After 13 games without a goal domestically, Lukaku lit up the Stadium of Light last night with an 11-minute hat-trick. In fact, but for Jordan Pickford’s fine reactions in the first half and the woodwork in the second, it could have easily been 5 for the Belgian international.
Despite an early chance for Jermaine Defoe, who looked offside and even prayed for confirmation as such, lofting his effort high with a miscued half volley, Sunderland were never in the game. Defending for all of Lukaku’s goals and additional efforts were abject or simply non-existent, although mention of the impressive wing play and footwork from Yannick Bolasie. should be noted. Nevertheless, tt really was that easy against David Moyes’s men, who have only picked up 1 point so far this season.
And what of Moyes himself? No one is going to doubt Moyes’ managerial achievements in the 11 years he himself spent at Everton, but Sunderland is his third job in 3 years, and but for Stoke’s inferior goal difference, Moyes would be bottom of the table, territory not experienced since 2005 when Everton were bottom until the October of that year. It feels a lifetime ago that Moyes took over a retiring Sir Alex Ferguson and only lasted 10 months, the so called “Wrong One” by the fans who felt obligated for continued success despite Manchester United’s first managerial change in 28 years. It was an alarming sign of how the game has changed in those 28 years; it was Sir Alex’s FOURTH year as manager when United narrowly avoided relegation and, allegedly, the sack (1989-90).
Following a stint in La Liga with Real Sociedad which only last 42 matches, he returns to the Premier League filling the void left by the outgoing new England manager, Sam Allardyce, who only just survived relegation last season also. You have to admit Moyes has guts taking on yet another challenging role, much in the same vein as Spain but I’m sure Sunderland will be happy just to survive another season. However, when the home fans are booing after only 2 home games, it’s looking like another rough ride for the former Everton and Preston stalwart.