A quick muse over Romelu Lukaku

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Admit it, around 3:45pm ET this past Monday you thought to yourself, ‘Holy crap, I had no idea Everton was this good.’

How could you not?

The Toffees were positively throttling Newcastle 3-0 at halftime. And yes, as an American Evertonian, I was in delirium.

From opening kickoff the Toffees always looked the more dangerous side so when Romelu Lukaku finessed home the first goal, I shrieked like a 12 year old girl on her birthday.

Classy? Not really. But I didn’t care.

Well aware of my allegiance, the outburst gave the men inside the NBC Sports tape room a good chuckle. Realizing my biased gaff, I thereafter collected myself and played the following two goals cooly, as if expecting Everton to be up three nil at halftime.

Overall, it was a dominant performance for the Toffees and a crap display from Newcastle. Two worlds colliding in a bliss of blue. The Magpies managed to get themselves together in the second half but by then it was too late. No thanks to you, Alan Pardew.

While I could wax poetic about many a man in the royal blue kits for now I’ll muse about just one – Romelu Lukaku.

The guy looked like Iron Man 3 out there.

Ginormous in stature with excellent speed, Lukaku has all types of goals in him – breakaways, close-range poaches, headers, blasts from distance, instinctive stabs – you name it, he’s got it. Fluent in six languages, the Belgian international also possesses a formidable creative intelligence, which helps him not only finish but create, as he did on Ross Barkley’s goal.

But for me, Lukaku’s most impressive trait is his foot skills. It’s highly unusual for a man of such stature to maintain such silk off the dribble. Is he Zlatan-esque? Not quite. But someday he very well may be.

The media’s favorite comparison isn’t Zlatan, however, it’s former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba. Being labeled ‘The Next Drogba,’ is quite a nice complement but one that the Belgian politely declines, noting that ‘Lukaku will be Lukaku.’

The perfect response. Modest yet confident.

So how, exactly, will the end Lukaku product look?

We’ll have to wait and see over the next 3-10 years. After all, he’s still only 20 years old. But one thing is for sure, Lukaku is going to be a special, special footballer.

Everton, Chelsea, Belgium, the Premier League – heck, the entire footballing world – are lucky to have him.

Stoke City 1-2 Bournemouth: Cherries secure huge road win

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  • Surman, Stanislas put Bournemouth ahead
  • Stoke have only won one of their last 8 games in all comps
  • Diouf’s goal not enough for a point

Bournemouth beat Stoke City 2-1 at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday as the Cherries secured their first away win of the season.

Early goals from Andrew Surman and Junior Stanislas was enough to grab Bournemouth all three points as Mame Biram Diouf’s goal in the second half wasn’t enough to launch a Stoke comeback.

With the defeat Stoke slip into the bottom with Bournemouth.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]  

Bournemouth got off to the best possible start as Stanislas set up Surman who fired home to make it 1-0 after 15 minutes.

Three minutes later after it was 2-0 as Stanislas slammed home a penalty kick following Benik Afobe being hacked down in the box.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Stoke struggled to recover after that awful start but they did grab a goal midway through the second half.

Diouf made it 2-1 with just 17 minutes gone in the second half as a long ball forward caused havoc in the box with Choupo-Mouting knocking it down for Diouf to finish.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Stoke threw plenty of long balls at Bournemouth late on but the Cherries held on for a crucial three points to leave Stoke in plenty of trouble.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

Afobe and others came close to sealing the win late on for Bournemouth with Stoke pushing forward but the Cherries were well worth their victory.

Huddersfield Town 2-1 Manchester United: Monumental win!

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  • Town’s first win over United since 1952
  • Mooy, Depoitre score
  • Rashford pulls one back
  • United’s first PL loss

Aaron Mooy and Laurent Depoitre scored to give Huddersfield Town its first win over Manchester United in 65 years, a 2-1 win at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.

Marcus Rashford pulled a goal back for United, which has lost its first PL match of the season and drops five points behind Man City.

Town leaps 10th, with 12 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Anthony Martial collected an early yellow card for United, and a clever move from Tom Ince to Steve Mounie called up Red Devils backstop David De Gea for his first collection of the match.

And Mooy put Town a head when he played Ince in for a shot, then put the rebound behind De Gea.

The keeper wouldn’t be relieved when a Jonas Lossl goal kick sailed over Victor Lindelof‘s jumping intervention, and Depoitretw danced around De Gea to make it 2-0.

Nemanja Matic‘s stoppage time effort through traffic almost pulled one back for United, but Town dealt with a corner kick to get to the break unscathed.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

But how many have?

Rashford lifted the hopes of the visitors with a goal with just under 15 minutes to play.

WATCH LIVE: Southampton vs. West Brom

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Southampton and West Brom seek three points which would move them into the top half of the Premier League table when they meet Sunday at St. Mary’s (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE HERE

As a bonus, Joe Prince-Wright is on the scene to give you a “proper match day experience” from the run-up to the final whistle at St. Mary’s.

LINEUPS

Southampton: Forster, Cedric, Van Dijk, Yoshida, Bertrand, Lemina, Romeu, Davis, Tadic, Long, Gabbiadini. Subs: McCarthy, Hoedt, McQueen, Ward-Prowse, Boufal, Redmond, Austin.

West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Gibbs, Hegazi, Evans, Dawson, Livermore, Krychowiak, Chadli, Barry, Rodriguez, Rondon. Subs:

Matchday experience: Behind-the-scenes at Southampton

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What is a proper “matchday experience” really like in the Premier League?

For fans of the Premier League in the USA, you’ll no doubt be curious as to exactly what goes on over in the UK around every single game.

[ LIVE: Stream Saints v West Brom ] 

And for all of you who have ever wondered what it’s like, good news: we have a complete 360 experience lined up for Southampton vs. West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

We will be on site at Southampton to give you special access at St Mary’s Stadium before, during and after the game.

You will not want to miss this.

Make sure to follow Joe Prince-Wright’s journey behind-the-scenes by checking out the updated videos below as he spends time in pubs in the South Coast city before the game, joins the fans in the stands and will be closer to the action than ever before in the tunnel area and up close and personal with players.