Sunday 22 July 2018

Romelu Lukaku v Javier Hernandez focus

Romelu Lukaku scored twice on his Premier League debut for Manchester United
Romelu Lukaku scored twice on his Premier League debut for Manchester United

Manchester United's opening Premier League game of the season against West Ham presented an intriguing match-up of two strikers. Record signing Romelu Lukaku led the United attack while a former Old Trafford favourite in Javier Hernandez featured for the Hammers.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at how the two players fared.


Lukaku had a quiet start but confidence oozed from him and there seemed no stopping him after opening the scoring. His movement was excellent and the opportunities soon started to come with regularity. He could easily have had a hat-trick. By contrast, Hernandez was starved of decent service throughout and will be hoping West Ham get a lot better than this.


Lukaku took his first two chances with aplomb. He smashed home his first goal off the post and then powerfully headed his second after taking up a good position. He was denied a hat-trick by a brilliant block from Pablo Zabaleta and was wasteful only with one effort that flew over the bar. Hernandez simply struggled to get into the game and was not a threat in front of goal.


United's set-up played to Lukaku's strengths and he slotted into the system well. He had quiet periods but he took up good positions off the ball and held up play to bring others into the game when necessary. Hernandez began to come into the game more in the second half by dropping deep to take up possession. It was to little avail, however, as West Ham never threatened to get back into the contest.


These are early days but the signs are already positive for Lukaku and United. Different teams will present different challenges but the way Lukaku has slotted in and looked a threat from the off suggests he could enjoy a very fruitful United career. Hernandez will have to write this day off. He has proved his quality in the past and expect his opportunities to come.

Press Association

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