Man City beat Luton to go top for first time since November

13 Apr 2024
city v luton

Champions boost their goal difference in title race with 5-1 home win

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Manchester City moved top of the Premier League table for the first time since 25 November with a dominant 5-1 win over relegation-threatened Luton Town at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The title race

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
1 Man City MCI 38 +62 91
2 Arsenal ARS 38 +62 89
3 Liverpool LIV 38 +45 82
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Late goals from Jeremy Doku and Josko Gvardiol made sure of the win to extend the Citizens’ unbeaten run to 27 games in all competitions.

Daiki Hashioka's own goal had given City the lead inside two minutes, with Mateo Kovacic’s stunning volley and Erling Haaland’s penalty adding to their tally in the second half.

Ross Barkley's late goal proved nothing more than a consolation as Pep Guardiola's side move two points clear of Liverpool and Arsenal at the top of the league.

How the match unfolded

City made a perfect start as Haaland acrobatically met Doku’s blocked effort to volley home, but he would not be credited with the goal as it deflected in off the face of an unfortunate Hashioka, who has scored own goals in consecutive away games.

hashioka og mci

Thomas Kaminski, who had already made a great save to deny Haaland in the build-up to the early goal, kept his side in it with more big saves to deny Gvardiol and Matheus Nunes.

Nunes gave Luton another warning – he clipped the bottom of the far post with a low, fizzed effort before Kaminski was called into action again to keep out Kevin De Bruyne’s curler on the stroke of half-time.

The Citizens remained dominant in the second half, but it looked like their finishing touch had abandoned them, until the 63rd minute, as Julian Alvarez hung a brilliant cross to the edge of the box, and Kovacic volleyed in a superb finish to beat Kaminski.

Kova goal lut

Cauley Woodrow came off the bench to give City a scare just minutes later, as Fred Onyedinma dispossessed Gvardiol and set him up for a fierce shot which rattled Ederson’s crossbar.

Onyedinma then lunged in with a lazy challenge on Doku to give away a penalty, which Haaland coolly slotted into the bottom-left corner, but Luton still had some fight left in them, and Barkley pulled a goal back in the 81st minute with a drilled finish.

doku wins pen lut

Doku restored City’s three-goal cushion with an inch-perfect finish into the bottom-right corner shortly after, and Gvardiol added to the emphatic win with a rifled effort into the back of the net in stoppage time.

gvardiol goal lut

Luton remain 18th and have slipped one point below 17th-placed Nottingham Forest, who picked up a point with a 2-2 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The relegation battle

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
17 Nott'm Forest NFO 38 -18 32
18 Luton LUT 38 -33 26
19 Burnley BUR 38 -37 24
20 Sheffield Utd SHU 38 -69 16
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City closing in on club record

Guardiola's side have been in formidable form and are now unbeaten in their last 27 games in all competitions – a run which started with their 2-1 win away at Luton in December.

On home soil, they have proven even harder to beat, and while they were not at their free-flowing best, this win extended their current unbeaten streak to 41 games without defeat at the Etihad in all competitions.

They are now just one short of their all-time club record of 42 which was set between December 1919 and November 1921.

Luton’s away-day woes continue

While it was never going to be an easy task for Luton to go up against a City forward line that had already netted 71 goals in the Premier League before this game, manager Rob Edwards would have hoped that they could hold out longer against them than the 65 seconds it took to break the deadlock.

The Hatters have now conceded a league-high 43 goals on the road in the competition this season, and they are still without a clean sheet in any of their away games in the league – something only matched by Sheffield United.

They have also never won away against the reigning top-flight champions in 17 attempts, drawing three and losing four, losing the last 10 by an aggregate score of 32-3.

Club reports

Man City report | Luton report

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