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Analysing Romelu Lukaku's Performance vs. Liverpool

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23:  Romelu Lukaku of Everton celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on November 23, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured Columnist IVDecember 16, 2016

Saturday morning's Merseyside derby ended up being the Premier League's finest match yet this season, and no star shone brighter than Everton's Romelu Lukaku, whose crucial brace helped the Toffees earn a 3-3 draw against Liverpool.

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It was the sort of performance that will leave Chelsea fans (once again) befuddled as to why he was allowed to leave on loan, and Everton fans eternally grateful he was.

Lukaku's first goal was a poacher's delight. A scramble around the goal eventually saw the ball land at his feet. He calmly slotted a low, fizzing blast into the corner past an outstretched Simon Mignolet (who was brilliant on the day) to equalize the game at two goals apiece.

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But his second goal was a true thing of beauty and the sort of goal you expect to see from an imposing physical force at No. 9 like Lukaku

Off the corner, the Belgian forward rose above two Liverpool defenders and headed a screamer into the top left corner, beating Daniel Sturridge who was stationed at that post and giving Everton a 3-2 lead with left than 20 minutes to go. 

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23:  Romelu Lukaku of Everton celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on November 23, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livese
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

His goals were what you'd expect from a forward like Lukaku, who now has seven goals in eight Premier League appearances for the Toffees. 

His performance wasn't perfect, of course. While Lukaku is a force to be reckoned with in the box and capably uses his strong frame to hold up play for the midfield, when he is tasked when taking on a creative role or facilitating for his teammates he sometimes struggles.

On several occasions on Saturday, a pass went wayward or an opportunity was left on the table when he made the wrong choice on the break. A No. 10 he is not. 

But that's nitpicking. WhoScored.com justifiably gave him a 9.1 match rating, naming him Man of the Match. In a game with so many strong performances (Luis Suarez's free kick goal was sublime and he posed a constant threat throughout, while Steven Gerrard provided two vintage assists on free kicks), Lukaku literally and figuratively rose above the rest.

Only second-half substitution Daniel Sturridge and his late goal could keep Lukaku's brace from earning Everton three points. In a game to remember, Lukaku's performance was just as memorable.

 

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