In Focus: Five Premier League debuts to remember after Lukaku brilliance

Matthew Storey
LiveScore
Federico Macheda celebrates his stunning debut goal for Manchester United against Aston Villa
Federico Macheda celebrates his stunning debut goal for Manchester United against Aston Villa

Romelu Lukaku marked his return to Chelsea in perfect fashion with a stunning display against Arsenal.

The Belgian striker opened the scoring in the 2-0 win and in his own words ‘dominated’ the Gunners defence.

It was a memorable second debut for the 28-year-old — but he is not the first to light up the Premier League on his first appearance.

We look at five other memorable debuts in England's top flight from years gone by.

Fabrizio Ravanelli — Middlesbrough 3-3 Liverpool, August 17, 1996

Back in 1996, a Middlesbrough team already containing Brazil’s Juninho was further strengthened with the unlikely signing of Fabrizio Ravanelli from Juventus.

His debut came on a sunny August afternoon against Liverpool and their famous ‘spice boys’ line-up.

Three times the Reds took the lead at the Riverside — and three times Ravanelli was the man to peg them back with an iconic hat-trick.

His first came from the spot, the second was a tap in and the third was a low left-footed strike that trickled into the bottom corner.

Ravanelli celebrated each goal in the way only he could — with his shirt covering his face and chest bared for all to see as Boro fans saluted their new hero.

Fabrizio Ravanelli celebrates with adoring Middlesbrough fans on his stunning debut
Fabrizio Ravanelli celebrates with adoring Middlesbrough fans on his stunning debut

Paulo Wanchope — Manchester United 2-3 Derby, April 5, 1997

Before the days of transfer windows, Derby were able to add unknown Costa Rican striker Paulo Wanchope to their ranks in late March during the 1996-97 campaign.

Safe in mid-table, Rams boss Jim Smith opted to hand the 21-year-old his debut at Manchester United, who were three points clear at the top of the table.

And it proved a masterstroke, as Wanchope helped Derby to a famous victory at Old Trafford with an assist and goal.

The Costa Rican picked up the ball near the halfway line, cruised past four United players and memorably found the bottom corner when faced with Peter Schmeichel.

On the club’s 125 year anniversary in 2009, Derby supporters voted it the best goal in their entire history.

Federico Macheda — Manchester United 3-2 Aston Villa, April 5, 2009

Exactly 12 years after Wanchope ran United ragged, Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to send on 17-year-old Federico Macheda proved an equally inspired call.

Needing three points to leapfrog Liverpool at the top of the table, United were 2-1 down when Macheda was introduced on the hour mark.

Cristiano Ronaldo pulled United level 20 minutes later before, deep into stoppage-time, the teenager made himself an overnight hero.

Receiving the ball in the area, Macheda turned his defender and whipped a shot into the top corner to send Old Trafford wild.

It proved a defining moment in the season’s title race and was as good as it got for the Italian, who will always be welcome in the red side of Manchester after that goal.

Sergio Aguero — Manchester City 4-0 Swansea, August 15, 2011

Sergio Aguero needed just 10 minutes to open his Manchester City account on debut
Sergio Aguero needed just 10 minutes to open his Manchester City account on debut

Manchester City splashed £38million on Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero as they continued to look for a first Premier League title.

Some eyebrows were raised at the fee paid for a player with no experience in English football — yet it took Aguero barely 30 minutes to start proving his worth.

After coming off the bench on 59 minutes, the Argentine quickly set about winning City fans’ hearts with a tap-in at the back post.

He then did brilliantly to flick the ball over the onrushing keeper and hook it back over his head from the byline to set up David Silva for City’s third of the evening.

But he saved the best for last as he whipped the ball into the bottom corner from 25-yards in stoppage-time to round off a stunning cameo.

It was a marker of things to come for the now City legend.

Michu — QPR 0-5 Swansea, August 18, 2012

Very few people in the Premier League had heard of Michu when Swansea snapped him up from Rayo Vallecano for £2m.

But his debut goes down as one of the most famous in the competition’s history as the Swans ripped QPR apart.

Michu opened the scoring with a low effort from range that squirmed through Rob Green’s fingertips in front of jubilant travelling supporters.

His second was a perfect first-time finish into the top corner with his left foot before Nathan Dyer’s double and a Scott Sinclair strike rounded off the victory.

In mid-September, Swans boss Michael Laudrup said: “I always try to get good deals for players, but Michu must be my best buy because of his importance and the impact he has had and still has on the squad.”

Tags

Premier LeagueManchester UnitedMiddlesbroughDerbyManchester CitySwanseaRomelu LukakuSergio Aguero
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