Champions LeagueFour goals in four games. Three decisive goals. Reverse perception. London eats out of ‘Big Rom’. Chelsea don’t even need to play well to win. His killer is doing his job. Chelsea-Zenit: 1-0.
Romelu Lukaku is the type who swings open a door with a big poke. Have seen them at West Bromwich Albion, where he scored 2 goals in his first four matches. Experienced them at Everton and Manchester United where he came in with four goals in his first four matches. They have been able to see at Inter, where he scored a two in four after his million transfer.
Against Zenit, a difficult opponent to play, Lukaku took time to grow in the match. His first half was one to forget. Even with the Champions League winner, a striker sometimes lives on crumbs. The runs were often good. The service was less. The ‘Blues’ continued that line from last weekend. We had to wait for that one perfect ball.
César Azpilicueta painted it on his head. Fifteen minutes before the end, Lukaku nodded the winner against the ropes. He threw a primal scream after it, coach Thomas Tuchel clenched his fist. Chelsea bought a life insurance policy for 115 million euros. Chelsea don’t even need to play well to win. For the third time in four games, the man who scored the decisive goal is called ‘Big Rom’. Loudest-singing player on Stamford Bridge.
It has also not escaped the notice of the most critical analysts. Ex-Man United defender Rio Ferdinand joins the believers’ camp – in Lukaku’s United days he wasn’t quite convinced. “I recently spoke to him,” said Ferdinand. “I felt the hunger with him. If I have to speak of Lukaku now – I don’t care. He is one of the best number nines in the world. A fact. We don’t even need to discuss that anymore. We’re talking about Harry Kane, Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Erling Haaland. Lukaku is now dancing with them. If you go to Serie A, where Inter lead to the title, then you belong to the circle.”
In stoppage time, Lukaku wasted the chance to make a second one. He decided, a little selfishly, through a defender in the billboards. Strikers continue to strike. The public turned a blind eye to it. As he bit his disillusionment, they turned on his song.
Still in Chelsea’s group, Juventus easily won against Malmö. Alex Sandro, Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata scored for the ‘Old Lady’. In group G there were no winners. Sevilla and FC Salzburg already drew 1-1 in the evening and Lille and Wolfsburg kept it at 0-0, after a goal by Jonathan David was rejected shortly after the break. At Wolfsburg, Koen Casteels stood between the posts, Dodi Lukebakio and Sebastiaan Bornauw came in after the hour. The 20-year-old Belgian Amadou Onana was allowed to fill in for Lille in the lock.
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