Manchester City beat Luton without Haaland; Tottenham thrash Newcastle | Football News - Hindustan Times
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Manchester City beat Luton without Erling Haaland to end 4-match winless run; Tottenham thrash Newcastle 4-1

AP |
Dec 11, 2023 07:06 AM IST

Haaland was sidelined because of a foot injury so City was without the league's top scorer in its bid to produce a fightback.

Without the injured Erling Haaland and trailing 1-0 to Luton at halftime, Manchester City was in danger of plunging into a full-blown crisis approaching the halfway point of its Premier League title defense.

Manchester City's English midfielder #10 Jack Grealish (2nd R) celebrates scoring his team second goal during the English Premier League football match between Luton Town and Manchester City(AFP)
Manchester City's English midfielder #10 Jack Grealish (2nd R) celebrates scoring his team second goal during the English Premier League football match between Luton Town and Manchester City(AFP)

The defending champions managed to turn it round, though, as goals by Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish in a three-minute span earned a 2-1 victory Sunday that ended their four-match winless run and trimmed the gap to first-place Liverpool to four points.

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If it wasn't for the recovery in the second half, City manager Pep Guardiola would have stumbled into the worst streak of results in his coaching career, having never gone five matches without a win.

That was the bleak scenario facing Guardiola and City after striker Elijah Adebayo headed in Andros Townsend’s cross at the back post in the second minute of first-half stoppage time to give Luton the lead at Kenilworth Road — five days after the promoted hosts blew a 3-2 lead against Arsenal to lose 4-3.

Haaland was sidelined because of a foot injury so City was without the league's top scorer in its bid to produce a fightback.

Still, Rodri was back from suspension and when the Spain midfielder's surge into the area was stopped by a timely challenge, Silva was there to pounce on the loose ball and curl a finish into the bottom corner in the 62nd.

Grealish then converted a cross by Julian Alvarez in the 65th.

“People say, ‘City is over already," Guardiola said. "This is the challenge that we have ahead of us. Prove them wrong and still be there.”

City stayed in fourth place, with Guardiola saying Haaland will be assessed ahead of the home game against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

NEWCASTLE SUFFERING

The injuries are piling up for Saudi-owned Newcastle, and so are the losses.

With the 4-1 thrashing at Tottenham, Newcastle has lost more games in the Premier League — six — than the team had in the whole of the 2022-23 campaign.

Three of them have come in the last five games and away from home as Newcastle manager Eddie Howe struggles to balance playing domestic and Champions League soccer amid an injury crisis that has led to him playing the same starting lineup in five straight games. Next up is its biggest game of the season, at home to AC Milan on Wednesday when Newcastle's Champions League hopes are on the line.

Destiny Udogie scored for the first time in the Premier League, Richarlison added goals either side of the break and Son Heung-min converted a late penalty for Tottenham, which hadn't won since Oct. 27 — when the team was unbeaten and top of the standings.

There have been four defeats and a draw since then, with Spurs taking the lead in each of those games but failing to hold on. Not this time, though Joelinton scored a stoppage-time consolation for Newcastle.

SURGING EVERTON

Everton is surging clear of the relegation zone, less than a month after plunging into the bottom three after being deducted 10 points for financial mismanagement.

A 2-0 win over Chelsea secured a third straight win for Everton, which has moved four points clear of third-from last Luton.

Abdoulaye Doucoure scored for the third time in five games, converting a rebound in the 54th after Dominic Calvert-Lewin had a shot saved by Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Sanchez. Lewis Dobbin added a second in the second minute of stoppage time.

After spending around $1 billion on players in the last three transfer windows, Chelsea isn't even in the top half after losing three of its last four games.

The visitors also lost right back Reece James to another injury after he was forced off in the 27th minute with a suspected hamstring problem.

IN-FORM JIMENEZ

Raul Jimenez is enjoying a new lease of life at Fulham.

The Mexico international went through some lean times after sustaining a career-threatening head injury while playing for Wolverhampton in November 2020. From being one of the most sought-after strikers in the Premier League, he appeared to lose all of his confidence and was sold to Fulham in July.

With his 22nd-minute strike in Fulham's 5-0 win over West Ham, Jimenez has four goals in his last five games and is leading a midseason resurgence from the London club.

Willian and Tosin Adarabioyo added first-half goals while Harry Wilson and Carlos Vinicius added more after the break as Fulham scored at least three goals for the fourth straight game, after doing so against Wolverhampton, Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

It was a second straight 5-0 win, after thrashing Forest by that score in midweek.

Marco Silva's team is now in 10th place and only three points behind ninth-place West Ham, whose four-match unbeaten run in the league came to an end.

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