Romelu Lukaku

In keeping with the unpredictability and excitement of the current league season across Europe, Inter Milan are making a strong race for the Serie A title with rivals AC Milan.

Inter’s most recent victory over Crotone took their tally to eight wins in a row, with the 6-2 victory best-remembered for Lautaro Martínez’s hat trick.

Although it was also a memorable day for strike-partner, Romelu Lukaku, who has been a superb goal-machine since arriving at the San Siro after a frustrating spell at Manchester United.

The 27-year-old scored a wonderful solo goal against the Pythagoreans to surpass his idol Ronaldo’s record of the fastest to reach 50 goals for Inter, doing so in seven less games than O Fenômeno’s 77.

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Lukaku’s famous “Lu-La” partnership with Martínez is in good form and Inter are all the better for it.

Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku

Title contenders

Antonio Conte’s men won only three of their first seven Serie A games before the current winning run and are now the league’s top scorers (40 goals). Dropping out of the Champions League entirely puts Conte’s men in a prime position to focus their energy on a title assault.

Pertinently, the 51-year-old masterminded the Premier League title in his first season at Chelsea largely due to the preparation time lack of midweek European football offered. Conte would quietly fancy his and his team’s chances.

It was meant to be the Nerazzurri’s season, the second year into Conte’s project of stability and pushing the club to titles. They failed in the Europa League final and suffered a small blip early in 2020/21 but their quality has since shone through. Thanks in no small part to Belgium’s all-time top scorer’s efforts.

Lukaku the Assassin

The unstoppable Lukaku remained a goal threat during their poor run of form, and is on an average of a goal every 93 minutes in 2020/21, with his Serie A ratio at a career-high 115 minutes per goal.

Lukaku is at the peak of his powers with 16 goals and three assists in 19 appearances this season. His physical style of play upfront personifies Conte’s blood and thunder personality, as the Italian has helped fine-tune the few weaknesses in Lukaku’s game.

Romelu Lukaku
Lukaku has continued his world class Inter Milan form in 2020/21. (Getty Images)

 “When I step on to the pitch, I want to win. That means everything in Italy. Lukaku was quoted saying.

“There’s an enormous difference compared to the football approach in England, so here I can concentrate on what I am asked to do.

“In tactical terms, I mustn’t get my positioning or direction wrong. Ever.

“Over the last five months, I would put myself in the list of the top five strikers in the world right now.

“I don’t want to draw up a list of the others, but I see myself in there.”

Inter were denied top spot going into 2021 only by a last-minute Theo Hernández winner in Milan’s final game of last year against Lazio. Inter are set to kick on although dislodging their neighbours would be an uphill task considering they haven’t lost a Serie A game since the Coronavirus pandemic, and the fact their key players have returned in the new year.

However with a single point now between them, they would be rooting for a slip up in Milan’s crunch title clash against perennial champions Juventus on Wednesday 

The impact of coronavirus has affected preparation and atmosphere more than anything else in football, and it is being felt in every top European league. The same unpredictability which has seen Milan transformed has seen Inter also remain strong in the race.

Lukaku went off with a muscle injury in the 75th minute against Crotone but Inter would hope to have him back soon, especially as Zlatan Ibrahimović is set to return for Milan. 

With Lukaku, the Inter faithful know they have the League’s most lethal assassin 


Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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