Manchester United have been handed a major boost as reports have confirmed that Lukaku would not face any ban for his alleged kicking of Brighton defender Gaetan Bong. Lukaku was seen lashing out at the defender with his right boot and then connected with the Cameroon international with his left as the duo tangled at a corner.
Interestingly, this incident happened moments before United’s goal at Old Trafford which was the difference between the sides. The goal gave the Red Devils all three points.
The incident which happened in the 66th minute was not noticed by the on-field referees as Ashley Young’s shot took a deflection and went into the goal post. However, the Lukaku incident was caught on camera and was set to land the Belgian striker a retrospective ban.
The FA were aware of the incident and studied the match referee’s report before viewing more footage in the process of taking a decision. Some of the former referees have mentioned that the goal wouldn’t have stood had the referee Neil Swarbrick noticed it during the game and Lukaku could have received a straight red card.
However, BBC reports that striker is not facing any charge of violent conduct that would have carried an automatic three-match ban, which would have kept him out of the games against Watford, Arsenal, and Manchester City.
I think this is wonderful news for the club. Despite his lacklustre form, Lukaku remains important to our fortunes. Should Lukaku have got the ban, manager Jose Mourinho could have looked at fast-tracking Ibrahimovic into the first team and might have even reaped the rewards for it. The Swedish talisman was the leader of the pack last season at Old Trafford before an injury curtailed his season.
The games against Arsenal and Manchester City are crucial and with Zlatan having just returned from his injury, it would have been extremely risky to have rushed him back into the thick of things. However, with that not being the case now, we can sit back and hope that Lukaku finds his goal-scoring touch back again.