Ander Herrera has hailed Romelu Lukaku’s contribution in the second half of Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Derby County on Friday night.
The Belgian, who missed the clash with Everton on Monday with a head injury, came on at half time with the hosts struggling to break Derby down.
And he made a notable impact, using his physical prowess to keep the visitors pinned back before forging a superb goal out of nothing to kill the game after 90 minutes.
Speaking to MUTV after the game, Herrera was quick to point out how Lukaku helped change the game.
“He played very well,” he said. “He held the ball up for us, he gave us that target man in the second half, he played amazing. The second goal was incredible, also the assist of Anthony [Martial] was very good.”
“I think we cannot say just two or three names today, the whole team played amazingly. We were very good on the pitch, moving the ball, everyone receiving the ball – running, shooting, crossing. I think we did everything good. Of course you always have things to improve on but almost everything was good.”
Lukaku demonstrated on Friday that playing as a No.9 isn’t necessarily always just a series of explosive interventions but instead a kind of war of attrition – a battle of wit, endurance and skill with your defensive opponents.
And the 24-year-old ran out as a clear winner against the Championship side, keeping them entrenched in their own third, bringing others – most notably Jesse Lingard – into the game and, as if to prove his point, rampaging through the entire back four before killing the tie with his 16th goal of the campaign.