Lukaku, Howe win monthly Premier League awards

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Football Soccer - Belgium v Greece - 2018 World Cup Qualifying European Zone

Football Soccer - Belgium v Greece - 2018 World Cup Qualifying European Zone - Group H - Stade Roi Baudouin, Brussels, Belgium - 25/3/17 Belgium's Romelu Lukaku reacts. REUTERS/Yves Herman/Files

REUTERS - Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has been named Premier League player of the month for March, while Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe picked up his first manager of the month award.

Lukaku leads the race for the golden boot with 21 goals. The Belgian forward scored four in March, netting in a 3-2 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, scoring and assisting in a 3-0 home win over West Bromwich Albion and notching a brace in a 4-0 triumph over Hull City.

"I'm really happy," said Lukaku, who is the first Everton player in history to reach 20 goals in a single Premier League season. "It gives me another boost. I'm playing well at the minute and the team is doing really well."

Lukaku won the award by edging out Bournemouth duo Artur Boruc and Joshua King, Southampton's Nathan Redmond, Mamadou Sakho of Crystal Palace and Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.

Under Howe's stewardship, Bournemouth were unbeaten in March as they won two and drew one of their three matches to move up to 11th in the table and nine points clear of the relegation zone.

"It feels really good," said Howe. "It was such an important month for us. The fact we were able to pick up seven points and go unbeaten means everything to us at this moment."

Howe beat out Crystal Palace's Sam Allardyce, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, Liverpool's Juergen Klopp, Tottenham Hotspur's Mauricio Pochettino and Craig Shakespeare of Leicester City.

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; editing by Mark Heinrich)