Roma Striker Romelu Lukaku Disappoints in Belgium Win

New Roma striker Romelu Lukaku captained his Belgium national team to a hard-earned 1-0 win at Azerbaijan on Saturday. In the absence of Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, the 30-year-old wore the captain’s armband in Baku as Domenico Tedesco’s side maintained their near-perfect Euro 2024 qualifying start.

Yannick Carrasco scored a fortunate winning goal toward the end of the first half to inspire Belgium to a third win in four qualification Group F matches (D1). But whether it was due to a poor pitch condition or a lack of De Bruyne’s midfield presence, De Rode Duivels failed to impress against the continental minnows.

Lukaku, who swapped Chelsea for Roma on the summer deadline day, spent 66 minutes on the pitch. The robust striker looked rusty, as he did on his Giallorssi debut against Milan last weekend. Jose Mourinho introduced him midway through the second half. Yet he failed to help his side overturn a 2-0 deficit against Stefano Pioli’s team.

As Tedesco’s lone forward today, Lukaku didn’t only draw a blank. While showcasing his well-documented physical strength against Azerbaijan defenders, the new Roma man also reminded fans of his sloppiness on the ball. 

In addition to several poor touches, he was too slow to pull the trigger when he should’ve done better. Though Lukaku’s disappointing performance in Baku could be put down to a lack of match fitness, this wasn’t the type of display that would encourage Roma supporters. 

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