UNITED SPECIAL Lukaku: ‘I was born to break goals record’

Manchester Evening News - - UNITED SPECIAL - By JAMES ROB­SON james.rob­son@men-news.co.uk @james­rob­sonMEN

ANY striker will tell you it doesn’t mat­ter how they go in, as long as they go in.

And Romelu Lukaku can at­test to that af­ter end­ing his re­cent drought in Bel­gium’s 3-3 draw with Mex­ico on Fri­day and be­com­ing his coun­try’s joint all-time lead­ing scorer with 30 goals.

The United striker scored a com­edy goal in the friendly – but nei­ther he, nor Jose Mour­inho, will care if it proves the turn­ing point in his sea­son.

Lukaku went into the match on the back of a seven-game bar­ren run, which has seen United slip to eight points be­hind Pre­mier League lead­ers Manch­ester City.

It is his long­est goal­less run since go­ing 12 games with­out find­ing the back of the net for Ever­ton, span­ning the end of the 2015-16 cam­paign and the start of 2016-17.

Af­ter end­ing that spell the 24-year-old went on to en­joy his most pro­lific sea­son at Good­i­son scor­ing 27 goals and con­vinc­ing Mour­inho to make him the sec­ond most ex­pen­sive player in United’s his­tory when sign­ing him for £75m in the sum­mer.

United’s man­ager will hope his bun­dled ef­fort for Bel­gium will have the same ef­fect – and will be en­cour­aged by the fact Lukaku went on to score a sec­ond for his coun­try.

It saw him equal the Bel­gium records of Paul Van Himst and Bernard Voorhoof.

But his first was a clas­sic case of ‘They all count.’

Fail­ing to con­trol Dries Mertens’ cross from the right, Lukaku watched as the ball bounced off his knee from six yards and bob­bled into the corner as he tried to catch up with it.

His sec­ond was a con­sid­er­ably more com­posed ef­fort.

Mertens again the provider with a low cross, which Lukuku deftly lifted over Guillermo Ochoa. “I was born for this,” he stated after­wards - sug­gest­ing his mis­er­able run at club level had done noth­ing to dent his con­fi­dence. “I’m glad I’ve matched the record. I al­ways knew I’d do it. “I want to break the record be­fore 2018.” With Bel­gium fac­ing Ja­pan on Tues­day, Lukaku has de­clared his in­ten­tion to be in­volved in his coun­try’s fi­nal in­ter­na­tional of the year. And rather than want­ing Roberto Martinez to rest the limbs of United’s lead­ing scorer, Mour­inho may well be pleased to see Lukaku start again, if it means he re­turns to Old Traf­ford on the back of a scor­ing run for his coun­try. United face New­cas­tle on Satur­day with Mour­inho iden­ti­fy­ing De­cem­ber as a piv­otal month if his side are to chase down Pep Guardi­ola’s City. A rein­vig­o­rated Lukaku will be key to that.

Jose Mour­inho will be happy to see Lukaku rein­vig­o­rated Romelu Lukaku

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