Lukaku the leading man in West Brom win

Posted by Matthew Evans

Romelu Lukaku's penalty broke the deadlock between West Brom and SunderlandGettyImagesRomelu Lukaku's penalty broke the deadlock between West Brom and Sunderland

It's all rather familiar this isn't it? A poor run through the Christmas and New Year period, halted by a historic win away from home and then followed by an impressive home win over Sunderland.

Last year it was the 5-1 win away at Wolves which was followed by a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Sunderland, Peter Odemwingie the star man in those two wins. Whilst this year there were less goals in the victories, they were just as important and impressive. It was Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku who was the leading man in Saturday's 2-1 win.

He followed up his superb goal against Liverpool with a display that was full of strength, pace and hold-up play that was complemented by two goals. Lukaku was rewarded with a start alongside Shane Long and the pair once more showed signs of being able to form a good partnership heading in to the end of the season.

Steve Clarke will be hoping that he will be able to bring the big Belgian forward to West Brom for one more season to continue in tandem with Long. Lukaku has quickly become a vital player for West Brom, which didn't seem likely at the start of the season when it seemed he would be used as an impact player off the bench.

What was really impressive about Lukaku's display against Sunderland was the link-up play he displayed throughout the game. It was most evident in an Albion spell of dominance before half time that saw Lukaku grab one from the spot and had another goal chalked off.

He constantly linked with Chris Brunt and Liam Ridgewell down the left hand side, an area of his game that has really improved. He held the ball up before turning it back around corners and getting into the box where he has proved to be so lethal.

Lukaku's second goal was borne of good habits he has picked up from Shane Long; never giving up on anything as he hared down on a back pass from Titus Bramble that goalkeeper Mignolet hit against him, the ball rebounding into the net. It was lucky, but Lukaku's persistence deserved it.

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