By Dan Silver
Involved in 132 goals in only five years in English football, the 10th most expensive transfer of all time and is his country’s all-time record top goal scorer with 31 goals in just 65 games. Yet, I only witnessed Romelu Lukaku’s raw talent for the first time this weekend.
Manchester United moved back into second place in the Premier League with a 2-1 win as substitute Jesse Lingard gave them victory over top-four rivals Chelsea at Old Trafford. But it was the 24 year old Belgian who really stood out from the rest.
Lukaku came into the game having scored 12 goals in the Premier League so far this season, but with none – and only four shots on target – against the other teams in the top six. He had never scored in seven previous league appearances against Chelsea, so you can excuse me for thinking this was just going to be another lacklustre performance from the man signed for £75m from Everton last July.
But the 24-year-old edged in front of Alonso to finish off a neat move involving Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial to end his dry spell against the top flight’s elite. He even came close to a second when he met Sanchez’s superb ball with a flying left-footed volley but Courtois denied his international team-mate by tipping the ball over.
Whether or not you may agree that his first touch is the same quality as a Sunday league under-6 year old, Lukaku is a real powerhouse in the air and is a reminder that the legacy of the monstrous Premier League number 9 still exists.
There are only a certain number of teams in this world I would pay to watch to see beside Newcastle and Liverpool are by far on the top of the list right now. The quality of their football is truly a joy to watch and you can just see the smile on their faces in the form of their attacking prowess of Salah, Firmino and Mane skipping past helpless defenders.
Liverpool thumped West Ham United 4-1 at the weekend and Mo Salah has now been directly involved in 31 Premier League goals this season (23 goals, 8 assists), more than any other player and in my opinion has been the best signing for any club in the league in the past few years.
Liverpool are now unbeaten in 16 matches at home in the league – hitting excellent form at the right time of the season and I can’t see any team stopping their flamboyant performances. I think it’s fair to say that the Reds are looking on course to finish as ‘the best of the rest’.
Other results include Troy Deeney’s fine late finish to light up a dismal afternoon at Vicarage Road and give Watford a win against Everton that moved them further clear of the Premier League relegation zone. Also, Tottenham striker Harry Kane saying how even he had surprised himself with how quickly he had matched last season’s goal tally, after his late winner at relegation-threatened Crystal Palace. And finally, Glenn Murray scoring twice to help Brighton & Hove Albion to a comfortable 4-1 win as they eased their relegation worries – and increased Swansea’s.
But seriously, can someone please explain to me as to how you can beat a star studded line-up including players such as Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba and then in the next match concede to a Dan Gosling late equaliser.
Newcastle were incredible in the first half proving why they should 100% stay in the Premier League with Dwight Gayle producing an outstanding performance by grabbing a brace in the first half.
But then it just went completely downhill with Newcastle failure Dan Gosling deciding to actually play football for once and scoring an 89th-minute equaliser as Bournemouth came back from 2-0 down to draw.
Yes, Newcastle played very well for most of the game but they missed an abundance of gilt-edged chances to kill the game off. To be so close to victory and see it unfairly snatched away from your hands, is truly heart-breaking.
But whether I like it or not, that’s football and I wouldn’t change it for the world.