Romelu Lukaku apologises to former manager Steve Clarke after scoring Belgium brace

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Romelu Lukaku apologised to former manager Steve Clarke after putting Scotland to the sword in Brussels.

The Manchester United superstar struck twice as the team ranked top of the FIFA world rankings maintained their 100 per cent record in Euro 2020 qualifying with a 3-0 win.

Despite the final scoreline Clarke believes the Scots showed real signs of improvement after the fiasco of Kazakhstan.

Worn down by the attacking brilliance of the Belgians the former West Brom boss worked with a young Lukaku during a loan spell at the Hawthorns and revealed: ‘I just had a big cuddle with him in the tunnel. He apologised for scoring.

‘Listen, Romelu is a fantastic character and I enjoyed working with him. He was a young boy when he worked with me and he has grown since then. He is a strong a goalscorer, who has played with some of the big clubs in the Premier League.

‘I just spoke to him in the corridor and he wants to keep getting better and better.’ 

Robbed of the services of injured captain Andrew Robertson before kick-off Clarke was forced to pitch 21-year-old debutant Greg Taylor in at left-back.

Paying tribute to the Kilmarnock youngster’s confidence and composure Clarke said: ‘He didn’t surprise me. I have worked with Greg for 18 months and I thought he was ready. I thought he was excellent form start to finish. It was a big ask for him but I know his temperament, I know his character. He deserved the start that he got.’ 

Lukaku’s opener seconds before half-time broke Scotland’s stubborn resistence. Of the view Kevin De Bruyne’s 90th minute strike was harsh on his side after they scorned three decent late chances the former Killie boss took positives from a dogged display.

‘It was a difficult game for us but the commitment and attitude and the tactical discipline were excellent. In my opinion I don’t think we deserved to lose a third goal at the end.

‘The way we defended was good. I could say that the second goal was offside which might have changed something and obviously conceding the first goal right on half time was a big blow for us. I thought we did well to receive from that.

‘I think we have shown with what we have done in this 10 day camp that there are improvements. There are room for more improvements.

‘We defend well but we have to be better when we have the ball. There are things to work on but overall the feeling is that we have grown a little bit as a squad of players already and the next camp we should grow again because it is two vital home qualifiers for us against the two favourites to go out of the group so we have to be ready for that.’ 

The Scots face Russia in a must win qualifier in Glasgow on September 6, playing Belgium away once more before a trip to Moscow on October 10.

‘Obviously our next matches are against the two favourites to come out of the group and we have to be ready for that.’

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