Intent versus result could decide Romelu Lukaku’s status for a series of big games.
Reports say Lukaku is under investigation for aiming a pair of kicks at Brighton and Hove Albion’s Gaetan Bong on Saturday.
UPDATE: Lukaku won’t be suspended, according to Simon Peach of the Press Association.
Manchester United scored the lone goal of the match on the play in question, after Lukaku did battle with Cameroon defender Bong in front of the goal on a corner kick.
[ MORE: Man City sets points record ]
The ball made its way outside the 18 as Lukaku maneuvered toward an onside position after swinging his right and then left leg at Bong, who appears to block a very sensitive region with his hand.
Ashley Young’s shot then turned hard off Lewis Dunk to give United its only goal.
Lukaku could’ve received a three-match ban for violent conduct, putting a lot of pressure on new-old striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford for matches against Watford, Arsenal, and Manchester City, with an important UEFA Champions League match against CSKA Moscow mixed into the fray.
Did Lukaku’s failure to significantly land either of his kicks make a difference? It shouldn’t, but results are prioritized over intent often in sports discipline.