EPL: Lukaku shines as United beat Chelsea


Romelu Lukaku scored one and assisted another as Manchester United beat Chelsea 2-1 in a crucial clash in the top-four race at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The Belgian proved that he can be a big-game player by cancelling out Willian’s first-half opener within seven minutes, and later providing Jesse Lingard with the winning goal.
With the result, United regain second place from Liverpool and open up a six-point gap back to Chelsea in fifth.
After a quick start to the game, both teams retreated and were content to sit back and try to hit each other on the counter-attack, which limited the amount of goalmouth action before the half-hour mark.
That approach nearly worked for United when Anthony Martial broke away down the left and picked out the run of Sanchez, who could have shot first time but subsequently poked tamely at Thibaut Courtois.
Chelsea showed more conviction when they had their opportunity, with Willian starting the break on the edge of his own box and finishing it with a thumping shot through De Gea at his near post on 32 minutes.
Lukaku quickly levelled the scores after United had constructed the best move of the match, passing the ball between Sanchez and Martial in a tight area before the Belgian swept home from eight yards.
De Gea was having an unusually shaky game and pushed a tame Danny Drinkwater shot back into the danger zone, with Antonio Valencia bailing out his goalkeeper by getting to the rebound before Alonso.
At the other end, Courtois had to be at his best on 67 minutes to get a fingertip to an acrobatic Lukaku volley, which was set up by Sanchez with one of his few contributions on an otherwise quiet afternoon.