Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Manchester City 5-1 Luton: What Were The Main Talking Points As City Fire Their Way Back To The Top Of The Table?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 14 Apr 2024

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Putting in what was a rampant second-half performance on Saturday afternoon, Manchester City stormed their way to a 5-1 romp against Luton.

Taking the lead after just 65 seconds as Erling Haaland’s wayward effort was deflected off Daiki Hashioka before flying into the net, Pep Guardiola’s men eventually cruised their way to the top of the Premier League table.

While the Sky Blues might have been frustrated for large spells of the first-half, the defending champions came flying out of the traps when returning from the interval.

With Mateo Kovacic producing a wonderful volley just after the hour-mark, the floodgates quickly opened as Haaland converted from the spot before Jermy Doku and Josko Gvardiol bagged a late brace.

Although the red-hot Ross Barkley might have notched a minor consolation strike for the Hatters here, City hardly had to get out of third gear and breezed their way ahead of both Liverpool and Arsenal in this season’s title chase.

With their goal difference handed a healthy boost on home soil, Man City are now unbeaten in all of their previous 27 appearances across all competitions.

As for Luton, still sat one-point adrift of safety and facing a real scrap for top-flight safety, they have also recorded just a single Premier League victory since the end of January.

In a showdown that was largely one-way traffic in the blue half of Manchester, we have taken a look at some of the main talking points.

City climb to the top of the pile

Although Manchester City might have eventually been left frustrated earlier in the week as they had to settle for a remarkable 3-3 stalemate away at Real Madrid, they have certainly continued to shine since opening the New Year.

While Guardiola’s squad might have a real battle on their hands in the race to claim a fourth consecutive Premier League crown this season, Saturday’s victory does fire them back to the top of the table.

Leapfrogging both Arsenal and Liverpool with neither of their bitter title rivals set to feature until Sunday afternoon, the Sky Blues would have simply been glad to avoid what would have been an infamous banana skin at the Etihad.

Along with handing their goal difference a healthy boost here, Guardiola’s men are unbeaten in all of their previous 27 straight appearances across all competitions – a purple patch that stems all the way back to a 1-0 defeat against Aston Villa on December 6th.

Still very much holding the chance to make real history and claim a treble-winning campaign, City will be excited to turn their attention back to Champions League duties in midweek when they welcome Los Blancos to Manchester for their second-leg showdown.

The Sky Blues have found their clinical best

Although Man City might have been frustrated for large spells of the first-half here, the Sky Blues certainly come flying out of the traps when returning from the interval.

Eventually putting five past the leading relegation scrappers, Guardiola’s side have continued to shine with their performances in the final third.

While the defending Premier League champions might have recorded just a single clean sheet from any of their previous four appearances across all competitions, they have bagged 16 goals in those four consecutive outings.

Opening April with a stellar 4-1 romp against Champions League chasers Aston Villa, the former Barcelona boss finds his superstar squad firing on all cylinders.

Notching a trio of European goals when they travelled over to Real Madrid earlier in the week, City have also recorded nine goals in back-to-back Premier League contests at the Etihad.

Always mission impossible for Luton

Although Luton might still very much fancy their chances of pulling off a real upset and extending on their Premier League status, Rob Edwards’ men would have always known that they faced a monumental challenge at the Etihad here.

Crashing out of the FA Cup on February 27th astray slumped to a 6-2 drumming against City at Kenilworth Road, Saturday’s trip to Manchester was always billed as mission impossible for the relegation scrappers.

While the Hatters might have continued to receive plenty of plaudits since making their famous Premier League return this season, time is starting to tick away.

Although Edwards’ men might have mounted what could be a season-defining comeback against Bournemouth last weekend as they snatched a 2-1 victory at home against Bournemouth, Saturday’s guests have failed to win any of their other 12 appearances across all competitions.

However, with Nottingham Forest suffering their own stutter as they had to settle for a 2-2 stalemate at home against Wolves on the same afternoon, Luton face what is a real six-pointer when they welcome Brentford to Bedfordshire next week.

Match Report

Manchester City: Emerson, Lewis, Dias, Akanji, Gvardiol, Nunes, Kovacic, De Bruyne, Doku, Alvarez, Haaland

Subs: Gomez, Bobb

Luton: Kaminski, Onyedinma, Hashioka, Burke, Doughty, Berry, Barkley, Clark, Chong, Morris, Townsend

Subs: Woodrow, Nelson, Mpanzu, Johnson

Goals: Manchester City: Hashioka OG (2’), Kovacic (64’), Haaland P (76’), Doku (87’), Gvardiol (90+3’) – Luton: Barkley (81’)

Yellow Cards: De Bruyne

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: John Brooks

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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