Everyone is talking about how we need to sign Falcao from Atletico to bolster our strike force but Romelu Lukaku is making a case for himself as being part of the answer to our striking options. West Brom, where Lukaku is on a season long loan, won again today with Lukaku almost single handedly leading them to a 2-1 victory over Sunderland which was his team’s first win at the Hawthorns since December. Lukaku now has 12 goals on the season and he seems to be showing the powers-that-be at the Bridge just what they can expect if they bring him back into the first team squad next season.
West Brom went ahead when Lukaku scored from the spot after Sunderland’s Craig Gardner was penalised for handling Ridgewell’s cross after 34 minutes. The fact that Lukaku took the penalty shows the faith that manager Steve Clarke and the team have in the Belgian striker and Lukaku illustrated his cool temperament making no mistake as he calmly placed it past Mignolet in the Sunderland goal for West Brom’s first goal.
Lukaku was on the ball a lot during the game, with many good lay-offs and nice touches as well as supplying crosses plus he had a game-high six chances on goal with two of them being successful. He ran tirelessly throughout and was a constant thorn in Sunderland’s side with his excellent hold up play constantly providing an outlet for his team as they moved from defense to attack.
Lukaku’s second goal, which turned out to be the winner, came from his pure persistence and unwillingness to give up on things. The striker chased after another seemingly lost cause and forced Titus Bramble into a mistake. The Sunderland centre half underhit his backpass and keeper Mignolet raced out to the edge of the area but was beaten when his attempted clearance rebounded of the unrelenting Lukaku into the bottom corner of the net.
Clarke substituted the powerhouse Belgian forward with 3 minutes left so that he could be acknowledged by the crowd for his man of the match performance where he was clearly the best player on the pitch. The Baggies faithful gave him a rousing ovation letting him know how much they appreciated his efforts which was in stark contrast to the boos which they then showered on Peter Odemwingie who replaced him. The only slight negative for Lukaku was the yellow card he received from Referee East for unsporting behaviour for his celebration after scoring his second goal where he removed his shirt.
As I have said before Lukaku is developing into a fine player and is looking more and more like Didier Drogba with every appearance. Surely he must be forgiven for his early season outburst which came from his frustration at his lack of opportunities with the Blues first team. So he must find his way back into the good books at Stamford Bridge and with him in the squad alongside a fit Demba Ba and then add the sensational Falcao and even a decent Fernando Torres and all of a sudden we have a super dynamic strike force with all the options to compete with and most likely surpass any of our rivals.