Luton Town 1-2 Man City: Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish complete comeback

10 December 2023 0 By Total Football News

Jack Grealish score for Manchester CityJack Grealish scored the 50th goal of his club career

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola called on his players to prove their doubters wrong after his side ended their four-match winless run in the Premier League with a come-from-behind victory over Luton Town.

Guardiola’s side were facing back-to-back league defeats for the first time since December 2019 when Elijah Adebayo gave Luton the lead in first-half stoppage time, rising highest at the back post to head in Andros Townsend’s cross.

But Bernardo Silva latched on to a loose ball in the penalty area and equalised with a fine curling effort.

Three minutes later City completed the turnaround when Jack Grealish converted Julian Alvarez’s low cross.

“Four games we didn’t win – we are not used to that,” Guardiola told BBC Match of the Day.

“People say ‘City is over already’. This is the challenge that we have ahead of us. Prove them wrong and still be there.”

Victory means the defending champions stay fourth, four points behind leaders Liverpool, while third-from-bottom Luton are now four points off safety following Everton’s win over Chelsea.

City record first league win in five weeks

City came into Sunday’s fixture on the back of their joint-longest run without a win under Guardiola.

While key players Rodri and Grealish returned after missing Wednesday’s loss to Aston Villa through suspension, leading scorer Erling Haaland was absent having picked up a foot injury in training.

At half-time there was a real sense of jeopardy for City, who would have been seven points off Liverpool with a loss.

But in the second half, despite not having Haaland’s imposing presence up front, City returned to their ruthless selves.

Just before their goals they hit the bar through Ruben Diaz’s thunderous shot following Nathan Ake’s cutback.

And once they took the lead they held Luton at arm’s length to record their first league win since beating Bournemouth 6-1 on 4 November.

“The way they run and fight coming here and behave like we behaved, I am really, really, really proud,” said Guardiola.

“We were seven points behind before the game. Now we are four, so we are a little bit closer. In my experience in this country the Premier League is so long, so it never ends.”

Luton slip further adrift

Luton have faced last season’s top two in the space of five days and have taken the lead in both matches only to be stung by second-half comebacks.

It is a testament to how far the Hatters have risen up the football pyramid in recent seasons, and a bouncing Kenilworth Road was again witness to Luton going ahead against a powerhouse of English football.

However, outside of Adebayo’s goal, the hosts were limited to half-chances. And, despite two promising performances, Edwards’ side have lost their past three matches and won only one of their past 10.

Luton were also fortunate not to have been reduced to 10 men in the 70th minute when Jacob Brown caught Phil Foden above the Englishman’s ankle. But, after a video assistant review, the Scotland forward went unpunished.

“We can take confidence; we are playing well, performing well,” Luton manager Rob Edwards told Match of the Day.

“We tried to not let them get their rhythm, get their game going. The goal was an excellent example of that.

“(Defeat) is frustrating, especially when you go 1-0 up. Full credit to Manchester City – that’s what top teams do.”

A gap is re-emerging between the bottom three and the rest of the division. At half-time on Sunday Luton were a point above the relegation zone in the as-things-stand table.

But their loss, coupled with Everton’s win, means they ended the day further adrift in the bottom three and in desperate need of points.

Player of the match

AdebayoElijah Adebayo

with an average of 7.64

Luton Town

  1. Squad number11Player nameAdebayo

    Average rating

    7.64

  2. Squad number30Player nameTownsend

    Average rating

    7.49

  3. Squad number6Player nameBarkley

    Average rating

    7.48

  4. Squad number19Player nameBrown

    Average rating

    7.37

  5. Squad number26Player nameGiles

    Average rating

    7.35

  6. Squad number4Player nameLockyer

    Average rating

    7.33

  7. Squad number45Player nameDoughty

    Average rating

    7.25

  8. Squad number13Player nameNakamba

    Average rating

    7.23

  9. Squad number29Player nameBell

    Average rating

    7.17

  10. Squad number24Player nameKaminski

    Average rating

    7.15

  11. Squad number15Player nameMengi

    Average rating

    7.13

  12. Squad number9Player nameMorris

    Average rating

    6.48

  13. Squad number14Player nameChong

    Average rating

    6.24

  14. Squad number28Player nameSambi Lokonga

    Average rating

    6.20

  15. Squad number18Player nameClark

    Average rating

    6.01

Manchester City

  1. Squad number25Player nameAkanji
    Average rating

    6.02

  2. Squad number27Player nameMatheus Nunes
    Average rating

    5.63

  3. Squad number5Player nameStones
    Average rating

    5.47

  4. Squad number10Player nameGrealish
    Average rating

    5.37

  5. Squad number47Player nameFoden
    Average rating

    5.34

  6. Squad number19Player nameÁlvarez
    Average rating

    5.24

  7. Squad number20Player nameBernardo Silva
    Average rating

    5.15

  8. Squad number16Player nameRodri
    Average rating

    4.90

  9. Squad number6Player nameAké
    Average rating

    4.84

  10. Squad number31Player nameEderson
    Average rating

    4.78

  11. Squad number3Player nameRúben Dias
    Average rating

    4.75

  12. Squad number2Player nameWalker
    Average rating

    4.69

  13. Squad number24Player nameGvardiol
    Average rating

    4.68

  14. Squad number8Player nameKovacic
    Average rating

    4.59

Line-ups

Luton

Formation 3-4-3

  • 24Kaminski
  • 15Mengi
  • 4LockyerSubstituted forClarkat 90′minutes
  • 29Bell
  • 45DoughtyBooked at 77mins
  • 13NakambaBooked at 58minsSubstituted forSambi Lokongaat 72′minutes
  • 6Barkley
  • 26GilesSubstituted forChongat 84′minutes
  • 30TownsendSubstituted forMorrisat 72′minutes
  • 11Adebayo
  • 19Brown

Substitutes

  • 5Andersen
  • 8Berry
  • 9Morris
  • 14Chong
  • 17Mpanzu
  • 18Clark
  • 23Krul
  • 28Sambi Lokonga
  • 38Johnson

Man City

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 31Ederson
  • 2Walker
  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 6Aké
  • data-reactid=".1cun471vwzm.0.0.0.1.$include-34.0.0.1:$panel-0.$0.0.0.1.3.$4PO477424.0">24GvardiolSubstituted forStonesat 69′minutes
  • 16RodriBooked at 73mins
  • 8KovacicSubstituted forNunesat 83′minutes
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 47FodenSubstituted forAkanjiat 90+3′minutes
  • 10Grealish
  • 19Álvarez

Substitutes

  • 4Phillips
  • 5Stones
  • 18Ortega
  • 21Gómez
  • 25Akanji
  • 27Nunes
  • 33Carson
  • 52Bobb
  • 82Lewis
Referee:
Tim Robinson
Attendance:
11,047

Match Stats

Live Text

Match ends, Luton Town 1, Manchester City 2.

Second Half ends, Luton Town 1, Manchester City 2.