It’s fair to say Romelu Lukaku didn’t have the greatest afternoon against Manchester City on Sunday.
The Belgian striker was signed for £75 million to make a difference in matches like this. Unfortunately, though, the only difference he made benefited the opposition.
Lukaku played a role in both of City’s goals during their 2-1 victory, while he also missed a glorious chance to equalise late on.
As he headed into the match against Bournemouth on Wednesday night, Lukaku had scored just twice in 14 matches for United. It’s no wonder that some United supporters were calling on Zlatan Ibrahimovic to be given his first start since returning from his knee injury.
But it was Lukaku who was given a starting place once again against the Cherries – and he answered his critics in perfect fashion.
After the visitors had made a good start to the match, Lukaku opened the scoring in the 25th-minute with a fine header from a Juan Mata cross.
But if you thought he would celebrate passionately in response to his difficult few days, you’re very wrong.
In fact, he did the exact opposite.
Lukaku looked annoyed after finding the back of the net and refused to celebrate.
Watch: Lukaku’s celebration
Take a look:
⚽️ Premier League: Manchester United vs Bournemouth | Romelu Lukaku (GOAL) 25' pic.twitter.com/5PrERsFdCO
— CY (@CY_03_) December 13, 2017
I feel sorry for the guy (Lukaku). No celebration
— Nati Ananti (@McNati_) December 13, 2017
And this is how United fans reacted – as they didn’t quite know what to make of it:
That's the most depressing celebration you will ever see. #Lukaku
— Kelvin Eteng (@KelvinEteng) December 13, 2017
Boy did Romelu Lukaku need that. Very restrained with his celebration. Great cross from Mata and really good header. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) December 13, 2017
United lead. First real chance from a lovely clipped cross from Mata and headed in by Lukaku. Barely any celebration. Doesn't look that happy. Good finish, though.
— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonESPN) December 13, 2017
Lukaku. No celebration 👍😃
— Labile (@originalobed) December 13, 2017
Lukaku was actually reported to be heavily involved in the ugly clashes between Man Utd and Man City after the match on Sunday. It was something that Jose Mourinho categorically denied, while he also defended his form during a press conference.
“You know, accuse? Prove? Show evidence and punish him,” Mourinho said. “I know [my players behaved]. I am not confident. I know.”
“No I am not,” Mourinho replied when he was asked if he was concerned by Lukaku’s form. “I am very happy with Lukaku.”
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