Lukaku’s hot streak continues as AS Roma’s fast start stuns Slavia

Romelu Lukaku just can't stop scoring for AS Roma. With Inter up next, the former Nerazzurri forward looks to be back to his very best and he was on target yet again as the Giallorossi saw off Slavia Praha in the Europa League.


STADIO OLIMPICO (Rome): Watch out InterBig Rom is coming. It was a case of another game, another goal for Romelu Lukaku as he blasted in AS Roma‘s second in a comfortable 2-0 Europa League win over Slavia Praha on Thursday night.

The terms of the Belgian’s stay in Rome – a one-year loan deal from Chelsea – have not stopped him from quickly becoming something of a talisman for the Giallorossi.

Before kick-off, his name was boomed out by the Curva Sud with more gusto than any other player, and he didn’t need long to give them another reason to roar.

Big Rom looking lethal

Lukaku‘s hot streak of five goals in five games has coincided with Roma turning their season around with five consecutive wins. Beyond that more recent run, his strike meant that he has now scored in 14 consecutive Europa League appearances.

Romelu Lukaku celebrates for AS Roma in the Europa League. (@OfficialASRoma)

The gloom that set in following that 4-1 defeat in Genoa a month ago has lifted, and Roma will head to the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Sunday hoping that two figures at the opposite end of the popularity spectrum among Inter fans – Jose Mourinho and Lukaku – can cause an upset and keep the good times rolling.

Mourinho, of course, will be suspended for that game after being sent off against Monza for his ‘cry-baby’ gesture.

But the Europa League has at least given the tactician some practice at overseeing things from afar.

He was in the press box on Thursday night to watch events unfold while sitting out the third game of the four-match ban he was given by UEFA for abusing referee Anthony Taylor in the wake of the final of this competition last season.

Hopefully he made the long walk up to his seat in good time, because any latecomers will have missed a superb curling strike from the edge of the box by Edoardo Bove that opened the scoring before a minute had passed.

Stephan El Shaarawy played a key role in the goal by winning the ball high up the pitch and feeding the midfielder, and he was the architect again for Lukaku‘s strike in the 17th minute.

Romelu Lukaku, Nicola Zalewski and Stephan El Shaarawy celebrate with Edoardo Bove for AS Roma in the Europa League. (@OfficialASRoma)

The Italian spun his marker just inside the Slavia half before slipping a pass into the path of Lukaku, who put his head down and smashed a finish into the roof of the net.

It was a first half of brutal efficiency from Roma, who scored two goals from three shots and restricted the Czech visitors to few openings, Mile Svilar making one good save on Mick van Buren before the break.

It was an impressive start against a Slavia side that was yet to concede in the Europa League and arrived in Rome on a nine-match unbeaten run and as Group G leaders on goal difference.

Stellar El Shaarawy impresses

Most of the second half’s notable events were condensed into a busy five-minute period around the hour mark, starting with Lukaku drilling a shot a whisker wide and Bryan Cristante not quite managing to dink a finish over Ales Mandous after another clever assist from El Shaarawy.

The Italy international deserved a goal after such an industrious and creative display and was inches away from getting it when he thumped a shot off the bar from the edge of the area.

Slavia then went up the other end and had by far their best chance of the game when Ivan Schranz went haring through on goal, but he blasted over with just Svilar to beat.

When El Shaarawy was replaced by Andrea Belotti with 20 minutes to go, the Olimpico rose to its feet to applaud an outstanding display, coming just days after his match-winning heroics against Monza.

Roma are now all-but guaranteed to reach the knockout stages, sitting top of Group G with nine points, three ahead of Slavia and eight clear of Sheriff and Servette.


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