Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho hailed the “amazing” goalscoring efforts of Romelu Lukaku, but says it is only possible with a good team around him.
Lukaku took his tally to 10 in his first nine matches with two goals in the 4-1 win at CSKA Moscow in the Champions League group stage on Wednesday, bettering the record of club great Sir Bobby Charlton, who scored nine in the same number.
Anthony Martial was a standout performer, scoring a penalty and providing both crosses for Lukaku’s goals, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan making it four just after half-time. Substitute Konstantin Kuchaev scored a 90th-minute consolation for the hosts.
“It is a great achievement but it is only possible with a good team,” said Mourinho.
“Without a good team it is not possible and the team is playing well. They are amazing numbers for Romelu. He is humble and wants to learn and improve all the time.
“I think ambition is there and I trust he can keep performing for us.”
Mourinho’s side host struggling Crystal Palace, pointless and goalless after six Premier matches, on Saturday afternoon.
The United boss believes his team – shorn of seven senior players who did not travel to Russia because of injury – have been put at a disadvantage to some of their rivals.
Liverpool, for example, played in Moscow on Tuesday and travel to Newcastle on Sunday.
“I think the performance can only be good for the team and the players,” he added. “For the team confidence is good because six points in two matches in the Champions League puts us in a good position and for the players individually it is also good because we had very good performances.
“(Chris) Smalling and (Victor) Lindelof had very good performances, (Ander) Herrera has not started a match in a long time and had a good performance, so did Anthony Martial – and I am speaking about the players who are not starting matches.
“The Premier League is another story. We play Saturday 3pm against a fresh team and we have to play after this match.
“We have to keep our feet on the ground, stay humble and follow our direction because we are having a very good start to the season.
“We have started competitions strong in August and September and have now just one more game, a difficult one.”