Haaland scores as Man City routs Luton 5-1 to go top of the English Premier League

Sat, Apr 13, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Haaland scores as Man City routs Luton 5-1 to go top of the English Premier League

MANCHESTER, England (AP) - Manchester City kept up the pressure on Arsenal and Liverpool with an emphatic 5-1 victory over relegation-threatened Luton on Saturday that put the defending champion back atop the English Premier League.

An early own goal from Daiki Hashioka gave City the lead at Etihad Stadium before a fierce shot by Mateo Kovacic and a penalty by Erling Haaland put the game beyond doubt after the break.

Luton earned a consolation goal through Ross Barkley in the 81st but Jeremy Doku and Josko Gvardiol added late goals to wrap up the win, which lifted City two points above Arsenal and Liverpool. Arsenal hosts Aston Villa on Sunday, when Liverpool takes on Crystal Palace.

With City still in contention for a second straight treble of major trophies, manager Pep Guardiola took the opportunity to rotate his squad and left key midfielder Rodri on the bench after the Spaniard said publicly he needed a rest.

Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Bernardo Silva and John Stones also were rested ahead of Real Madrid's visit on Wednesday in the return leg of their Champions League quarterfinal. But goalkeeper Ederson returned to replace Stefan Ortega and Kevin De Bruyne was back after an illness.

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It was a bit of luck, though, that gave City the opener inside two minutes.

Haaland attempted an acrobatic volley after his initial shot was saved, but the ball was heading well wide until it took a huge deflection off Hashioka's head and ended up in the net.

But Luton defended with great determination and the second goal didn't come until just after the hour when Kovavic unleashed an unstoppable effort from the edge of the area following a corner.

Doku then won a penalty after being brought down in the area and Haaland calmly sent Thomas Kaminski the wrong way to register his 31st goal of the season in all competitions, but only his second in six games.

Barkley robbed Nunes to pull one back but City finished with a flourish.

Doku claimed the fourth after weaving through the area in the 87th and Gvardiol followed up his fine strike against Madrid with another stunner in stoppage time.

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