Can he play you every week? Let’s face it, if Romelu Lukaku could, Manchester United would be absolute certainties to win the league.
In his last 11 games against West Ham, this is the 10th match in which he has scored. A goalless draw with Everton at the Olympic Stadium on April 22 this year marking the only time he has failed.
On this occasion, his Premier League debut for Manchester United, get got two. Nothing like taking the pressure off, and if ever a team is designed to relieve tension for Lukaku, it is West Ham.
Lukaku raises his arms aloft in front of the Old Trafford stands as Paul Pogba runs to celebrate with his new team-mate
Lukaku fended off West Ham defender Winston Reid before smashing the ball past on-loan goalkeeper Joe Hart
Lukaku doubled his and Manchester United's tally after meeting Henrikh Mkhitaryan's free-kick with his head
Marcus Rashford and fellow new signing Nemanja Matic congratulate Lukaku by the corner flag as they celebrate the goal
Anthony Martial made the most of his late cameo after coming on for Rashford as he finished off a fine team move
MANCHESTER UNTIED: De Gea, Valencia, Blind, Jones, Bailly, Matic, Pogba, Mkhitaryan, Mata (Fellaini 76), Rashford (Martial 80), Lukaku.
SUBS NOT USED: Romero, Darmian, Smalling, Herrera, Lingard.
GOALS: Lukaku 33, 53
BOOKINGS: Bailly, Valencia
WEST HAM: Hart; Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Masuaku (Cresswell 81); Noble (Rice 61), Obiang; Fernandes (Sakho 60), Arnautovic, Ayew; Hernandez.
SUBS NOT USED: Bryam, Collins, Fonte, Adrian.
BOOKINGS: Zabaleta, Ogbonna
REFEREE: Martin Atkinson
Marcus Rashford played in Romelu Lukaku, who shot past Joe Hart to score the opener
The first was a counter-attack after sloppy play from Pedro Obiang let West Ham down; the second was a gift. Pablo Zabaleta made a cynical challenge on Marcus Rashford and was booked, before Lukaku delivered further punishment from the free-kick.
Henrik Mkhitaryan whipped it in from the left and Lukaku rose, inexplicably unguarded, to head the ball past Joe Hart. It won’t convince those who claim Lukaku only punishes the weak – although he did score against Real Madrid last week – but it was just the start a £75m acquisition needs in front of his own fans.
Even better is the understanding Lukaku seems to have developed with Marcus Rashford, creator of his first goal. When the young man was substituted with 11 minutes to go, he received an affectionate pat on the cheek from his partner, and the pair ran West Ham silly for much of the match.
Not that the change made any difference. On came Anthony Martial and, within minutes, had scored United’s third, finishing sweetly, set up by Mkhitaryan once more. It was no more than United’s performance merited, either. Each goal advance seemed merely a matter of time.
Lukaku uses the side of his left foot to guide the ball past Hart and his effort needed a deflection off the post to find the net
Lukaku turns towards his team-mates in celebration as the ball nestles in the back of the West Ham net in the first half
West Ham goalkeeper Hart stands still as he watches the ball bounce into the net after Lukaku guided it with his head
Hart screams in frustration as he sees his defence leave Lukaku unmarked and free to score Manchester United's second goal
Rashford was desperately unlucky not to get on the scoresheet, too, cutting inside a striking the post with a shot after 66 minutes. Mkhitaryan, Lukaku and Daley Blind all went close in the second-half as well. Marko Arnautovic hit the bar with a looping header for West Ham, but they were very much second best.
The other huge positive for United, meanwhile, was the performance of Nemanja Matic, a £40m suicide note from whichever member of Chelsea’s transfer brains trust was running the show that