Report

Man City edge past Luton to end four-match winless run

10 Dec 2023
Grealish, City

Second-half goals from Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish earn hard-fought 2-1 victory at Luton

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Two quickfire second-half goals from Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish earned Manchester City a hard-fought 2-1 win at Luton Town to secure a first league victory in five matches.

The champions, who were without the injured Erling Haaland, fell behind to Elijah Adebayo’s header, but two goals in four minutes keep City in fourth, four points behind leaders Liverpool.

How the match unfolded

Pep Guardiola made four changes from the side that lost 1-0 to Aston Villa in midweek, with Haaland missing his first Premier League match of the season due to a foot injury.

Rico Lewis, John Stones and Manuel Akanji dropped to the bench, with Nathan Ake, Rodri, Mateo Kovacic and Grealish coming into the side. Julian Alvarez took up the centre-forward role in Haaland’s absence.

City started brightly, with Phil Foden forcing a save from Thomas Kaminski before Silva blasted the rebound wide.

The visitors continued to probe for the opening goal, with Rodri’s shot from distance stinging the palms of Kaminski before Foden forced another save from the Luton 'keeper.

But it was Luton who took a surprise lead in the second minute of first-half stoppage time through Adebayo.

Ross Barkley produced a sublime piece of skill in central midfield to initiate a Luton attack down the right. Andros Townsend came back inside on his left foot, and his deep cross was headed in at the far post by Adebayo for the forward’s fourth goal of the season.

Adebayo, Luton

City have now fallen 1-0 behind in three successive Premier League matches for the first time since November 2019, during the last season they failed to win the title.

Guardiola’s side began the second half on the front foot, and went agonisingly close to equalising when Ruben Dias’ shot was tipped on to the crossbar by Kaminski. 

But the champions did level on 62 minutes, Rodri driving into the penalty area before the ball fell to Silva, who whipped a terrific strike into the bottom-left corner.

Bernardo Silva, Man City

And City went in front three minutes later through Grealish.

After regaining possession in the final third, Alvarez got in down the right, and with Teden Mengi unable to intercept the Argentinian’s cross, Grealish slotted low past Kaminski from a tight angle.

The impressive Barkley fired a shot wide as Luton looked to respond, while Alvarez’s swerving effort from distance went narrowly over.

Luton built some late pressure though a series of corners, but City held firm to return to winning ways, moving on to 33 points.

The title race

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
1 Liverpool LIV 27 +39 63
2 Man City MCI 27 +35 62
3 Arsenal ARS 26 +39 58
4 Aston Villa AVL 27 +22 55
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A third straight defeat leaves Luton in 18th with nine points, four points from safety.

Premier League

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
16 Everton EVE 27 -8 25
17 Nott'm Forest NFO 27 -15 24
18 Luton LUT 26 -17 20
19 Burnley BUR 27 -35 13
20 Sheffield Utd SHU 26 -44 13
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Next five Premier League fixtures
Key facts

- Having lost none of the first three Premier League games in which they had been ahead (W2 D1), Luton have since lost both of their last two matches in the competition despite taking a lead in each.
- Grealish scored the 50th goal of his English club career in all competitions, and his 25th in the Premier League. 
- Silva scored his fourth Premier League goal of the season (13 games), as many as he netted in the whole of last term for Manchester City (34 apps).
- Adebayo is Luton's top Premier League scorer this season (4 goals), scoring in back-to-back games for the first time in the division.

 

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