Haaland hammers five as Luton are thrashed by Manchester City in the FA Cup

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FA Cup fifth round: Luton Town 2 Manchester City 6

Luton Town's FA Cup adventure was ended at Kenilworth Road this evening as they ran into a simply unstoppable Erling Haaland, the Norwegian phenomenon scoring an incredible five times to send Manchester City into the quarter-finals.

Unlike back in 1961 when Denis Law scored all six as City led 6-2 with 69 minutes gone, before the game was then abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch, there was little chance of history repeating itself this time. To be honest, Luton's back-line wouldn't have really welcomed the unenviable proposition of going up against the machine-line striker once more, April's now fairly daunting trip to the Etihad more than enough.

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Town boss Rob Edwards had made three changes for the tie, Tim Krul as expected replacing Thomas Kamsinki between the posts, with Jordan Clark and Reece Burke in for Gabe Osho and Sambi Lokonga. There was no way the visitors were treating the game as anything other than the chance to get their hands on the trophy once more, playing all the big guns including Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish as well.

Luton defender Teden Mengi tries to stop Manchester City striker Erling Haaland this evening - pic: Richard Heathcote/Getty ImagesLuton defender Teden Mengi tries to stop Manchester City striker Erling Haaland this evening - pic: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Luton defender Teden Mengi tries to stop Manchester City striker Erling Haaland this evening - pic: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Although they couldn't replicate the red side of the city and score within 37 seconds, it didn't take them much longer, just three minutes in fact, De Bruyne's powerful run on the left seeing Clark slip and that gave him the freedom to pick out Haaland who simply doesn't miss from a few yards out for the first of what was a very fruitful evening.

Luton responded well to the goal though, Alfie Doughty sending in two excellent crosses from the left that Calrton Morris just couldn't turn in, Tahith Chong doing the same, the forward unable to arrive on cue. Crucially, Town couldn't make the most of those half chances though and Haaland showed them how to finish again on 18 minutes, sent clean through and outpacing Mengi to finish through the legs of the advancing Krul.

The Dutchman did finally manage to repel City, probably as it wasn't from Haaland, denying Grealish, as he also prevented Haaland from having his hat-trick inside minutes, the forward able to pin Meng and speed away again to bear down on Krul, this time the stopper flying out to block with his legs. Matheus Nunes had a go on the angle, only to slice into the home fans and promptly apologise to anyone who might have bore the brunt of his fizzing drive.

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Krul came to the rescue again on 29 minutes, as he showed impressive reactions to parry De Bruyne's volley from Grealish's terrific cross and then had an element of fortune as despite still being grounded, saw Haaland hammer the rebound straight at him. The Hatters did manage a shot in anger just after the half hour, Cauley Woodrow curling wide from outside the box.

Town then were forced into a chance with Amari'i Bell going off on 39 minutes after picking up a knock which saw Edwards opt to bring on teenage defender Joe Johnson in what was his biggest game ever, taking on the likes of Haaland and co, who were already in full flow. City had to bring off Grealish, but they could replace him with Belgian international Jeremy Doku, as Haaland did have his first half hat-trick 60 seconds later, escaping Johnson and deftly dinking over Krul, as a VAR check confirmed he had timed his run to perfection.

With the home fans fearing the worst, they were out of the seats on the stroke of half time as Clark picked the ball up from Barkley some 20 yards out and curled spectacularly into the top corner for his first goal of the season. After the break, City were straight into their stride once more, slicing through the Luton defence and only a firm hand from Krul prevented Nunes from adding an immediate fourth.

The Hatters then looked like they might make a game of it, with another unerring finish of real quality, as Stefan Ortega's poor clearance went straight to Ross Barkley. His instant shot was blocked, as the England international then lofted a brilliant pass for Clark who took it down on his chest and hammered into the net to make it 3-2 with 52 on the clock.

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The home supporters were allowed to believe their side could pull off the unthinkable for a few minutes, three in fact, as De Bruyne went through again and picked out Haland who upped his tally to four, the Belgian creative genius having set up all of them. Any flickering dreams of a revival were then completely extinguished before the hour mark as having made a sharp stop from Nunes, Krul's otherwise excellent defiance was tainted by that man Haaland, his drilled shot going straight through his legs.

It seemed only Haaland could find the net, as De Bruyne hammered in an effort that Krul was equal to, Luton opting to bring on Hashioka for his first outing after joining the club in January. Still Hatters pressed though, Morris springing the offside trap, unable to beat the outstretched body of Ortega who then made an even better stop at full stretch to fingertip Barkley's effort behind.

Krul was able to stop Doku from adding another goal, but he was finally beaten by another player not hailing from Norway on with 18 minutes left, although questions marks will be raised by the manner in which Mateo Kovacic's fairly central attempt arrowed in.

Haaland's hold over the Hatters was finally ended when his number was raised in the closing stages, as he received a hearty ovation from the Kenny End, who knew they had seen something special, a shell-shocked home side reduced to potshots from distance, Andros Townsend shooting straight at Ortega. Late on, City almost had a seventh, Doku's radar off again, as referee Anthony Taylor, who infuriated the home support with some baffling calls all evening, only played a single second of stoppage time, easily his best decision of the night.

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Hatters: Tim Krul, Chiedozie Ogbene (Daiki Hashioka 62), Teden Mengi, Reece Burke, Amari'i Bell (Joe Johnson 39), Alfie Doughty, Ross Barkley, Jordan Clark (Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu 62), Tahith Chong, Cauley Woodrow (Andros Townsend 62), Carlton Morris (C). Subs not used: James Shea, Zack Nelson, Luke Berry, Axel Piesold.

City: Stefan Ortega, Kyle Walker (C), John Stones (Oscar Bobb 77), Nathan Ake (Sergio Gomez 77), Mateo Kovacic, Erling Haaland (Julian Alverez 77), Jack Grealish (Jeremy Doku 38), Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva (Rico Lewis 77), Manuel Akanji, Matheus Nunes. Subs not used: Jeremy Doku, Julian Alvarez, Sergio Gomez, Oscar Bobb. Referee: Anthony Taylor. Attendance: 11,163.