Romelu Lukaku scored his 20th goal in the last 15 games for Belgium as the Red Devils beat Russia 3-0 in their opening Euro 2020 Group B game.
Lukaku, who is already Belgium’s all-time leading goalscorer, continued his red-hot form as he netted a brace to lead the world’s number one side to victory over the 2018 FIFA World Cup hosts, Russia.
The Inter Milan striker continued his prolific form as he put Belgium up 1-0 after just 10 minutes as he ran to the cameras to show his support and love for clubmate Christian Eriksen who had collapsed on the pitch following a cardiac arrest during Denmark’s Euro 2020 game against Finland.
The big Belgian said “Christian, I love you” after scoring the opening goal of the game.
Borussia Dortmund full-back Thomas Meunier made it 2-0 in the 34th minute after he came on as a first-half substitute following an injury to Belgium’s most-capped player Jan Vertonghen.
Meunier made the most of his opportunity as he scored soon after to put the Belgians in command before halftime. Thorgan Hazard’s shot was parried by Russia goalkeeper Anton Shunin and Meunier was the first to react to score.
Lukaku scored his second of the game two minutes before the end of the game as he ran past Igor Diveev by running onto Meunier’s pass and finishing off the play with a neat low finish as the game finished 3-0 in the Euro 2020 Group B tie.
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez after the game: “Thomas Meunier was impressive. It’s never easy to start a tournament, there’s a psychological and emotional element, and it’s even harder as a substitute. The role of Thomas as a team-mate to Castagne was exemplary, and then the way he was focused and contributed to the victory was a real example for us.
“That’s the quality of this group – it’s a group of people who really care for each other, understand the roles and take what is needed for the team. I was super proud in the way Meunier gave us a way to do that.”
On Christian Eriksen: “There was real sadness, we were watching it live, and then in the next five minutes we were going to our team meeting. As you can imagine, the last thing we wanted to talk was about football. There was a real shock, sadness, there were tears, we have a lot of teammates in our dressing room who have shared big moments with Christian.
“It’s a real sense of shock, so we could only send our prayers to Christian, and it was better news when we saw his recovery. Our wishes from our team and everyone in Belgium is to Christian, his family and the whole Denmark team because it was a really tough moment in St Petersburg – so I can only imagine how it was in Copenhagen.”