MANCHESTER - Romelu Lukaku extended his scoring drought to eight games as Manchester United lost to Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday but while manager Jose Mourinho admits the Belgian is not firing on all cylinders he is confident the goals will come.
Mourinho said the 25-year-old is struggling with all aspects of his game but could not fault his effort. "Not just with the goals he is not scoring but also in his confidence, in his movement, his touch," Mourinho told reporters after the defeat at Old Trafford.
"He is not linking the game well with the team. But he is our striker and he is a good striker we believe in. Romelu is a hard-working guy and a good professional. One day the goals will arrive and the confidence will be back."
An impressive Juventus beat United 1-0 to take command of Champions League Group H with a maximum nine points from three games and demonstrate just how far Mourinho's side are from Europe's elite.
Paulo Dybala's 17th minute goal, a simple conversion after a low cross from the right by former United favourite Cristiano Ronaldo, won the game but the dominant Italian champions could have won by a much more convincing margin.
United needed their Spanish keeper David de Gea to be in top form as he made a series of good saves, including an excellent effort to keep out a second-half strike from Ronaldo.
If United fans can see little hope of their side catching up the top trio in the Premier League they will also know after this game that there is precious chance of them doing better in continental action.
With four points leaving them second in their group, ahead of Valencia and Young Boys, United may still progress to the knockout stages but the gulf between them and a team equipped to reach the latter stages was all too evident. United next host Everton in the Premier League on Sunday.