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Man United 4-0 West Ham: Romelu Lukaku starts £75m payback

by 13/08/2017 18:53:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • Romelu Lukaku broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute with a fierce shot which ricocheted off the post and in
  • The Belgian star added a second early in the second-half after heading home Henrikh Mkhitaryan's free-kick 
  • Anthony Martial rounded off an impressive team performance with a late goal after coming on for Rashford
  • Paul Pogba's goal made sure Manchester United finished top of the Premier League table with the fourth goal
  • Manchester United v West Ham - AS IT HAPPENED: Follow events as they unfolded in Sportsmail's LIVE blog 

By Martin Samuel for the Daily Mail

Published: 12:50 EDT, 13 August 2017 | Updated: 18:53 EDT, 13 August 2017

Can he play you every week? For, let's face it, if Romelu Lukaku could, Manchester United would be racing certainties to win the league.

In his last 11 games against West Ham, this is the 10th match in which Lukaku has scored.

Lukaku, and Manchester United, were in control from first to last and were not in the least flattered by the biggest win of the Premier League's opening round of fixtures. It would have been more had United taken more first-half chances, Marcus Rashford not hit a post and Joe Hart not made a couple of decent saves. 

Romelu Lukaku raises his arms aloft in front of the Old Trafford stands as Paul Pogba runs to celebrate with his new team-mate
Romelu Lukaku raises his arms aloft in front of the Old Trafford stands as Paul Pogba runs to celebrate with his new team-mate

Romelu Lukaku raises his arms aloft in front of the Old Trafford stands as Paul Pogba runs to celebrate with his new team-mate

Lukaku fended off West Ham defender Winston Reid before smashing the ball past on-loan goalkeeper Joe Hart for the opener
Lukaku fended off West Ham defender Winston Reid before smashing the ball past on-loan goalkeeper Joe Hart for the opener

Lukaku fended off West Ham defender Winston Reid before smashing the ball past on-loan goalkeeper Joe Hart for the opener

Lukaku doubled his and Manchester United's tally after meeting Henrikh Mkhitaryan's free-kick with his head
Lukaku doubled his and Manchester United's tally after meeting Henrikh Mkhitaryan's free-kick with his head

Lukaku doubled his and Manchester United's tally after meeting Henrikh Mkhitaryan's free-kick with his head

Anthony Martial made the most of his late cameo after coming on for Marcus Rashford as he finished off a fine team move 
Anthony Martial made the most of his late cameo after coming on for Marcus Rashford as he finished off a fine team move 

Anthony Martial made the most of his late cameo after coming on for Marcus Rashford as he finished off a fine team move 

Pogba sends Manchester United top of the table on goal difference with a fourth strike in the 90th minute of the game
Pogba sends Manchester United top of the table on goal difference with a fourth strike in the 90th minute of the game

Pogba sends Manchester United top of the table on goal difference with a fourth strike in the 90th minute of the game

Lukaku celebrates with his new team-mate and close friend Pogba after the Frenchman adds a fourth and final goal 
Lukaku celebrates with his new team-mate and close friend Pogba after the Frenchman adds a fourth and final goal 

Lukaku celebrates with his new team-mate and close friend Pogba after the Frenchman adds a fourth and final goal 

MATCH FACTS, LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE 

MANCHESTER UNTIED: De Gea 6.5; Valencia 6.5, Jones 7, Bailly 7, Blind 6; Matic 8, Pogba 8; Rashford 7.5 (Martial 80min), Mata 6 (Fellaini 77), Mkhitaryan 7 (Lingard 88); Lukaku 8.5. Subs not used: Smalling, Romero, Herrera, Darmian.

SUBS NOT USED: Romero, Darmian, Smalling, Herrera.

GOALS: Lukaku 33, 53; Martial 87; Pogba 90

BOOKINGS: Bailly, Valencia

WEST HAM: Hart 5.5; Zabaleta 5.5, Reid 5, Ogbonna 6, Masuaku 5 (Cresswell 81); Obiang 6, Noble 6 (Rice 61, 6); Ayew 5, Fernandes 5 (Sakho 60, 6) Arnautovic 6; Hernandez 5. Subs not used: Fonte, Adrian, Collins, Byram.

SUBS NOT USED: Bryam, Collins, Fonte, Adrian. 

