Jose Mourinho defends Romelu Lukaku as goalless run stretches to seven games

by Harry Robinson

Jose Mourinho defended Romelu Lukaku after the Belgian’s run without a goal stretched to seven games at the weekend.

The 24-year-old started his Manchester United career in stunning fashion after his £75m summer move from Everton, netting 11 times in his first 10 games.

Returning to his former-club Chelsea, Lukaku couldn’t find the net for the seventh consecutive game as the Reds succumbed to the Premier League champions, losing 1-0 on Sunday afternoon.

“Lukaku isn’t a concern,” Mourinho assured reporters after the match.

“He gave everything like he always gives, when players do that for me, that’s the important thing.”

Lukaku’s summer move was somewhat surprising, with United more heavily linked to Alvaro Morata, the Spanish striker who then joined Chelsea for a similar fee. He was the man of the moment on Sunday, scoring a wonderful header in the second half.

Mourinho has consistently defended Lukaku throughout his goalscoring drought, praising the Belgian’s contributions. He assisted Anthony Martial for the Frenchman’s winner against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.

But he does need to get back to scoring ways urgently, and will likely be helped by the return of midfielder Paul Pogba whose absence has been of great detriment to United.

He was certainly up for the game on Sunday at Stamford Bridge, with the right attitude and intensity to his game. Yet he was provided hardly any chances by the players behind him.

United’s midfield, most particularly Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who has been woeful in recent weeks, must give Lukaku better service if he is going to get back to the form he showed at the start of the season.

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