It was fair to say that Romelu Lukaku did not have the best of games against Liverpool as Manchester United settled for a bore draw, but he was far from the only player to under-perform in what was a pretty dire match.
Gary Neville was not at all impressed with the United striker, and the following two assessments made the headlines over the weekend:
– ‘Distracted throughout’
– ‘No influence on the match’
Safe to say Neville’s criticism won’t keep Lukaku up at night https://t.co/KQR9jptv6H
— James Robson (@JamesRobsonMEN) October 15, 2017
Stats highlighting the Belgian’s lack of production against Liverpool and other ‘big teams’ were doing the rounds:
5 – Romelu Lukaku has failed to land a shot on target in five of his last seven games against Liverpool. Shepherded.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 12, 2017
Goals vs Premier League ‘big six’ since start of 2014/15 season.
— James Sharpe (@TheSharpeEnd) October 14, 2017
Lukaku has now responded, perfectly understandably, after Neville’s comments made waves in the media:
“I don’t think too much about it. I just move on. I know expectations are really high but that is something I relish.
“When I was at Everton we have a different mindset going into games. Sometimes it was difficult against some teams when you play not to win and you don’t really create chances. Now I am in a team who want to win against big teams so I think the situation will change.
“I don’t put pressure on myself. The biggest pressure for me came in the European Super Cup against Real Madrid (in August) as that was the game when everyone was looking at me thinking, ‘Will he do it?’
“That game (in which he scored in a 2-1 defeat) freed me from everything. People will say this and that but I am in a situation where the team is performing really well even though there is a lot of work to do.
“The biggest strength is knowing you are going to score and knowing you are going to miss. A lot of strikers miss bigger chances than me but with me it is always, ‘Rom did this, Rom did that’.
“That is the standard I’ve set myself. It is something that happens in football and I am relaxed about it.”
If anything, Le Buzz feels that Lukaku was barely afforded the option of performing well, such was Jose Mourinho’s tactical approach to the game.
It was, after all, a day in which ONLY David De Gea played well…