Manchester City won 2-1 against Luton Town this Sunday at the Kenilworth Stadium in an intense Premier League game. Man City was the superior team throughout the match, ending the game with 66% possession by the end of play.
Despite the difference in control, it seemed likely at one point that Luton could come out victorious, scoring the first goal 47 minutes into play, and securing the lead heading into halftime. However, this lead would end up being rather short-lived.
Manchester City’s substitutions after their recent loss
Manchester City made some changes after their recent loss against Aston Villa on Wednesday, in which the final score was 1-0. City focused more on defense this time, switching from a 3-2-4 formation to a 4-2-3 in today’s game. In addition to the formation change, three substitutions were made as well.
Perhaps the most surprising of which, is the absence of their star striker, Erling Haaland, due to what Pep Guardiola is calling a bone stress reaction in his foot. “[It is] a bone stress reaction in his foot. After the last game against Aston Villa he felt like this and he can’t play,” said City’s Manager in a recent interview with Sky Sports.
Haaland has yet to play against Luton, one of only two English Teams he hasn’t scored a goal on.
With Haaland not being able to play, Man City put 23-year-old striker Julián Álvarez in as one of their main forwards. Jack Grealish was their third substitute, back after his one-game ban following his fifth yellow card of the season against Tottenham.
21-year-old Jeremy Doku is still out due to a leg injury, in which he isn’t expected to return for at least two more weeks, according to City’s manager.
Luton also switched out three players following their recent loss against Arsenal, including their team captain Tom Lockyer, who returned after recovering from a back problem.
Manchester City controls most of the game
Manchester City seemed to be keeping control of the ball for nearly the entirety of the game, which is reflected in the post-game stats, where it’s revealed that Luton only had possession for 34% of the game, and made 4 shots, two of which being on goal.
Luton’s stats are in stark contrast to that of Man City, which made 18 shots, 6 of which were on goal.
Despite the difference in control over the game, it was Luton Town who obtained the first goal of the game, with Elijah Adebayo making a header into the top left corner two minutes into stoppage time for the first half. The goal was off of a wonderful cross from Andros Townsend, putting their team in the lead. Adebayo was one of the most effective players for Luton in their recent Arsenal game.
Aside from Adebayo’s goal, the only other real opportunity Luton was able to create was a shot on goal from Townsend at 32 minutes, which Man City’s goalie was easily able to stop.
City was able to rest easy, as only 17 minutes later, at the 62-minute mark, they would see Bernardo Silva putting a fantastic shot into the corner of Luton’s net, going around several defenders.
Silva has proven to be instrumental to Man City over their recent wins, with many Cityzens hoping for him to become the link-up man in their midfield.
Less than three minutes later, at the 65-minute mark, a cross from Álvarez turned into the 50th goal of Grealish’s career, and the goal that would ultimately result in City’s victory, as he made a left-footed shot through the legs of Luton’s goalie.
Man City’s second goal started out as what appeared to be a handball on Álvarez, however, the ball only made contact with his face instead.
Luton continued to try and find any chance they could to bring the score up to a tie, with their closest chance being a corner kick at the very last minute of stoppage time, bringing their goalie downfield to try and create every advantage that they could, but it ultimately led to the goalie for City taking control of the ball, and the final whistle being blown, with the score remaining 2-1.
Manchester City and Luton Town’s current rankings
Sunday’s game result marked City’s first league victory in five games, following draws against Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, and a defeat at Aston Villa this last Wednesday. They currently take the fourth spot in the Premier League, behind Liverpool, Arsenal, and Aston Villa. City is currently 4 points behind first place.
Luton town continues to stay at the bottom of the rankings, holding the 18th spot, with only two teams beneath them. Their play at today’s game was a similar story for them, as unless something changes, it appears they will continue to struggle in their upcoming games.