Manchester City player ratings v Luton TownManchester City player ratings v Luton Town
Manchester City player ratings v Luton Town

Man City player ratings v Luton: Two score 8/10 in 5-1 win for the champions - gallery

Mateo Kovacic, Erling Haaland, Jeremy Doku and Josko Gvardiol netted in the convincing victory, in addition to a Diaki Hashioka own-goal.

Manchester City recorded a 5-1 win over Luton Town on Saturday to take top place in the Premier League, at least until Liverpool and Arsenal play later this weekend.

After a slow first half, the champions clicked into gear in the second period, capitalising on Luton’s exhaustion in a game where City amassed 74 percent possession and nearly three times as many passes as the opposition.

When the sides last met six weeks’ ago, a lax Luton defence allowed Erling Haaland ample space to run in behind and he punished them with a five-goal haul. Lessons clearly weren’t learnt and within a minute of Saturday’s encounter the Norwegian was bearing down on goal.

After the initial shot was saved by Thomas Kaminski, Jeremy Doku’s follow-up was blocked by Reece Burke, before Haaland acrobatically rifled it in via a huge deflection off the head of Diaki Hashioka. No doubt about this one, that was an own-goal from the unfortunate Luton defender.

Ironically, despite 17 first-half shots from Pep Guardiola’s men to none from Luton, it was that own-goal that separated the sides at the break. Matheus Nunes went closest when his effort from an acute angle clipped the post, while Josko Gvardiol, Ruben Dias and Kevin De Bruyne (twice) forced Kaminski into stops.

But it was one-way traffic in that opening 45 as City, orchestrated by De Bruyne, moved the ball fluidly and with pace, while waiting patiently for the gaps in Luton’s low block to emerge. It resulted in a plethora of crosses and through balls that were intercepted by a determined opposition backline.

The second period followed a similar pattern as Dias shot narrowly wide with a left-foot effort from the edge of the box, before Julian Alvarez wriggled and fired just off target on the hour. As the game moved into the final third, Luton’s tentative hopes of a late comeback were growing, until Alvarez picked out Mateo Kovacic just inside the City box and he rocketed a powerful effort beyond Kaminski.

Haaland, on another quiet afternoon, then made it three from the spot as he placed the ball in the bottom corner after sending Kaminski the wrong way. Jeremy Doku, a constant livewire out left earned the penalty when he was tripped by the tired challenge of Fred Onyedinma.

Luton hadn’t offered any real threat in the first hour, but improved in the latter stages. Cauley Woodrow rattled the bar with the team’s first effort of the game, before Ederson was called into action to keep out a shot from Pelly Mpanzu after he motored into the box and shot. And Ross Barkley punished a rare moment of weakness from the hosts as he dispossessed Nunes near the City box and placed the ball past Ederson.

But the joy was short lived as Doku added a fourth for City in the 87th minute when he twisted and turned inside the box and placed the ball through the legs of Hashioka and into the back of the net. Josko Gvardiol, fresh from his maiden City goal in midweek, made in two in five days as he blasted in a final goal in injury-time to help improve City’s goal difference at the top of the league.

Here’s how we rated the players...

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