Football: Manchester City crush Luton Town to go top of English Premier League as race for title stays hot

Defending English Premier League Champions Manchester City have turned up the heat on their 2023/24 title rivals with a 5-1 home win over relegation-threatened Luton Town to move top of the table on Saturday (local time).  

With Arsenal and Liverpool both playing on Sunday, City marched above them with a rampant display to move to 73 points from 32 games. Arsenal (71) host fourth-placed Aston Villa while Liverpool (71) welcome Crystal Palace.  

It was a statement win by City in their chase for an unprecedented fourth successive EPL title and more evidence that any team finishing above them will have to be near-perfect between now and the end of the season.

Kevin De Bruyne is tackled.
Kevin De Bruyne is tackled. Photo credit: Getty Images

They only needed 65 seconds to go ahead with Erling Haaland's wayward volley smashing into the face of Luton's Daiki Hashioka and into the net to open the scoring.  

Luton hung in grimly but Mateo Kovacic's strike made it 2-0 in the 64th minute before the floodgates opened.   

Haaland made it 3-0 from the penalty spot for his 20th league goal of the season before Jeremy Doku and Josko Gvardiol made it five for City.  

Elsewhere, Bruno Fernandes scored twice to rescue an unconvincing 2-2 draw for Manchester United at Bournemouth on Saturday as they dropped to seventh place in the EPL table.  

The Portuguese came to the rescue after Bournemouth had deservedly led with goals by the in-form Dominic Solanke and Justin Kluivert and although the visitors pressed for a winner, it would have been undeserved. 

Tottenham Hotspur's hopes of finishing fourth and ensuring a Champions League berth were dealt a blow as they were hammered 4-0 at Newcastle United who moved into sixth place to boost their own European hopes.  

At the bottom, Brentford eased away from trouble with a 2-0 home win against Sheffield United for whom time is running out.  

Chris Wood's Nottingham Forest missed the chance to do the same as they were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Wolverhampton Wanderers. Forest are in 17th place, one point above third-from-bottom Luton Town and six ahead of 19th-placed Burnley who drew 1-1 at home to Brighton and Hove Albion.