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Romelu Lukaku

Lukaku's miserable record against Liverpool: Man Utd striker fails to snap sorry sequence

18:55 SAST 2017/10/14
Romelu Lukaku Manchester United
The Belgian forward has impressed since joining the Red Devils for £75 million, but endured another afternoon to forget in his latest visit to Anfield

Romelu Lukaku had mustered 11 goals in 10 appearances for Manchester United prior to taking in his biggest test to date.

Having made a seamless transition from Merseyside to Manchester following a £75 million summer transfer from Everton, the Belgium international was back in familiar surroundings this weekend.

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He will have to wait until New Year’s Day before taking in a first visit to Goodison Park as a United player, but the Red Devils were across Stanley Park at Anfield on Saturday.

His recent form suggested that he was capable of being a serious thorn in Jurgen Klopp’s side, even when taking into account an ankle problem nursed back to health during the international break.

Lukaku’s record against the Reds is not the best, though, and he endured another afternoon to forget as he failed to offer further justification of his sizeable transfer fee.

The 24-year-old has now gone nine games against Liverpool without being on the winning side – although that cannot be considered entirely his fault.

He has met the Reds on 14 occasions, with those outings spread between Chelsea, West Brom, Everton and United.

His first appearance came as part of a makeshift League Cup side while at Stamford Bridge.

Another top-flight appearance for the Blues followed before helping the Baggies to a Premier League double in the 2012-13 campaign.

Lukaku netted in both of those fixtures, before bagging a brace in his first Merseyside derby on November 23, 2013.

Even those efforts were not enough to secure a win, with his last taste of victory coming during his time with West Brom on February 11, 2013.

A 2-0 success that day also represents the only time to date in which Lukaku has found the back of the net at Anfield.

So, after that bright start, which delivered four goals in six games across all competitions (four in four in the Premier League), the burly frontman has endured something of a barren run against the Reds.

In his last eight meetings with Liverpool, Lukaku has found the target just once – on October 4, 2015.

In truth, he has barely looked like improving that sorry sequence, with too many of those outings seeing him make minimal impact.

As a man who makes a living from beating opposition goalkeepers, Lukaku has failed to muster an effort on target in five of the aforementioned eight fixtures – and only one on Saturday as he spurned a rare clear-cut opportunity.

Lukaku’s record against ‘big six sides’ has also been scrutinised since he became the subject of interest from the best teams in the business.

Only 15 of the 85 Premier League goals he managed for West Brom and Everton came against opponents which fall into that bracket.

Even this season, having scored in 12 of his last 14 games for club and country, the calibre of those he has faced has been called into question.

Aside from a consolation effort against Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup, Lukaku has netted against West Ham, Swansea, Gibraltar, Greece, Stoke, Basel, Everton, Southampton, CSKA Moscow, Crystal Palace and Cyprus.

He can, of course, counter that argument by pointing out that he can only produce the goods against those put in front of him, while he undoubtedly requires better service and more attacking intent from United than they mustered at Anfield if he is to truly thrive on the grandest of stages.