Romelu Lukaku is a player who divides opinion amongst football fans across the world. While some say that he is world-class, some argue that his technical game is not good enough and he struggles against the big teams. Regardless, there is no denying that the Belgian is a prolific goalscorer.
In his first season in Italy, he managed to score 33 goals for Inter Milan in all competitions. He has a very good record of scoring goals in England as well. Romelu Lukaku played for the likes of Everton and West Brom, however, he would still manage to score goals on a consistent basis.
The other side of the story is true as well though; his record against the top teams is not very good. Some fans and pundits have also observed that he is a different player against the big teams than against weaker opposition. The Belgian has been often criticised for his poor first touch too.
In some of his forgettable big games, Romelu Lukaku's mistakes have cost his team dearly and in some cases, they have failed to win trophies as a result. On that note, let's take a look at three Luakau mistakes that cost his team big time.
#3 Romelu Lukaku's Super Cup penalty miss vs. Bayern Munich
Jose Mourinho had just returned to Stamford Bridge for his second spell. In his first official game, he faced arch-rival Pep Guardiola, who was the manager of Bayern Munich. The game was very thrilling as the Blues led the Bavarians twice, only for Pep's side to equalise and take the game to extra-time.
The shootout between the two teams was similar to the 2012 Champions League final in Munich. Bayern had scored all five of their penalties, but Chelsea responded very well by scoring thier first four. Romelu Lukaku stepped up to take Chelsea's final penalty against Manuel Neuer.
The German-made an easy save from Romelu Lukaku's weak penalty as Bayern were crowned as the winners of the European Super Cup. Though penalties can be missed by any player, the way Lukaku executed his penalty against a top goalkeeper like Neuer was surprising.
The Belgian had not taken many penalties at the top level before that. Romelu Lukaku's run-up was very small and perhaps he should have given more respect to Neuer. Lukaku intended to send him the wrong way, rather than take the safe option to rely on power to score. Ultimately, it cost Chelsea the Super Cup and Pep Guardiola got another one over on his nemesis.
#2 Romelu Lukaku hands Manchester City two derby goals
It was again Jose Mourinho who was the receiving end of Romelu Lukaku's mistakes against Pep Guardiola, as his side capitalised to win 2-1.
This time, Mourinho was managing Manchester United while Pep was managing Manchester City. The Red Devils were eight points behind City and a defeat would have potentially ended any Premier League title challenge.
City were absolutely relentless in the 2017-18 season, but things were going well for United initially. The Cityzens struggled to create meaningful chances, however, they were given a golden opportunity through a Romelu Lukaku howler.
City had a corner kick late in the first half which Kevin De Bruyne flung it inside the box. Instead of clearing it, Romelu Lukaku, under pressure from Fernandinho, landed the ball safely for David Silva. The Spaniard needed no second invitation to score past David De Gea and give City the lead. Though United did equalise a few minutes later, another horror moment by Lukaku in the second half gifted City another goal.
City were again struggling to create chances in the second half but were gifted a second. David Silva aimed a free-kick towards Fernandinho at the far post which Lukaku, in a very comfortable position, tried to clear. However, his clearance was pathetic and hit a United team-mate before the ball fell kindly to Nicolas Otamendi, who scored City's second and gave them the lead again.
To add more misery, the Belgian had a golden chance to make it 2-2 but he missed as Ederson superbly denied him. With the defeat, the Red Devils were 11 points behind City and with this game, their challenge for the title ended.
#3 Romelu Lukaku's Europa League final winner... for Sevilla
In the 2019-20 Europa League final, Sevilla managed to beat Inter Milan 3-2. However, Sevilla' winning goal wasn't scored by any of there players. Instead, it was Romelu Lukaku's own goal that was the winner for the Spanish side.
The Belgian was in sensational goalscoring form last season but unfortunately, he scored at the wrong end in the final.
Inter opened the scoring but Sevilla were 2-1 in front before the end of the first half, however, the Italians then drew level. Going by the first half, more goals were expected from both the teams, but they were struggling to create chances.
Los Nervionenses had a free-kick which was defended well, but Diego Carlos tried a spectacular effort which was probably going wide. Romelu Lukaku carelessly diverted its path goal-bound to score the own goal though. It was actually very harsh on the Belgian, but football can be a game that can be very punishing.
After that goal, Inter hardly created any chances and Sevilla defended very tightly and very compact. Lukaku's own goal was the last goal of the game as the Nerrazuri were defeated.Published 14 Sep 2020, 03:40 IST