Sport360's Brendon Netto analyses Romelu Lukaku's superb performance for Belgium against Tunisia in Group G.
Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard both scored braces as Belgium made light work of Tunisia, securing a 5-2 win in their World Cup Group G clash on Saturday.
Tunisia pulled one back through Dylan Bronn within the next two minutes but their two-goal cushion was restored on the stroke of half-time when the Manchester United striker scored his second.
Hazard then struck again six minutes into the second period while substitute Michy Batshuayi added a fifth at the death for the Red Devils.
There was still time however for Wahbi Khazri to score another for Tunisia in stoppage time.
Here, we analyse Lukaku’s performance.
Goals – 2
Shots – 2
Shots on target – 2
Touches – 26
Key passes – 2
Aerial duels won – 5
Lukaku led the line in an unchanged 3-4-3 for Belgium. After a frustrating first half against Panama, the striker was happy to capitalise on the space he was afforded in this encounter.
He used the forward runs of Hazard and Dries Mertens intelligently to peel to away from defenders and into space. Lukaku took both his finishes expertly but could have had even more in his 58-minute display.
With two goals from two shots, it’s no secret that Lukaku’s finishing was at its best but it was his movement to create those chances for himself that was equally impressive.
He cleverly arced away to the far side to receive the ball in space, used a slight drop of his shoulder to create a yard and score his first. A quick dart behind the back-line saw him latch onto Thomas Meunier’s pass for his second.
His most prominent weakness was evident even in this otherwise commanding performance. A frequently poor first touch has let him down on several occasions and cost him a goal this time around as well.
Kevin De Bruyne’s through ball afforded him a one-on-one with the keeper but a heavy touch saw him eventually run it out for a goal-kick. That was one of three bad touches before he was replaced within the hour.
Lukaku appears to be in at his clinical best in this tournament and looks set to give Cristiano Ronaldo a run for him money in the race for the Golden Boot after drawing level with the Portugal star on four goals.
He became the first player in 32 years – since Diego Maradona – to score more than one goal in back-to-back World Cup matches. His early substitution was testament to his importance to the side with Roberto Martinez keen to keep him fresh going forward.
RATING – 8/10