Former Everton star Lukaku ruins Rooney’s United return

first_img0Shares0000Manchester United’s striker Romelu Lukaku celebrates after scoring on September 17, 2017 © AFP / Oli SCARFFMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Sep 17 – Romelu Lukaku showed little room for sentiment on Sunday scoring one and creating another as Manchester United ran out ultimately comfortable 4-0 winners over his former club Everton to ruin Wayne Rooney’s Old Trafford return.Right-back Antonio Valencia gave United an early lead with a spectacular half-volley before late goals from midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan — set up by Lukaku just before he got on the scoresheet himself — and an Anthony Martial penalty sealed the win. With United’s rivals Manchester City having clinched a dominant 6-0 victory over Watford 24 hours earlier there was an expectation from United fans for Jose Mourinho’s side to keep pace with the Premier League leaders.They are now only behind them in the table by virtue of C coming before U in the alphabet as they have identical records — Everton by contrast are in a crisis as they lost for the fourth successive match without scoring and are in the bottom three.The Red Devils, without the injured Paul Pogba, were not as fluent and free-flowing as they have been in the early part of the season and three goals in the final seven minutes flattered them a little.Rooney, United’s all-time leading goalscorer, was afforded a generous reception by the United fans and carried Everton’s main goal threat before he left to a standing ovation from the home supporters after being substituted with eight minutes left.United asserted their authority in the fourth minute as Valencia showed superb technique to score a magnificent opening goalNemanja Matic swept a cross field pass to Valencia on the corner of the penalty area and the Ecuador international, albeit afforded time and space by a flat-footed Everton defence, struck a sweet half-volley which arrowed high into the net.Rooney flickered into life midway through the first half when he sent Cuco Martina scampering down the right flank and then burst forward in search of the return ball.Martina’s low cross picked out Rooney on the edge of the penalty area but the former England captain could only strike a low effort wide of the post.United squandered an opportunity just before the half-hour mark when Juan Mata seized on Michael Keane’s misplaced pass and sent Lukaku clear but he shot wide.Koeman had demanded a reaction from his players before this contest having seen them slip to three consecutive defeats.And Everton’s confidence slowly returned as the game wore on with Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin rising to the midfield battle.Rooney’s tenacity moments after half-time saw him skip into the penalty area at the Stretford End and on to a pass from Tom Davies but David De Gea kept out the striker’s low effort with his legs.Despite Everton’s improvement United remained a threat and went close when Juan Mata curled a free-kick around the Everton wall and against the post shortly after the hour mark.United finished the contest strongly and clinically, though, as three goals after Rooney’s 82nd minute substitution saw Everton capitulate and conceded three goals.Ashley Williams carelessly gave the ball away which allowed Lukaku to slide in Henrikh Mkhitaryan who showed composure to guide the ball past Pickford.United netted their third when Lukaku, who joined United from Everton in July, capitalised on Everton’s failure to clear from a free-kick and stabbed home at the back post.Martial put the gloss on the win in injury time when he confidently sent Pickford the wrong way with a penalty after Schneiderlin was deemed to have handled.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Zidane expects Real to ‘suffer’ in Paris after first-leg win

first_img0Shares0000Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid came from behind to beat PSG 3-1 in their Champions League last 16, first leg © AFP / CHRISTOPHE SIMONMADRID, Spain, Feb 15 – Zinedine Zidane warned his Real Madrid players that they can expect to suffer in the return leg of their Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain despite seeing Cristiano Ronaldo inspire a 3-1 comeback victory on Wednesday.The reigning European champions stunned the PSG of Neymar in the last 16, first-leg showdown with two goals in the final seven minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu from Ronaldo and Marcelo. Ronaldo had earlier drawn Madrid level with his 100th Champions League goal for the club from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time, cancelling out Adrien Rabiot’s opener for the French side.“We can afford to have a bit of euphoria tonight. We have to be satisfied, and enjoy this,” said Zidane.“But there is a second leg to come where we will need to play with a lot of intensity. We know we are going to suffer.”Real had already suffered for large spells of Wednesday’s match, before PSG collapsed defensively in the closing stages, unable to adjust after Zidane sent on Marco Asensio.Striker Asensio set up the two late goals, and Zidane will take plenty of credit for the impact his substitutions had on the game just when it looked as though PSG would leave the Spanish capital with the edge in the tie.Zidane, under pressure because of Real’s indifferent domestic form, again saw the Champions League bring the best out of his team and Ronaldo.“With Ronaldo it’s difficult to always say the same thing. He has shown once again that he always turns up in the big games,” said Zidane, after the Portuguese became the first player to score 100 Champions League goals for the same club.He has scored 11 this season in Europe in just seven matches, and he won the battle of the superstars at the Bernabeu with PSG’s Neymar.“Real Madrid love the Champions League and as players we can feel that on the pitch,” Ronaldo said after collecting his man of the match prize.“Today things worked out for me, scoring two goals and helping the team win, but we know the tie is not finished yet.”– Soft penalty, say PSG –Neymar had his moments but it was a frustrating night on the whole for PSG’s Brazilian superstar in Madrid © AFP / CURTO DE LA TORREWhile Real are looking to win the European Cup for the third year running — something no club has done since Bayern Munich in 1976 — and the 13th time overall, PSG risk seeing their wait for a first Champions League crown go on.A year after they fell apart in historic fashion to lose 6-1 in Barcelona at the same stage of the competition after winning 4-0 at home, here was another late collapse on Spanish soil.Coach Unai Emery surely needs to win this tie to remain in the job, but he took big decisions that backfired.Captain Thiago Silva was left out, 21-year-old Giovani Lo Celso started in midfield and Angel Di Maria stayed on the bench even when Edinson Cavani came off in the second half.“The team played well and deserved better. We have to be optimistic and positive for the match in Paris. We still have a good chance of getting through,” claimed Emery, who has drawn once and lost 10 times in 11 visits to the Bernabeu as a coach.Emery tried to turn the focus on Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi, saying the penalty the hosts got for a Lo Celso challenge on Toni Kroos was soft. He also felt his side should have had a spot-kick for a Sergio Ramos handball.“When we play against a big team, it’s the same, always,” bemoaned PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi.“Last year against Barcelona, this year against Real Madrid. OK, Real Madrid are a big club, but that’s enough now. UEFA have to do something.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more