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Five Things Learned: Luton Town 2-6 Manchester City (FA Cup Fifth Round)



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Manchester City turned on the style at Kenilworth Road, as they booked their place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, courtesy of an emphatic 2-6 victory over Luton Town on Tuesday night.

With a surprisingly strong team selection Pep Guardiola told everyone loud and clear where his priorities lied, with the Catalonian not allowing his side to have even a sniff of complacency as they faced Luton Town.

As the game kicked off the urgency in the play evidenced the fact that City weren’t going to take this one lightly, and an Erling Haaland strike inside three minutes solidified their intent.

Set up by Kevin De Bruyne, Haaland finished his chance nicely, a pattern which would be repeated a lot more than once in this game, with City’s second and third coming from that combination once more.

A 38-minute Haaland hat-trick felt like the ultimate silencer to the recent doubters of the striker, but a rocket from Josh Clark late into the first-half put the cat amongst the pigeons and gave the Champions something to think about going into half time.

The late goal out of nothing perhaps changed the entire complexion of the half-time team talk for the Blues, with Guardiola undoubtedly unhappy with conceding the goal, but it wouldn’t stop there for the Hatters, when Clark doubled his tally and really made the home fans dream.

Unfortunately, when you’ve got the quality of De Bruyne and Haaland against you, the make-believe fairytale will swiftly diminish, with the duo once more combining to make it four assists and four goals respectively each.

While De Bruyne decided to call it a day with his involvement, Haaland wasn’t happy with the four and decided he may as well make it five, after being slipped in by Bernardo Silva before making no mistake with the finish.

Sadly for the home crowd it wasn’t the end of the scoring, with Mateo Kovacic finally putting the nail in the coffin with a belting effort past a bewildered Tim Krul, to give the FA Cup holders a comfortable 2-6 victory, subsequently booking their place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

With that being said, here are five things we learned from Tuesday night’s 2-6 drubbing over Luton Town!

The dream duo.

Manchester City have been blessed with duo dynamics over the years; Sergio Aguero and David Silva, Fernandinho and tactical fouls, but nothing has been quite as inevitable as the combination of De Bruyne and Haaland.

Combining for four goals on Tuesday night, the pair demonstrated exactly what City miss in the absence of the pair, with an electrifying fluidity and understanding coursing between the both of them when in attack.

As the business end of the season approaches, keeping the pair of these fit will be absolutely imperative, as Manchester City still somehow remain with a chance of winning an unprecedented “double treble”.

Life without Rodri; is it actually possible?

When Rodri’s name wasn’t on the team sheet before kick-off, many Manchester City fans would’ve feared the worst, but another excellent performance by Mateo Kovacic shown that maybe there is a world where Rodri is afforded a rest every now and then.

Contributing with a goal and a typically seamless midfield performance, Kovacic pulled the strings in the centre of the park, partnering John Stones in keeping things ticking for the Blues on Tuesday night.

With the relentless schedule never getting any easier, there may finally be a light at the end of the tunnel with the everlasting mystery of how Manchester City could replace Rodri.

Another Jack Grealish injury and the left-wing conundrum.

A scintillating City performance was slightly dampened by a first-half injury sustained to Jack Grealish, who was replaced by Jeremy Doku after pulling up with a groin injury.

With the Manchester derby this Sunday as well as some crucial games following, Guardiola has a position vacant for his line-up, with Jeremy Doku seemingly not trusted fully in the big games.

There’s more than just goals with Erling Haaland!

Five goals and a five-star performance from Erling Haaland, who inevitably grabs the headlines. However, it was more than just the goals that warrants the praise for the Norwegian, who was involved in everything good in attack on Tuesday night.

An impressive bout of link-up play was demonstrated last weekend against AFC Bournemouth by Haaland, who seemed to have a slightly different role in the team, and his job was no different against Luton, but this time the goals came with it.

With Manchester United up next for City, the hairs on the back of Erik ten Hag’s head, albeit a very limited amount, must be standing up with the injuries in defence and coming up against the eccentric Erling Haaland.

The perfect preface for the Manchester derby.

In full swing there is simply no stopping Manchester City, who merely swept Luton aside with ease, and with their local rivals up next on the agenda, the treble winners will be in the mood to keep the momentum up on Sunday.

The champions of England and the world have scored 10 goals the last two times Manchester United have visited the Etihad Stadium, and with the mood Haaland is in, don’t be surprised if that number doubles come Monday morning.