Jack Grealish played the hero's role as Manchester City ended their four-game winless streak with a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Luton on Sunday.
Despite star striker Erling Haaland's absence due to injury, City faced a scare when Elijah Adebayo gave Luton the lead late in the first half at Kenilworth Road.
City, coming off a lackluster 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa and draws against Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham, desperately needed a win to stay in the title race. Bernardo Silva's equalizer and Grealish's decisive winner within three minutes after the break secured a crucial victory for Pep Guardiola's side.
Reflecting on the challenging match, Guardiola said, "Great performance after what happened in the last results. We conceded the goal in the last minute of the first half. It was a really good test, and the players reacted as they had to."
City's win narrowed the gap on league leaders Liverpool to four points, who had moved seven points clear with a win at Crystal Palace the day before.
The victory, however, came at a cost as star striker Erling Haaland missed the game due to a foot injury, raising concerns about his availability for the upcoming busy Christmas schedule. Guardiola expressed hope for Haaland's recovery, saying, "It's his foot; we'll see. Day by day, week by week. Hopefully, we can recover him for the Club World Cup."
Despite Luton's lowly position, they proved a resilient opponent, taking the lead through Adebayo just before halftime. However, City's comeback, initiated by Silva's well-curled finish in the 62nd minute and sealed by Grealish's clinical close-range strike three minutes later, showcased their determination.
The match ended with Guardiola sarcastically blowing kisses towards the Luton coaching staff, relieved at City's escape and the much-needed three points.