Manchester United’s winless run is now at four straight games. The Red Devils failed to breakdown Valencia’s defence in the Champions League on Tuesday night as the match ended nil-nil. Manchester United created 18 shots with four on target during the 90-minute contest. Striker Romelu Lukaku tallied two of those shots on target, but could not find the back of the net.
Romelu Lukaku continues to struggle in big matches. His goals record against the Premier League’s non-top six teams is strong, but when facing top rivals and European foes, Lukaku leaves supporters and manager Jose Mourinho wanting more.
Stats that prove Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku fails to score in big matches
Lukaku has scored 31 goals in 61 matches in all competitions for Manchester United. Twenty of those strikes have come in the Premier League. Yet, dissecting which teams those goals have come against shows some interesting characteristics.
During the 2017-18 Premier League season, Lukaku tallied 16 goals in 34 games. Lukaku scored just one goal against top six finishers during his first season at Old Trafford, however. That goal came in February against Chelsea. The Red Devils won 2-1 that day.
Lukaku managed a goal in the Red Devils’ Champions League round of 16 tie with Sevilla. However, Mourinho’s team were eliminated at that stage by the Spanish team. Lukaku’s goal came after Manchester United were down 2-0, and the consolation strike meant little.
The Belgian failed to score in other big matches against direct rivals. Yet, Mourinho’s team finished second to Manchester City.
This season, Lukaku has struck four goals in 10 matches. All four goals have come in the Premier League. The Belgians goals have been scored against Brighton, two against Burnley, and Watford.
Five matches have now passed without a goal from Lukaku in all competitions. Four of those five matches have gone by without wins.
Why hasn’t Romelu Lukaku been dropped yet? He’s been absolutely awful recently! #MUFC
— Manchester United (@MUFCScoop) October 2, 2018
Mourinho has taken a lot of flack for the Red Devils’ performances, but there is an argument that the £75 million striker hasn’t lived up to the hype in big matches. He lacks confidence at the moment and looks short of fitness.
The good news for Manchester United supporters is Lukaku will face Newcastle United at the weekend. The Belgian has six career goals in nine matches against the Magpies.
Jesse Lingard hasn’t scored since February. Alexis Sánchez has three goals to his name since arriving in January. Romelu Lukaku lacks all sorts of confidence. Marcus Rashford is hit and miss. And Anthony Martial is yet to be trusted. It’s not looking pretty.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) October 3, 2018
Lukaku’s movement and play against Valencia should worry supporters. Indeed, Paul Pogba’s on-pitch anger toward the striker should too. Mourinho may freshen up his side with Lukaku on the bench at the weekend. However, Manchester United do not have an adequate replacement for their No. 9 on the bench.
Should Romelu Lukaku be benched by Jose Mourinho?