Sports, Football

Man City hard-fought win against Luton, Everton down Chelsea

By Reuters
Published : 11 Dec 2023 08:40 PM

 Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish scored three minutes apart as Manchester City came from behind to beat Premier League newcomers Luton Town 2-1 on Sunday and breathe a collective sigh of relief with their first victory in five league games.

The win kept the champions -- who were missing striker ErlingHaaland through injury -- in fourth place on 33 points, four shy of leaders Liverpool in a crowded title fight. Luton remain in the drop zone on nine points, four adrift of 17th place.

The home fans were celebrating at halftime at a raucous Kenilworth Road after Elijah Adebayo rose to meet a cross from Andros Townsend and headed in the opener seconds before the break.

But after numerous City near-misses, Silva scored in the 62nd minute when he curled a low left-footed strike into the far corner past goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski.

Grealish netted his 50th career goal three minutes later when Julian Alvarez sent a cross across the face of the goal that the 28-year-old stretched to slot in.

City arrived at Luton reeling from three draws and a midweek defeat by Aston Villa that saw last season's treble winners plummet to fourth having topped the standings a month ago.

A lengthy loss of Haaland, who has what Guardiola called a "stress reaction" in his foot, could be devastating for City's bid to retain their title.

For much of Sunday's match, Luton, whose rags-to-riches story saw them climb from non-league football to the Premier League in nine years, appeared poised to inflict more misery on the Manchester giants.

Luton ran out of steam in the second half in another solid performance for the Hatters, who held leaders Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at infamous Kenilworth this season while Arsenal needed an added-time winner to seal three points there.

City had 18 shots to Luton’s four but they either went wide or were stopped by Kaminski before Silva ended the drought. Kaminski made some terrific saves for the home side, particularly a diving stop on Phil Foden's low hard shot in the first half.

At Goodison Park, Liverpool,Liverpool AbdoulayeDoucoure scored in his 100th Premier League appearance for Everton and substitute Lewis Dobbin netted a late second goal to earn a 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday that inflicted a third away defeat in a row on the mid-table London club.

Dwight McNeil surged forward with the ball in the 54th minute and slipped a pass to Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Sanchez saved the one-on-one chance, but Doucoure drilled the rebound into the far corner of the net.

Academy product Dobbin scored his first league goal in an Everton shirt when he thrashed home a loose ball from a corner in stoppage time to seal the three points.

Chelsea slip to 12th in the table with 19 points from 16 games, while Everton have 13 points from their 16 matches. Without their 10-point deduction for financial breaches, against which they have appealed, Everton would be in 10th, four points ahead of Chelsea.