Ex-Palace, QPR and Spurs winger runs Man City ragged in unfortunate 2-1 loss
By Alessandro Schiavone at Kenilworth Road
Luton Town 1-2 Man City
Goals: Adebayo (LT), Bernardo Silva & Greakish (M)
Do you need Erling Haaland to beat Luton Town if you are Manchester City?
No, but for 62 minutes you were tempted to say the opposite. Because former Crystal Palace and Tottenham winger Andros Townsend set up Elijah Adebayo’s SHOCK opening goal with a delicious cross down the right. All of a sudden Haaland's absence was being felt all over the pitch.
The former Eagle, who spent five years at Selhurst Park, put his body on the line and worked his socks off for the good of the team throughout.
And the biggest tribute one can pay him is that he’s getting better with age, maybe outdoing himself.
At nearly 33, he still has the quality on the ball and the passion for the game which explain why he proved a handful today. And against Arsenal the other day when he made another goal. The bigger the occasion, the more decisive he is.
Man City were easy on the eye and unsurprisingly had most of the ball but they couldn’t find a way through. Be it for Luton goalkeeper Kaminski’s excellent saves to parry a pair of shots from Phil Foden or Julian Alvarez and Bernardo Silva’s wastefulness, Man City just couldn’t break the Hatters’ resistance. And they had difficulties defending against the 32-year-old.
Josko Gvardiol, Manchester City’s £77.6m star summer signing failed to cut his perfect delivery which suggests that the player himself could still have done the job for Roy Hodgson’s misfiring South Londoners right now.
With the reigning Treble winners in town, the Luton faithful were primed for the occasion. Each time one of their players cleared the lines, broke a line or intercepted a pass, a round of applause echoed around this 118-year old ground. And it would get even better when Man City blasted a shot over or one of their players lost the ball.
In the end Pep Guardiola’s men turned the game on its head with Bernardo Silva and Grealish doing the damage in the space of three minutes shortly after the hour-mark.
Yet Townsend and ex-Chelsea flop Ross Barkley, who left Foden trailing and turned Mateo Kovacic inside out before firing wide, held their own against arguably the world’s best side.
And if Luton are to beat the odds and stay in the Premier League the pair, who have 515 appearances between them, need to show the rest of the squad the way.
Because a big chunk of Luton’s hopes of playing another year in the top-flight depends on the former Londoners who shone in the absence of the Norwegian goal machine.
And they came within a whisker of writing one of the greatest pages in the club's history.
But Man City, the greatest side ever to play on this turf, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as their quality eventually shone through.