Serie A minnows are ‘so bad’ that football fans joke ‘even Romelu Lukaku scored’

Romelu Lukaku has opened his account for Roma – but fans aren't all that impressed.

The sulky Belgian, who joined the club on loan from Chelsea on deadline day, netted his side's sixth goal in a 7-0 thumping of Empoli on Sunday to seal the first league win of the season for Jose Mourinho's side. But compliments on social media were in short supply after the game.

Fans joked that Empoli, who are rock bottom of Serie A after four straights defeats, must be pretty atrocious to have allowed Lukaku, who has lost much of his ruthlessness in front of goal since his Chelsea spell turned sour in 2021, to score, with one even suggesting they were nailed on for relegation because of it.

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"Even Lukaku scored for Roma against Empoli. How bad are they?" one fan asked on X (formerly Twitter). Another said: "Even Lukaku scored. See you in Serie B, Empoli," while a third added: "Lol Empoli must be s*** if Lukaku has managed to bag."

The 30-year-old Belgian had to wait until the 82nd minute to grab his goal, which he netted by stroking the ball underneath the goalkeeper after being played through by Andrea Belotti. He was also robbed of an assist after setting up Bryan Cristante for a shot on goal, only for the ball to deflect off Empoli's Alberto Grassi and go down as an own goal.

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Lukaku's move to Roma ended an extraordinary summer of stand-offs, betrayals, protests and U-turns. The £98million man, who spent last season on loan at Inter Milan, was desperate to re-join the San Siro club, but Chelsea wanted to sell him rather than loan him out again, and asked Inter to stump up £40m.

While waiting for his former club to free up the funds, Lukaku began talking to Juventus, and once Inter caught wind of this they pulled out of the deal. A move to Juve then looked the only viable option, with Lukaku outright rejecting a move to the Saudi Pro League, but news of negotiations infuriated the club's ultras, who stormed the pitch after a pre-season game to demonstrate against the move.

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Once a transfer to Turin fell through Roma came into the picture, though the club were only offering to take the striker on loan. Presumably exhausted by the summer-long saga, Chelsea agreed, but not before reducing Lukaku's wages, should he return, as part of the agreement.

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