BOOKINGS: Zabaleta, Ogbonna

REFEREE: Martin Atkinson

ATTENDANCE:  74,928

Season at glance

  • Premier League
  • Premier League
  • Championship
  • League One
  • League Two
  • Scottish Premiership
  • Scottish Div 1
  • Scottish Div 2
  • Scottish Div 3
  • Ligue 1
  • Serie A
  • La Liga
  • Bundesliga
Marcus Rashford played in Romelu Lukaku, who shot past Joe Hart to score the opener
Marcus Rashford played in Romelu Lukaku, who shot past Joe Hart to score the opener

Marcus Rashford played in Romelu Lukaku, who shot past Joe Hart to score the opener

As for West Ham, this was a worrying start, despite the strength of the opposition. Slaven Bilic set out a team not to get beat and lost by four. Ennui or fatigue set in towards the end, too, allowing United to turn a convincing victory into an emphatic one.

West Ham were missing Michail Antonio and Cheikhou Kouyate, but that is no excuse. They are considered to have had a good summer and new striker Javier Hernandez even speculated whether he would celebrate if he scored against his old club. Maybe he should have set his sights lower. Touching the ball for instance. Deep in the first half, he'd still had fewer touches than either keeper.

West Ham held firm for 20 minutes, then United started creating better chances, after 33 minutes they went ahead, after 53 the game was over and United's last two goals simply gave the scoreline greater realism. This was a statement of intent from Jose Mourinho's team, although they will need to be judged against opponents with greater resolve. 

For much of the first half we wondered why West Ham did not commit more men forward, then it became clear. In quick succession, West Ham won free-kicks inside the United half. On both occasions, they sent men up in greater numbers than before. The first free-kick, taken by Marko Arnautovic, was cut out by United's defensive line, setting up a quick counter-attack. From the second kick, West Ham were sloppy again, and Manchester United scored.

Pedro Obiang was at fault. Dawdling, his pass was charged down by Nemanja Matic — and United were away. With Pablo Zabaleta well advanced, there was huge space on the left and United exploited it. Rashford sprinted upfield and released Lukaku ahead at precisely the right time, Matic helping with a magnificent decoy run. 

Lukaku uses the side of his left foot to guide the ball past Hart and his effort needed a deflection off the post to find the net
Lukaku uses the side of his left foot to guide the ball past Hart and his effort needed a deflection off the post to find the net

Lukaku uses the side of his left foot to guide the ball past Hart and his effort needed a deflection off the post to find the net

Lukaku turns towards his team-mates in celebration as the ball nestles in the back of the West Ham net in the first half
Lukaku turns towards his team-mates in celebration as the ball nestles in the back of the West Ham net in the first half

Lukaku turns towards his team-mates in celebration as the ball nestles in the back of the West Ham net in the first half

West Ham goalkeeper Hart stands still as he watches the ball bounce into the net after Lukaku guided it with his head
West Ham goalkeeper Hart stands still as he watches the ball bounce into the net after Lukaku guided it with his head

West Ham goalkeeper Hart stands still as he watches the ball bounce into the net after Lukaku guided it with his head

Hart screams in frustration as he sees his defence leave Lukaku unmarked and free to score Manchester United's second goal
Hart screams in frustration as he sees his defence leave Lukaku unmarked and free to score Manchester United's second goal

Hart screams in frustration as he sees his defence leave Lukaku unmarked and free to score Manchester United's second goal

Martial is congratulated by his Manchester United and France national team-mate Pogba after scoring United's third goal
Martial is congratulated by his Manchester United and France national team-mate Pogba after scoring United's third goal

Martial is congratulated by his Manchester United and France national team-mate Pogba after scoring United's third goal

Pogba dances in front of a jubilant Old Trafford crowd after capping a fine afternoon with Manchester United's fourth goal
Pogba dances in front of a jubilant Old Trafford crowd after capping a fine afternoon with Manchester United's fourth goal

Pogba dances in front of a jubilant Old Trafford crowd after capping a fine afternoon with Manchester United's fourth goal

Lukaku had only Hart to beat and finished with impressive power in front of the Stretford End, the ball cannoning off the inside of the near post, England's goalkeeper helpless.

For Lukaku's second, Zabaleta made a cynical challenge on Rashford and was booked, allowing United to deliver further punishment from the free-kick. Henrikh Mkhitaryan whipped it in from the left and Lukaku rose, inexplicably unguarded, to head the ball past Hart. It was just the start a £75million acquisition needs in front of his own fans.

Even better is the understanding Lukaku seems to have quickly developed with Rashford. When the young man was substituted with 10 minutes to go, he received a pat on the cheek from his partner, and the pair ran West Ham silly for much of the match. The locals will remember the last great nine and 19 pairing at Old Trafford: Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke.

Not that Rashford's withdrawal made any difference. On came Anthony Martial and, within minutes, he scored United's third, finishing sweetly, set up by Mkhitaryan once more. Rashford was desperately unlucky not to get on the scoresheet, too, cutting inside and striking the post with a shot after 66 minutes.  

