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Five goals from Haaland, four assists from De Bruyne: Man City demolish Luton

On Tuesday evening, Manchester City celebrated a 6:2 victory in the FA Cup at Luton. Above all, a congenial attacking duo from the Skyblues shone

Just how comfortable Man City’s current personnel situation is compared to Liverpool, among others, was demonstrated on Tuesday evening. Pep Guardiola gave two of his most in-form players, Rodri and Foden, a rest and brought on the duo of De Bruyne, who was given a long rest in the 1-0 win at Bournemouth, and Grealish, who made his comeback from a groin strain suffered in Copenhagen. Cup goalkeeper Ortega Moreno and Walker also started in place of Ederson and Ruben Dias.

One player in particular benefited from De Bruyne’s return: Haaland. As early as the third minute, the Belgian set up the striker for the 1:0 after an impressive attack. Although the goal was conceded after overplayed pressing, Luton continued to stand tall – their tactics looked somewhat naive against the merciless Skyblues. A simple long shot from Ortega Moreno and a subsequent one-two from De Bruyne and goalscorer Haaland resulted in the 2:0 (18′).

The private duel between the Norwegian and Hatters Cup goalkeeper Krul, one of three new signings after the 4-1 defeat at Liverpool, was to take center stage more often in the coming minutes: Twice the goalkeeper kept the upper hand (25th, 30th), on the latter occasion he had also saved De Bruyne’s volley beforehand.

Luton regain hope after Clark’s brace

Shortly before Haaland’s hat-trick (40′) – again assisted, of course, by his congenial partner De Bruyne – there was bad news for the Citizens on an otherwise carefree cup evening: Grealish had to leave the field again due to injury and subsequently buried his face in his jacket (39′). Just before the break, Clark put the Hatters on the scoreboard with a dream goal from distance to make it 3-1 at half-time (45′).

The home fans’ hopes of a comeback rose shortly after the restart: After Matheus Nunes had missed the 4:1 (48′), Clark scored his brace at the other end (52′). But the one-goal gap did not last long: within three minutes, Haaland added his fourth (55′) and fifth (58′) goals of the day – although his fifth goal also ended a streak, as Bernardo Silva assisted in place of De Bruyne.

Many chances until the end

Because the hosts did not give up and continued to try their luck in attack, there were still plenty of chances despite the clear scoreline. De Bruyne missed on one side (63) and Morris, Barkley (both 64) and Chong (65) on the other.

Kovacic made the final score in a highly entertaining game with a shot from distance (72′) – also because Doku flashed over in the closing stages (80′) and Alvarez failed to beat Krul (90′).

For Manchester City, the derby against United is coming up on Sunday (4.30pm). Luton host Aston Villa the day before (6.30pm).

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