Lukaku sends message to Eriksen as Belgium wins at Euro 2020

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Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Russia and Belgium at the Saint Petersburg stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, Pool)

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Romelu Lukaku delivered a heartfelt message to Denmark player Christian Eriksen after scoring the first of his two goals in a 3-0 win over Russia on Saturday at the European Championship.

After swivelling to shoot into the bottom corner in the 10th minute, Lukaku headed to a television camera and grabbed it with both hands, saying “Chris, Chris, I love you.”

Lukaku plays for Italian team Inter Milan alongside Eriksen, who needed urgent medical treatment before being taken to the hospital after collapsing on the field during Denmark’s match against Finland in Copenhagen earlier Saturday.

That led to the match in Denmark being suspended for about 90 minutes before resuming and finishing just before Belgium’s game started in St. Petersburg. Eriksen was in a stable condition, UEFA said.

Substitute Thomas Meunier added a second goal in the 34th minute and Lukaku made it 3-0 in the 88th for top-ranked Belgium, which validated its status as one of the favorites at Euro 2020 with a comfortable win in front of a heavily pro-Russian crowd of 26,264 spectators.

Before the game, there were loud jeers around Saint Petersburg Stadium after Belgium’s players took a knee before kickoff. Loud music was played while the gesture against racism was taking place but the boos were still audible.

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Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80

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