A horrendous showing in the Manchester derby for Romelu Lukaku was seized upon by fans and pundits alike.
The Belgian has struggled for goals in recent months, scoring just two goals in his last 14 appearances for Manchester United, but he has enabled his teammates to score crucial goals in wins against Watford and Tottenham Hotspur.
His inability to score in big games against Liverpool and Chelsea has frustrated the United faithful, but that, coupled with his overall performance today, has attracted widespread scorn.
His role in giving the ball away in the build-up to both Manchester City goals was particularly highlighted.
Lukaku trying to defend. pic.twitter.com/OyW7B6rfB3
— Coral (@Coral) December 10, 2017
Romelu Lukaku has had 2 touches in the Penalty area and both of them have resulted in 2 goals for Manchester City.
You can't make this stuff up.
— Danny Welbeck (@WelBeast) December 10, 2017
Contributions in big games:
Lacazette: 2 goals against Manchester United and City
Morata: 1 goal against Manchester United
Lukaku: 2 assists against Manchester United.
Big game players.
— DADDY THE FATHER (@SemilooreAkoni) December 10, 2017
Again left isolated in United’s attacking third, a golden chance came his way at 2-1 down via an Anthony Martial pass in the 85th minute. While City goalkeeper Ederson was rightly praised for a superb double save, some felt that it was a chance that someone bought for £75m should put away.
Thought Lukaku was excellent in midweek but he's bottled it today. The 'great Ederson save' was straight at him and his touch and composure has been shocking. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) December 10, 2017
I’ve defended him alot but Romelu Lukaku’s performance today is inexcusable. Horrific defending for both goals and simply has to bury the chance against Ederson. Fine margians in which titles are won and lost.
— Harry (@Bruxinho33) December 10, 2017
Ederson's class and credit for the save (especially 2nd) but the 'wow' should be reserved for Lukaku, £90m on your strong foot you shouldn't be letting the keeper be relevant really, didn't need power back post was open
— Harry Hesketh (@HashtagHarry__) December 10, 2017
Keeper just stood tall. Lukaku's shot is literally right at him. 3 yards out, sorry.. I don't care if you cost £80m or £80k, you have to be scoring that.
— Arsène's Son (@hughwizzy) December 10, 2017
United now have a mountain to climb in order to overcome the now-eleven point deficit to Man City.
In order to do that, and to compete for the Champions League in the new year, the 24-year-old needs to put today behind him and attempt to reignite the goalscoring form that saw him score eleven goals prior to October.
Lukaku needs the Mkhitaryan treatment. Start Martial or Zlatan up front next few games.
— SCHOLES (@iamscholes) December 10, 2017
Romelu Lukaku had his chances today and messed all of them up. Not what you expect from a £75m striker. José Mourinho needs to drop him now. Not good enough.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) December 10, 2017
Everyone knows Lukaku had a mare. He himself will know he did. He has glaring limitations as a player. Today, all too readily exposed. But for most of game he was chasing shadows & it was against league’s best side. Overall he’s been decent for #MUFC so far. No need to hammer him
— Jonathan Shrager (@JonathanShrager) December 10, 2017
1) Not mourinhos Fault for constantly losing the ball.
2) we had the right line up to cause city problems
3) city weren’t actually great.
4) Lukaku deserves criticism today, Higuain/Lewa/Kane/Morata/Icardi Finish that chance easily.
5) The difference Pogba makes…
— All For United (@allforunited) December 10, 2017