pass "brendan donley" "the assist" premier league soccer football

#78 // Lukaku → Sánchez Manchester United 1 – 0 Arsenal

Remember high school physics class, with the iron shavings attracting to a magnet?

Romelu Lukaku is the magnet.




Three Arsenal defenders sprinting at him, seven in total drifting his way.

As if he’s Messi, as if he’s Iniesta, as if he’s the best damn player in the world.

What are they thinking?



Romelu Lukaku, the unfit, weight-gaining, out of form Belgian striker…

Playing the Arsenal defense for fools.

Spotting the little diagonal run from Alexis Sánchez, faking a shot with a body feint, and then leading him to goal with the misdirection through pass.

And that defense.

That awful, impulsive defense…




Here it is again, from another angle:




So it’s hard to understand, seeing a brilliant play like this:

Is Arsenal that bad, or Lukaku not as over-the-hill as we all thought?


Here’s his current situation:



But maybe there’s something to it that works, this sudden addition of flesh.

Maybe, like that magnet, it takes on some compelling quality, a can’t look away! for the defense, sucking them in like a—well, a “black” hole may not be the best word choice here, for Lukaku.

But, you know, he sucks them in like “a region of spacetime exhibiting such strong gravitational effects that nothing—not even particles and electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from it.”

Brilliant long-game strategy, Mr. Lukaku.

Hit the weight room. Hit the cafeteria!



Manchester United went on to win 3-1, after this first goal, knocking Arsenal out of the FA Cup. The eighth straight win (in eight games) in this Ole Gunnar Solskjær era…

That smile, that joy, and that quality have finally returned.



They’re out of the running for the EPL crown, but might just be winning something else:


The most entertaining team to watch this year?