Manchester City returned to winning ways with a gritty 2-1 win over Luton Town. There was bad news for the champions pre-game with Erling Haaland ruled out of the game due to a foot injury.
The treble winners were forced to come from behind as the hosts took the lead through Elijah Adebayo on the stroke of halftime. But the champions dug deep and second-half goals from Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish saw Pep Guardiola’s side pick up all three points and put an end to their 4 game-run in the Premier League without a win.
The game kicked with City looking sharp in possession and they nearly took the lead in the second minute. Some neat work from Julian Alvarez and Bernardo Silva played in Phil Foden and his shot from an angle was saved by Luton keeper Thomas Kaminski. Bernardo Silva blasted the rebound wide as City signalled their intent early.
The treble winners started to resemble themselves with some neat passing and quick movement. The threat from Josko Gvardiol on City’s left-hand side was a standout of the early stages.
The champions next tested Kaminski in the 19th minute as the returning Rodri had a powerful effort saved.
Phil Foden was next to test the Luton Town shot-stopper who saved well from a Foden rocket in the 27th minute.
Pep Guardiola’s side dominated possession for the majority of the first half but just lacked the cutting edge to find a breakthrough.
Despite Manchester City’s dominance, it was Luton Town who took the lead into the interval. A well-placed Andros Townsend cross came in from Luton’s right-hand side and Elijah Adebayo rose highest to power his side into the lead. The goal sent Kenilworth Road delirious as the teams went into the break.
Pep Guardiola’s team needed to respond in the second half. They dominated possession after the restart as they forced the hosts to defend for the opening 15 minutes of the second half.
Ruben Dias almost brought City level but his effort was tipped onto the bar by Kaminski after Nathan Ake had played the ball back into the box.
The treble winners finally had their equaliser three minutes later. A surging Rodri run saw the Spanish midfielder disposed by Tom Lockyer. The rebound fell the way of Bernardo Silva who curled a wonderful finish into the bottom corner. It was a beautiful goal and one City deserved.
It would get even better three minutes later for the treble winners. Julian Alvarez pressed Luton Town into an error. He then surged into the box and played a delightful ball across for Jack Grealish to fire his side into a 2-1 lead.
Luton Town pressed for an equaliser in the closing stages. Rob Edwards side had a host of set pieces but couldn’t test Ederson. Manchester City held firm to take all three points in a tough encounter.
While the champions were dominant for large parts of the game all that mattered was the result. A hard-fought 2-1 win keeps the champions within 4 points of Liverpool who lead the Premier League.
Up next for Manchester City is Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Champions League before Crystal Palace come to the Etihad next weekend.