Phil Neville..

Phil Neville's theory on why Romelu Lukaku didn't celebrate v Bournemouth

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Victory over Bournemouth in mid-week was little more than a palliative for Manchester United after the events of the weekend.

The Red Devils were still hurting from a Manchester derby defeat that eventually ended their title chances and handed the initiative to their noisy neighbours. 

Goals from David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi, either side of a Marcus Rashford strike, secured a massive 2-1 win for Pep Guardiola's men.

Such was the magnitude and tense-nature of the fixture that proceedings spilled over in the tunnel with punches thrown, police officers stationed and a bare-chested Marcos Rojo leading a corridor charge.

And the amalgamation of heart-wrenching defeat and post-match fracas made for a subdued atmosphere at Old Trafford upon the arrival of the Cherries.

In the end, Romelu Lukaku's header was enough to down Eddie Howe's men and prolong his steady return to form after an October-November goal drought.

It was a timely positive for the Belgian, though, who was carrying culpability for both of Manchester City's goals with a questionable display of his defensive abilities.

Yet, despite scoring, Lukaku still came in for criticism on Twitter by deciding not to celebrate after his match winning strike.

Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

The 24-year-old stood statuesque after heading past Asmir Begovic, raising questions over his mindset and confidence on the back of such a calamitous derby performance.

And while fans will never discover exactly why Lukaku was so subdued, Phil Neville has offered an interesting theory on the Belgian's latest actions or rather, their lack of.

Appearing on Sky Sports' 'The Debate', Neville expounded: “I think there was a massive hangover from Sunday.

“I think there was disappointment from Romelu, who had a disappointing game.

“He was involved in the City goals and the chance he had at the end, so he did suffer a lot of criticism.

“Maybe it wasn’t a night to celebrate.

“That hit Manchester United really hard on Sunday and there was a flatness around Old Trafford [against Bournemouth].”

Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

Neville wasn't alone either with fellow pundit Matthew Upson lamenting Lukaku's behaviour after the goal, explaining: “I think he has had a lot of criticism, he has had a dry period in terms of goals.

“Over the season you look at him he has been very good.

“But behaving in that way draws attention to him more.”

Do you think Romelu Lukaku should have celebrated after scoring? Have your say in the comments section below.

Romelu Lukaku
Phil Neville

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