The Belgium international put in a match-winning performance as Antonio Conte’s side came from behind to beat Bologna and go top of the Italian table
Two late goals from Romelu Lukaku helped Inter maintain their superb start to the Serie A season with a 2-1 comeback win at Bologna on Saturday, and the Belgian has fired his way into exalted company.
With Inter trailing 15 minutes from time, Lukaku bundled home from a corner before converting a stoppage-time penalty to earn his side a ninth win in 11 league games and take them back to the top of the Serie A table.
The goals were Lukaku’s eighth and ninth in the league since his switch from Manchester United, who drew a blank in a 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth earlier in the day.
The former Chelsea and Everton striker has been the first soccer professional to score nine or more in their first 11 Serie A games for Inter since Brazilian legend Ronaldo in the 1997-98 season.
Ronaldo finished that season with 25 goals in the league, and 34 in all competitions.
With Lukaku’s penalty won by strike partner Lautaro Martinez, there were plenty of promising signs for manager Antonio Conte as his project at San Siro continues to take promising shape.
His side showed superb character to come from behind late on after Conte had fielded their youngest starting line-up (25 years and 266 days) in Serie A since August 2015.
They are now also the only club left in Europe’s big-five leagues to have a 100 per cent winning record away from home this season, with six wins on their travels already.
With his former side United struggling – most notably away from home – Lukaku will surely be looking back on his summer move with some satisfaction.
He opened his account on the opening day against Lecce, before scoring against Cagliari and AC Milan.
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While he then went through a three-game run without scoring in the league, he now has six in his last four after a double at Sassuolo and more goals against Parma and Brescia, plus his efforts against Bologna.
If there has been one blot on his copybook so far this season, it has been that he has been yet to find the net for Inter in two appearances to date in the Champions League. He will be looking to tick that box on Tuesday as Inter travel to Borussia Dortmund for a potentially vital game in Group F.
Halfway through the group stage, Inter and Dortmund are tied on four points, three behind Barcelona and three ahead of Slavia Prague.