Manchester United supporters were pleased with the impact of Romelu Lukaku during Friday’s 2-0 win over Derby County in the FA Cup. The Belgium international had missed the previous league outing versus Everton with a head injury, but he returned to first-team action with a standout performance.
The Red Devils struggled to breakthrough the Rams defence owing to the impressive showing of their goalkeeper and some poor finishing, but Lukaku’s entry in the second period helped to change the fortunes. The 24-year-old provided the assist for Jesse Lingard’s goal in the dying stages of the game before popping up with a goal of his own to assure United’s progress to the fourth round of the famous old competition.
That is brilliant from Lukaku. Kills the ball inside his own half, holds off the defender, turns, runs forward, slips it into Martial, gets it back and bangs it in. Brilliant forward play. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) January 5, 2018
Romelu Lukaku man. He's a goalscoring machine. United fans need to respect him more. He's been so underappreciated this season.
— Öliver. (@UtdOliver) January 5, 2018
Good to see Lukaku on the scoresheet again. That takes his tally to 16 goals in 31 appearances. Very good if you ask me.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) January 5, 2018
Lukaku's overall play has transformed hugely since his days at Everton. Whatever you say about him you just can't downplay his hold up & link up play. Bar the City match he's played like this for the majority of the season.
— AH (@UtdTactic) January 5, 2018
With his strike, Lukaku has made it 16 goals in his maiden United season, and this is a very reasonable tally considering we are only past the halfway stage of the competition. The Belgian has been often made the scapegoat for United’s failure up front, but most of it could be put to the poor service in and around him.
Lukaku looks on course for another 20-goal season, and he is likely to prove influential in the coming months as United look to stabilise their second place in the top-flight whilst competing for honours in the FA Cup and Champions League.