Romelu Lukaku missed an absolute sitter as Inter Milan lost 1-0 at home to Fiorentina on Saturday.
Giacomo Bonaventura scored the only goal of the game in the second half at the San Siro.
It was Inter’s fourth defeat in five league matches as they’ve fallen to third in the Serie A table behind Lazio. They’re now in a battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League with Milan, Atalanta and Roma within three points of them – both Milan and Roma have games in hand, too.
It could have been so different for Inter on Saturday, though.
Just minutes before Bonaventura’s opener, Lukaku was guilty of missing a golden opportunity.
The home side worked the ball well and Alessandro Bastoni played the ball across the face of the goal for Lukaku to tap the ball home.
But, somehow, Lukaku proceeded to almost completely miss the ball as he went for it with his left foot.
It was a shocking miss.
It proved costly, too.
The Belgian striker is currently on loan at Inter from Chelsea, but there’s uncertainty over his long-term future at Stamford Bridge.
Earlier this week, Chelsea boss Graham Potter was asked whether Lukaku had a future in west London.
“Well, he’s still a Chelsea player and we’re monitoring him of course,” Potter said on Friday. “We understand where he’s at, he’s on loan, those decisions will be made in the summer. He’s a fantastic player, someone who we know and like.
“But again, we need to speak about that in the summer because he’s playing on loan for his club.”
Earlier this month, Inter’s chief executive, Beppe Marotta, admitted they won’t be signing Lukaku on a permanent basis.
“The loan was for one season so on June 30 regardless of how well he plays, he’ll go back to Chelsea,” admitted Marotta. “This has been an unprecedented season. I’m referring of course to the World Cup.
“The problems we’ve experienced have been experienced by other clubs too and the players who played at the World Cup… Lukaku hasn’t found the fitness he needs to play his best football. He’s still not at his best or the player we got to see in years gone by.”
While Lukaku was missing a sitter for Inter on Saturday, Chelsea were losing 2-0 at home to Aston Villa.
It was a result that saw Chelsea drop to the bottom half of the table and heap even more pressure on Potter.