Manchester United 1, Luton Town 0
Victor Lindelof scored his first goal for Manchester United since December 2020 as the Reds squeezed past Luton Town.
It might have been a much needed victory for United, no matter how unconvincing, to make it four Premier League wins out of their last five but the Reds will be worried by potential lay-offs to Christian Eriksen and Rasmus Hojlund – both went off with what looked like injury issues.
Although United denominated possession the visitors kept up with the Reds in terms of shots on goal and made the home side looked very ordinary in a forgettable game.
Rasmus Hojlund was denied by a point blank save by Thomas Kaminski following a deflected Marcus Rashford cross off Gabriel Osho after 10 minutes but they struggled to put together
There were other half chances for the Reds who dominated the first half but they were thwarted by the visitors’ five man back line and last ditch clearances while Luton had the clearer chances to score through Andros Townsend and Carlton Morris.
United’s intensity improved in the second half and just as thoughts were starting to turn to another disappointing display Luton finally succumbed to a scruffy goal on the rebound by Victor Lindelof.
United didn’t look like adding to that goal, and Luton didn’t look like scoring so perhaps the next most interesting thing to happen in the second half will be the fact that Erik Ten Hag may have earned a touchline ban thanks to his third booking of the season for remonstrating with the referee in injury time – he will be suspended for the Reds’ trip to Everton.Embed from Getty Images
PLAYER RATINGS – Manchester United 1, Luton Town 0
Andre Onana: 6. More busy than he might have expected.
Diogo Dalot: 6. Good going forward, cross should have been converted by Scott McTominay but he had a few more decent crosses in the game too.
Harry Maguire: 6. Held the fort well as last man.
Victor Lindelof: 7. Scorer of a vital goal for United as things started to get desperate – his first for United since December 2020. Went to left back after Raphael Varane came on.
Sergio Reguilon: 7. Not as eyecatching as recent games but solid enough.
Scott McTominay: 7. Headed early chance over the bar and another chance in the second half. Put himself about a did a good job defensively as well as going forward.
Christian Eriksen: 6. Went down with an injury in the first half. Looked overplayed and tired.
Marcus Rashford: 6. Still low on confidence. Playing on the right flank, he blazed over following a poor Luton clearance. A deflected cross off Gabriel Osho was begging to be finished by Hojlund. Snatched a bit at chances and saw a cross deflected wide by Osho. Headed a free header wide in the second half and looked more comfortable on the left. Back on the left he had a shot saved by Thomas Kaminsky with the goal at his mercy.
Bruno Fernandes: 6. Long raking passes from deep. Poor shooting, especially considering the positions he took up. Blazed over an injury time free kick.
Alejandro Garnacho: 6. Looked under-par and anonymous once switched to the right.
Rasmus Hojlund: 6. A deflected chance came at waist height but his shinned chance was saved by Thomas Kaminski and had a handful of chances cleared including one snatched off him by Issa Kabore after he hesitated on the ball – there’s just no time to think in the Premier League and his fitness is a worry after he went down a couple of times in the second half.
Mason Mount (on for Christian Eriksen, 40): 6. Was a busy presence in midfield.
Antony (on for Alejandro Garnacho, 68): 6. Mild boos for the winger as he came on.
Anthony Martial (on for Rasmus Hojlund, 78): No time to mark.
Raphael Varane (on for Sergio Reguilon, 78): No time to mark.
TEAM NEWS – Manchester United 1, Luton Town 0
Jonny Evans will be missing for four weeks with a thigh injury sustained in the defeat at Copenhagen.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka also missed out as United manager made two changes to the side that was beaten in Copenhagen with Victor Lindelof and Sergio Reguilon coming in.
Luton Town’s team contained ex-United player Teden Mengi in defence while Tahith Chong was on the bench.
Ex-Manchester City wing-back Issa Kabore was named in the Luton starting line-up which also included Premier League veterans Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend from the start while Tim Krul was on the bench.
GOAL – Manchester United 1, Luton Town 0
Man Utd 1, Luton Town 0: 59. Victor Lindelof broke the deadlock with a low shot when the loose ball broke to him after Marcus Rashford’s cross from the right was not cleared.
MATCH STATS – Manchester United 1, Luton Town 0
Man Utd: Onana, Dalot, Maguire, Lindelof, Reguilon (Varane 78), McTominay, Eriksen (Mount 40), Rashford, Fernandes (C), Garnacho (Antony 68), Hojlund
Man Utd Subs not used: Bayindir, Sofyan Amrabat, Pellistri, Mainoo, Hannibal
Manager Booking: Erik Ten Hag 90+5
Goal: Lindelof 59
Luton Town: Kaminski, Mengi, Lockyer, Osho, Kabore (Adebayo 87), Nakamba (Mpanzu 87), Barkley, Doughty (Clark 73), Townsend (Chong 61), Ogbene (Giles 87), Morris
Luton Town Subs not used: Krul, Berry, Brown, Nelson
Booked: Kabore 74 (foul on Marcus Rashford); Lockyer 90+2 (foul on Marc Rashford)
Referee: Graham Scott