Jack Grealish helped Manchester City win their first game in four tries. The Premier League champions had a bit of a tough time against Luton but managed to pull off a 2-1 victory.
Jack Grealish in action vs Luton
Jack Grealish made sure Manchester City won their first game in four attempts. The Premier League champions had a tough match against Luton, but they managed to win 2-1 on Sunday. Without their star striker Erling Haaland, who was injured, Pep Guardiola’s team was losing to Elijah Adebayo’s goal late in the first half at Kenilworth Road. Despite missing many opportunities, City finally started playing well and scored two goals in three minutes after halftime.
Bernardo Silva scored to make it even, and Grealish got the winning goal, giving City a much-needed first win in five league matches.
City was at risk of dropping out of the title race after a slow and tiring 1-0 loss to Aston Villa on Wednesday. This came after drawing with Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham in previous matches.
Liverpool’s victory against Crystal Palace on Saturday increased their lead over City to seven points.
City, currently in fourth place, fought back with a determined effort to reduce the gap to Liverpool to four points. Guardiola praised the team’s performance, especially after recent setbacks, noting that conceding a goal just before halftime was a tough moment, but the players responded well to the challenge.
The challenge is to keep going strong, and the players are doing that by running, fighting, and behaving well on and off the field. I’m proud of them.
City needs to put in more effort to reclaim control of their quest for an unprecedented fourth consecutive top-flight title. Unfortunately, Haaland’s fitness concern has arisen at a challenging moment. Haaland, who played in all of City’s league matches this season, is now sidelined due to a foot injury. This might affect his availability for the busy Christmas schedule of the team, aiming for a treble.
Pep Guardiola, the City manager, mentioned that Haaland, who has scored 19 goals this season, became aware of the injury after the team’s loss to Aston Villa on Wednesday.
Guardiola will be concerned about Haaland’s fitness, especially since City is set to travel to the FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia before returning for the packed holiday schedule.
“It’s his foot, and we’ll have to wait and see. We’re taking it day by day, week by week. Hopefully, we can get him back in time for the Club World Cup,” Guardiola mentioned. Despite being in a lower position in the standings, Luton has proven to be a challenging team at home since returning to the top flight after 31 years.
City faced a tough reception on their first visit to Kenilworth Road since 1998. The neighborhood around the small stadium made it a challenging and unwelcoming experience for the star-studded team.
In the beginning, Phil Foden sprinted onto Silva’s pass and took a powerful shot that Thomas Kaminski saved with a full-stretch effort. However, Silva missed the rebound by shooting it wide.
City continued their attacks, with Alvarez narrowly missing a poke from Grealish’s pass. Foden also had a chance, but Kaminski made a brave save at his feet. Guardiola seemed uneasy on the touchline as Kovacic’s shot flew over the goal.
The Spaniard got worried when Luton took the lead just before the first half ended.
Josko Gvardiol gave Andros Townsend too much space on the right side, and then the Luton winger’s pass reached the far post. Adebayo jumped above Ruben Dias and Kyle Walker to score with a header.
Guardiola left the field talking energetically with the officials about the goal being scored after the two minutes of extra time had passed.
In the second half, when Rodri kicked the ball wide from Walker’s pass, the Luton fans teased City with disapproving sounds, making their situation worse. However, Dias hit the bar with a powerful shot, hinting at City’s upcoming comeback, and they equalized in the 62nd minute.
Rodri played a key role with a strong run into the Luton area. When the ball came to Silva, he skillfully curved it into the far corner for a great finish.
City finished their comeback three minutes later. Despite appeals for a handball against Julian Alvarez being ignored, the Argentine’s low cross found Grealish for a precise close-range goal. Guardiola celebrated by mockingly blowing kisses to the Luton coaching staff, secretly relieved at City’s narrow escape.