Romelu Lukaku and Manchester United up and running in some style

Romelu Lukaku and Manchester United up and running in some style
From ESPN - August 13, 2017

MANCHESTER -- Three quick points on Manchester United 4-0 West Ham at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

1. United and Lukaku off to a flier

Manchester United won their opening league game of last season, too, a 3-1 victory at Bournemouth. But West Ham at home is significant because they were one of the teams who got a point at Old Trafford.

The 10 home league draws cost United 20 points and they eventually finished 24 behind champions Chelsea. That will have to change if they are going to challenge for the title.

The key issue behind that disappointing home record was a lack of goals. A lot of the responsibility will fall on Romelu Lukaku, and the Belgian must have been delighted to see West Ham first up.

Lukaku likes playing West Ham, and before the game had bagged nine goals in his last 10 games against them for Everton.

It took him 32 minutes at Old Trafford to add another. His first Premier League goal following a 75 million move from Goodison Park owed much to Nemanja Matic winning the ball back in midfield and Marcus Rashford's run and pass.

But Lukaku will have felt a mixture of joy and relief when his shot smashed in off the inside of the post. He got one against Real Madrid in the Super Cup on Tuesday but he has been bought to do it in the Premier League. It's the main reason he got the nod over Alvaro Morata, who scored on his Chelsea Premier League debut on Saturday following his move from Real Madrid.

Lukaku's second came after 52 minutes, heading in Henrikh Mkhitaryan's clipped free-kick. Nine career goals in 12 games against West Ham was suddenly 11 in 13. He could not have asked for a better start.

With the points wrapped up, Anthony Martial came on in the second half to slot in a third goal two minutes from time. It was a timely reminder to Tottenham that United are probably not going to accept 25 million for the Frenchman.

There was still time for Martial to add an assist, laying the ball to Paul Pogba to smash in a fourth from 20 yards.

2. Matic the difference for Mourinho

Matic might not be as glamorous a signing as a new centre forward but he is already having a big impact.

Despite training alone at Chelsea for most the summer, the Serbian was impressive on his debut against Sampdoria in Dublin and again against Real Madrid in the Super Cup.

Against West Ham, he showed just why Mourinho was happy to splash 35 million on a 29-year-old. United had not created a clear chance before Matic rushed out of midfield to clatter into Pedro Obiang. The ball fell to Rashford and 20 seconds later Lukaku was wheeling away celebrating his goal. It was a lightning quick counterattack. But it would not have happened without Matic.


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