of the story being that’s he more than qualified to discuss Lukaku’s finishing; the analysis makes for an interesting watch. Check it out:
— GMS (@GMS678) October 14, 2017
Food for thought, that’s for sure.
Henry believes that Lukaku’s desire to prove that his ability against big teams put him in an unhealthy state of mind, causing him to lose concentration and focus.
Consequently, when the chance to score arrived, the Belgian may have taken out his frustration in the strike, producing an inaccurate finish in anger.
It’s easy to see Henry shaping a measured strike into the far bottom corner if the chance fell to him.
Consider the criticism harsh or not, Lukaku is doing little to prove that he can actually perform against the likes of Liverpool.