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Romelu Lukaku scores brace on debut as Manchester United go top with win over West Ham

Lukaku scores brace on debut as United go top

13/08/2017 at 14:00Updated 13/08/2017 at 18:45

Premier League, Old Trafford - Manchester United 4 (Lukaku 33, 52, Martial 87, Pogba 90) West Ham 0

Romelu Lukaku scored a brace on his debut for Manchester United in a comfortable 4-0 win against West Ham on Sunday at Old Trafford.

Lukaku joined United over the summer for a fee that could rise to £90 million and it took him just 35 minutes to open his account for his new club.

As United broke Marcus Rashford shaped to pass across to Henrikh Mkhitaryan but he instead slipped it through to Lukaku, who slotted it past Joe Hart.

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu LukakuGetty Images

After the break the Belgian doubled United's lead as he rose highest to head home a free-kick from Mkhitaryan.

And the Armenian made it two assists for the day a few minutes from time as he played in substitute Anthony Martial with a beautiful first-time pass.

Martial made no mistake as he calmly put the ball under Hart and the England goalkeeper didn't cover himself in glory as he failed to get to a Paul Pogba effort from range as United went top of the Premier League with a comfortable four-goal victory.

TALKING POINT

Manchester United ominously good. Yes it's only the first week of the season and yes it's too early to draw conclusions but United were hugely impressive here. Much has been made of the attacking options rivals Manchester City have but with Lukaku, Pogba, Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata, Martial and Rashford, United have options across the front line. With the impressive Nemanja Matic offering a level of protection that wasn't there last season United look a lot tougher to beat. Both Manchester clubs won their opening three games last season and didn't win the league, but they'll both be a lot closer this season.

Manchester United's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku (R) vies with West Ham United's Spanish midfielder Pedro Obiang (L)

Manchester United's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku (R) vies with West Ham United's Spanish midfielder Pedro Obiang (L)Reuters

MAN OF THE MATCH

Paul Pogba (Manchester United): Matic was terrific on debut whilst Mata, Mkhitaryan and Rashford buzzed endlessly behind Lukaku, but Pogba ran the show. From clever flicks to gorgeous passes with a couple of superb tackles in-between, Pogba was everywhere today. He took so much, mostly unjust, criticism last season. Pogba looks like he could be about to make everyone eat their words this year.

PLAYER RATINGS

Manchester United: De Gea 5, Valencia 5, Bailly 6, Jones 6, Blind 6, Matic 8, Pogba 9, Mkhitaryan 8, Mata 7, Rashford 7, Lukaku 8. Subs: Fellaini 5, Martial 6, Lingard N/A

West Ham: Hart 4, Zabaleta 5, Reid 4, Ogbonna 4, Masuaku 3, Noble 4, Obiang 4, Fernandes 5, Arnautovic 5, Ayew 4, Hernandez 5. Subs: Sakho 5, Rice 5, Cresswell 5.

KEY MOMENTS

18' - HOW HAS THAT NOT GONE IN? United take a free-kick quickly and slip Mata in. Hart comes charging out and makes the save but Mata gets the ball again on the by-line. He squares it but somehow Lukaku can't score as West Ham throw bodies in his way.

33' - GOAL! MANCHESTER UNITED 1-0 LUKAKU! It's been coming and it had to be Lukaku on his debut. West Ham lose the ball with Obiang and Rashford breaks. He slips in a beautiful ball to Lukaku and the Belgian slips it past Hart at his near post. Easy as you like, wonderful from United. Problems for West Ham.

Manchester United's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring the opening goal

Manchester United's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring the opening goalGetty Images

53' - GOAL! MANCHESTER UNITED 2-0 WEST HAM LUKAKU! And from the free-kick from Mkhitaryan Lukaku nods it home. It is so, so, so easy. Masuaku and Reid's defending is laughable. Remember, there are some people who actually though Lukaku was a bad buy...

87' - GOAL! MANCHESTER UNITED 3-0 WEST HAM MARTIAL! So, so easy. Mkhitaryan plays a beautiful first-time pass through to Martial and the Frenchman easily slots the ball under Hart.

90' - GOAL! MANCHESTER UNITED 4-0 WEST HAM POGBA! Great from Pogba, terrible from Hart. He bursts past the West Ham midfield and unleashes a shot from distance. Hart's all over the place and can't get to it.

KEY STATS

  • Paul Pogba has now scored 34 league goals since 2012/13; 16 of them have come from outside the box.
  • Man Utd have now won more opening game fixtures (17) than any other side in Premier League history.
  • Anthony Martial has now been directly involved in more Premier League goals (27) since 2015/16 than any other Man Utd player.
  • Jose Mourinho has won nine league games against West Ham; more than he has against any other opponent in his managerial career.

THE MATCH IN A TWEET

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