Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku was sent off during last night’s Coppa Italia clash with Juventus, after he scored an injury time penalty to leave the first leg all square late on.
The Belgian, who is currently on loan from Chelsea after a disappointing second spell with the Blues, has had a stop-start time in Italy this campaign thanks to injury.
And, despite just three Serie A goals in 16 outings this season, he was tasked with drawing his side level from the spot with fellow Italian giants Juventus after Juan Cuadrado had given the Turin outfit the lead.
Lukaku duly converted, firing past Perrin to leave the first leg at stalemate ahead of the return game.
But, it was what occurred in the aftermath that really stole the headlines. Having reportedly received racist abuse from the home fans all game, the 29-year-old Belgian went through his normal celebration, while also sending a pointed message to the Juve fans.
Safe to say, it didn’t go down well despite the barbaric chanting that he had been subject to, with the referee seeing it necessary to hand him a second yellow card for excessive celebration, which sparked a brawl in which both Handanovic and Cuadrado also saw red.
Lukaku’s agency released a statement after the event, condemning the ‘despicable’ abuse and demanding an apology both from Juventus and Serie A, which has had its fair share of racism issues.
Lukaku, meanwhile, wrote:
“History repeats itself. Been through it in 2019... and 2023 again. I hope the league really take action for real this time because this beautiful game should be enjoyed by everyone. F*ck racism”.
The two sides will meet again for the second leg at the end of April, in what could prove to be an ill-tempered affair.