Luton Town 1-2 Manchester United: Højlund heroics see Red Devils over the line at Kenilworth Road

Approaching kick-off only one point above the relegation zone, with 18th-place Everton still to play fellow bottom-three rivals Crystal Palace on Monday, Luton Town manager Rob Edwards recalled former Manchester United players Teden Mengi and Tahith Chong to his starting team sheet.

Meanwhile, following their victory at Aston Villa a week ago, Erik ten Hag unsurprisingly named an unchanged XI – with the in-form figure of Rasmus Højlund again leading the line for the Red Devils.

LUT: Kaminski; Osho, Mengi, Bell; Doughty, Lokonga, Barkley, Chong; Ogbene, Morris, Woodrow

MUN: Onana; Dalot, Maguire, Varane, Shaw; Mainoo, Casemiro; Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford; Højlund

On the winning side in 11 consecutive matches against newly-promoted sides, Manchester United wasted no time in making an immediate impact at Kenilworth Road. Staggeringly, Rasmus Højlund needed only 37 seconds to become the youngest-ever player to score in six successive Premier League matches, as Amari’i Bell’s defensive debacle put it on a plate for the striker to take the ball away from Thomas Kaminski before calmly placing the ball where it belongs.

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Things would go from bad to worse for Luton six minutes later, as the goal hungry Højlund again got his name on the scoresheet by exquisitely redirecting Alejandro Garnacho’s snapshot into the back of the net using only his chest.

However, Højlund’s heroics did not deter Rob Edwards’ side, as Calton Morris halved the deficit with an instinctive close-range finish after Tahith Chong’s shot had delightfully deflected off Harry Maguire into the path of the Luton captain.

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Seemingly back in the game, without actually manufacturing an equalising goal, Luton continued to threaten André Onana in the United goal. First, Gabriel Osho disappointingly planted an unmarked header from an inswinging corner over the crossbar before Morris unleashed a fearsome strike that flew just inches wide of the post.

The first half would end in controversial fashion, as referee David Coote showed leniency towards Casemiro by not showing the midfielder a second yellow card, despite him committing a rash foul right in front of his eyes.

On course for a fourth successive victory in the Premier League, United were the first to have a clear sight of goal after the restart with two quick-fire efforts from Garnacho well-saved by Kaminski.

The Argentina international should have taken the game away from Luton shortly after the hour-mark, however, the Hatters’ number one did enough to win his one-one-battle up against the highly-sought-after youngster.

Højlund would then be denied from taking the match ball home with him not long after, as Kaminski produced another smart save.

Despite a late bombardment of Luton corners that saw a glancing header from Ross Barkley strike the top of the crossbar, United kept their composure to close the gap on the UEFA Champions League qualification positions to five points. On the other hand, a victory for Everton at home to Crystal Palace tomorrow evening would see Luton fall into the relegation zone.