Romelu Lukaku returned to goalscoring form on Wednesday night, scoring twice in Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Crystal Palace. Despite missing a plethora of first-team stars due to injury, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men made light work of the Eagles at Selhurst Park and a big reason for that was the return to form of the £75million striker, who notched his ninth and 10th Premier League goals of the campaign.
The Belgian, operating as the focal point in a 4-3-3 formation bagged in either half, found the net for the first time in nine games, much to the delight of his manager. With Marcus Rashford having emerged as United’s No.1 choice through the middle under Solskjaer, Lukaku’s opportunities centrally have been limited.
Indeed, for the most part under the caretaker boss, he has been used only in a strike partnership, but often playing with the duo asked to do extra work in wide areas, so United aren’t overloaded down the flanks. At Selhurst Park, Lukaku was operating exclusively as a No.9 in a 4-3-3 formation and Solskjaer reckons that was a major reason for his brace.
“You hit the nail on the head,” Solskjaer said. “He was through the middle today. We created chances for him, he put them away. He’s done loads of running up and down the line, right wing, left wing, because he’s had a different role because of Rashy’s form. Today, he got a chance up front and could have got another one as well.”
“Very pleased for Rom. He’s a quality finisher. He’s a professional boy, a good boy, great to have in and around the place. He’s always happy, always working on his finishing and he’s played more than you think, but he’s played wide right, wide left, it’s Rashy’s form that’s moved him out there and now with Rashy’s injury he grabbed the chance.”
The away end was bouncing at the final whistle, their chant gets louder with every big result. It is becoming almost inevitable that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will get the job and now it is surely a question of when rather than if after an eighth straight away win. They sing “Ole’s at the wheel” and the Manchester United fans want him to stay there because he has brought back the pride, style and swagger to this great club.
In fact, Solskjaer is so good that he even got Romelu Lukaku scoring again as the United No9 grabbed his first goals in ten games. That is just typical of the belief and confidence that Solskjaer has brought back to the United line-up and, more than anything else, they look as if they are having fun again.