West Ham's Edimilson Fernandes forces David de Gea into a fine save with the final kick of the first half at Old Trafford
West Ham's Edimilson Fernandes forces David de Gea into a fine save with the final kick of the first half at Old Trafford

West Ham's Edimilson Fernandes forces David de Gea into a fine save with the final kick of the first half at Old Trafford

Mkhitaryan believes he has made it 3-0 after scoring but sees his effort ruled out as assister Rashford was offside
Mkhitaryan believes he has made it 3-0 after scoring but sees his effort ruled out as assister Rashford was offside

Mkhitaryan believes he has made it 3-0 after scoring but sees his effort ruled out as assister Rashford was offside

West Ham summer signing Marko Arnautovic reacts in disdain after seeing his effort deflected onto the bar by De Gea
West Ham summer signing Marko Arnautovic reacts in disdain after seeing his effort deflected onto the bar by De Gea

West Ham summer signing Marko Arnautovic reacts in disdain after seeing his effort deflected onto the bar by De Gea

Rashford comes within inches of making it 3-0 as his fierce effort bounces off of the post and out of Hart's goalmouth
Rashford comes within inches of making it 3-0 as his fierce effort bounces off of the post and out of Hart's goalmouth

Rashford comes within inches of making it 3-0 as his fierce effort bounces off of the post and out of Hart's goalmouth

Matic tries a shot from outside the West Ham penalty box with Mark Noble and Pablo Zabaleta there to try and block it
Matic tries a shot from outside the West Ham penalty box with Mark Noble and Pablo Zabaleta there to try and block it

Matic tries a shot from outside the West Ham penalty box with Mark Noble and Pablo Zabaleta there to try and block it

Mkhitaryan, Lukaku and Blind all went close in the second half as well; Arnautovic hit the bar with a looping header for West Ham, but they were very much second best. The other huge positive for United was the performance of Matic, a £40m suicide note from Chelsea. 

Matic controlled the game in midfield, protecting the back four and releasing Pogba by his side. The Frenchman scored United's fourth, following a neat pass from Martial, his low shot curling out of the reach of Hart.

Matic seemed exactly the type of player Chelsea needed at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, and just what they have been missing at Old Trafford of late. Antonio Conte, more than anyone, will appreciate that this Manchester United team would have looked plenty good enough, even without favours. 

Juan Mata attempts to break the deadlock with a deft effort but sees his effort saved by a sprawling Hart
Juan Mata attempts to break the deadlock with a deft effort but sees his effort saved by a sprawling Hart

Juan Mata attempts to break the deadlock with a deft effort but sees his effort saved by a sprawling Hart

West Ham striker Javier Hernandez, on his return to his former club, tries to bypass Manchester United defender Eric Bailly
West Ham striker Javier Hernandez, on his return to his former club, tries to bypass Manchester United defender Eric Bailly

West Ham striker Javier Hernandez, on his return to his former club, tries to bypass Manchester United defender Eric Bailly

West Ham goalkeeper comes of his line to prevent Lukaku from sealing his hat-trick by punching the ball away from the area
West Ham goalkeeper comes of his line to prevent Lukaku from sealing his hat-trick by punching the ball away from the area

West Ham goalkeeper comes of his line to prevent Lukaku from sealing his hat-trick by punching the ball away from the area

The other huge positive for United, meanwhile, was the performance of Matic, a £40m suicide note from whichever member of Chelsea's transfer brains trust was running the show that week. 

Matic controlled the game in the heart of midfield, protecting the back four – not that West Ham offered much in the way of threat – and releasing Pogba by his side. The Frenchman scored United's fourth of the game, following a neat pass from Martial, his low shot curling out of the reach of the forlorn Hart.

Despite Lukaku's impact, Matic's was probably the man of the match performance and will only have added to the funk settling on the shoulders of Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. 

He seemed exactly the type of player they needed at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, and just what they have been missing at Old Trafford of late. And Conte, more than anyone, will appreciate that this Manchester United team would have looked plenty good enough, even without favours.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has a discussion with his Manchester United counterpart Jose Mourinho on the touchline
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has a discussion with his Manchester United counterpart Jose Mourinho on the touchline

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has a discussion with his Manchester United counterpart Jose Mourinho on the touchline

England manager Gareth Southgate watches from the Old Trafford stands with assistant coach Steve Holland
England manager Gareth Southgate watches from the Old Trafford stands with assistant coach Steve Holland

England manager Gareth Southgate watches from the Old Trafford stands with assistant coach Steve Holland

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson takes his seat in the directors' box before the match at Old Trafford
Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson takes his seat in the directors' box before the match at Old Trafford

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson takes his seat in the directors' box before the match at Old Trafford

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