Manchester City vs Luton: Doku is the difference as City ease to big win, leapfrog Arsenal to top EPL table | Football News - Hindustan Times

Manchester City vs Luton: Doku is the difference as City ease to big win, leapfrog Arsenal to top EPL table

Apr 13, 2024 10:46 PM IST

Manchester City vs Luton: Doku's individual skills ease City to a massive, 5-1, win.

Manchester City vs Luton: It was a match that Manchester City found very tough to crack. After a barren first half that was marked by a Luton self-goal, City left it right till the very end to slam 4 goals and the big difference was not the team’s strength per se, but the individual brilliance of Doku on the left who master-minded a goal for himself, a penalty for Erling Haaland and a strike from outside the box for Gvardiol. And played a great part in a superb goal by Kovacic. An amazing amount of hard work and his feet were literally on fire, as was attested by his bending over to untie his shoelaces as soon as the referee blew full time on the match - 5-1!

Luton Town's Fred Onyedinma, left, challenges for the ball with Manchester City's Jeremy Doku during the match between Manchester City and Luton Town at Etihad stadium in Manchester.(AP)
Luton Town's Fred Onyedinma, left, challenges for the ball with Manchester City's Jeremy Doku during the match between Manchester City and Luton Town at Etihad stadium in Manchester.(AP)

City dominated in terms of ball possession throughout the match, but that was quite expected considering that Luton was not exactly a top 5 team. However, till the 64th minute, after the first goal, Luton kept the City men away and without letting any alarming situations to be generated. They were themselves playing on the break, but did not manage to crack the City defense although there were a couple of near chances.

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In fact, the first half was a total loss for City as the only goal scored was an own goal scored by the hapless by the hapless Daiki Hashioka after only two minutes.

However, as with the match against Arsenal, City found it extremely difficult to open up the Luton defense to score and time was passing. Notably, it should be remembered that Arsenal was leading the EPL table courtesy the massive goal difference in its favour and City would have thought this game to be the ideal way to cut that to reachable levels.

City, as a team was working like a machine and imposing itself, but as soon as the ball got near or into the Luton box, things fell apart.

In fact, 64 minutes elapsed with no sign of a goal despite the City dominance. Finally, it was a set piece that brought on. From a corner on the left, instead of crossing, Alvarez passes it to the nearby Doku, who quickly does a 1-2 with the Argentinian and with the entire Luton defense packed into the D, there was Kovacic virtually unmarked just outside. Alvarez sent a long pass and Kovacic blasted it straight into the net. Manchester City 2, Luton 0. Doku magic was exceptional as was the amazing pass by Alvarez and Kovacic just capped the all-round brilliance with a shot to remember, even though he had to contort himself and reach for it at an uncomfortable height.

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However, within just a couple of minutes, Luton cracked the City crossbar with a wonderful effort - what a few seconds of broken concentration did! City were still celebrating their goal in their minds when Woodrow hit one onto the bar with the goallie clueless!

With others like Kevin De Bruyne, Erlin Haaaland, and Gvardiol not firing, it was time for Doku to step up and be counted. While throughout the match he had abjured dribbling to ensure he did not give up the ball and to also ensure that team tactics were not violated, he finally unleashed himself to cut through the tight Luton defensive position.

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Till now, Fred Onyedinma had done a great job of guarding Doku, but this time, when the City stalwart jinked and ran with the ball near the small box, he could just lash out with a tired leg that tripped Doku, Penalty! No guesses as to who took it - Haaland. And he did a superb job by sending the goallie the wrong way.

The floodgates had finally opened? Not really as City were immediately caught out and Luton scored! A terrible clearance of a long ball by Ederson put Barkley through to score easily past the goallie. 3-1!

However, City were not done yet and they went for more goals. It was in the 87th minute that they got it, with who else but Doku. He dribbles into the box with 2 defenders and shoots into the far corner with the goalkeeper rooted.

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It clearly showed that while the Pep Guardiola strategy is great to have full ball possession and dominate the match, but ultimately, it requires some individual brilliance to actually score. Haaland was doing it last year, but this year, he has not been at his best. 4-1!

Still not satiated with the flow of goals, Doku again cut through the Luton defense and from the left of the box, passed to Gvardiol who was on top of the box and his powerful shot proved unstoppable! It was the 93rd minute of the match.

Manchester City vs Luton Town: 5-1!

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