Romelu Lukaku had the chance to be the hero for Inter in their Champions League final against Manchester City, but it was an evening to forget for the Chelsea loanee.
The 30-year-old Belgian forward came onto the pitch in the 57th minute of the match, replacing an injured Edin Dzeko, giving him the opportunity to truly write himself into the club’s history books at the Ataturk Stadium.
Unfortunately for Lukaku and Inter, things didn’t go to plan in Istanbul. Lukaku did not have a positive evening in the Champions League final and was at the centre of a number of key missed opportunities for the Nerazzurri.
In the 70th minute of the match, only moments after Manchester City took the lead, Lukaku accidentally blocked Federico Dimarco’s attempt on goal, a chance that could’ve seen Inter draw things level.
18 minutes later, the Belgian striker was again the centre of attention. He was presented with a golden opportunity after a cross into the box, but his close range header was aimed almost directly at Ederson, letting City off the hook as the ball ricocheted wide.
Moments later, Lukaku had another chance to draw Inter level, but his dragged shot sailed wide, leaving Nerazzurri fans with their heads in their hands.
In his 30 minutes on the pitch, Lukaku took just 10 touches and completed only three passes, failing to make an impact in Istanbul as Inter fell to Pep Guardiola’s side in their most important match in over a decade.
It’s not the first time that Lukaku has disappointed on the main stage. He accidentally scored the decisive own goal in Inter’s Europa League final loss to Sevilla back in 2020 and was widely blamed for Belgium’s World Cup elimination after their 0-0 draw with Croatia, where he missed a handful of key chances.