Match report: United 1 Luton Town 0

Saturday 11 November 2023 17:18

Manchester United emerged victorious when Luton Town visited Old Trafford for the first time in Premier League history.

A single goal from defender Victor Lindelof separated the two sides, giving the Reds a welcome three points heading into November's international break.

Following a wonderfully observed Armistice Day silence, the Reds began the afternoon in a calm fashion, looking to use patient and persistent build-up to break down a defensive-minded Luton side. 

Rasmus Hojlund and Alejandro Garnacho had the clearest chances in the first half, with the visitors managing few opportunities on the counter, but United fans had to wait until the second half for this dominance in possession to pay off. Luton were unable to convincingly clear a Bruno Fernandes corner in the 58th minute, allowing the ball to eventually drop to Lindelof inside the box and the defender duly rocketed it into the back of the net. 

United may feel they could have had a more productive afternoon in the circumstances, but it was an important result at Old Trafford.


Ten Hag's men started patiently and slowly grew into the half as time went on. Defenders Maguire and Lindelof were allowed to try to pick passes over the top of the Luton defence, but were unable unlock a settled and deep-lying backline. 

It looked as though one such pass from Maguire could have led to an opener, with the Hatters' defence switching off momentarily and allowing an on-rushing Marcus Rashford, playing down the right wing, to meet the ball near the touchline. The resulting cross, though deflected, fell to Rasmus Hojlund in a chance that could have opened his Premier League account, but reaching for an improvised finish with his left knee just yards out from goal, allowed Luton goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski to scramble it behind for a corner. 

The pressure was all from the Reds for the majority of the first 45 minutes, punctuated by a couple of half-chances for the visitors. The Hatters' best opportunity came courtesy of a cross lofted in by right-back Issa Kabore that was directed towards goal with a header from Carlton Morris, but parried to safety by Andre Onana. 

A Hojlund through-ball found Garnacho one-on-one with the opposition's goalkeeper five minutes from the interval and an expectant Old Trafford crowd thought the deadlock was about to be broken, but our no.17's attempt to take it around Kaminski for a tap-in was thwarted through last-gasp efforts from Kaminski and a defensively packed Luton six-yard box.


The Reds returned from the break and looked to up the tempo from a first half that was perhaps too slow to work the Luton defence, at times. In the first 10 minutes after the interval, a lot of this pressure came from searing runs and good inter-play between Garnacho and Sergio Reguilon, before a tactical switch saw Rashford return to his favoured left wing. 

Our no.10 duly delivered, causing problems down the flank within a couple of minutes of the switch, which resulted in a corner. Reds captain Fernandes stepped up and whipped a cross in that caused a scramble in visitors' box. After Mason Mount fed Rashford, the ball eventually fell to Lindelof, and the Sweden international wasted no time, thundering the ball into the back of the net from close range to break the impasse. 

Rashford popped up again 10 minutes later on the left, slid in by substitute Antony not long after he entered the pitch, but the England international hit the resultant shot directly at Kaminski.

The visitors were forced to advanced further up the pitch following the breakthrough but were unable to fashion a clear-cut chance. Former Red Tahith Chong came on midway through the half and won his new side a promising free-kick just outside the box, but his team-mate Ross Barkley was only able to fire it into a solid United wall. 

An inviting looking free-kick won two minutes into injury time had both Rashford and Fernandes debating who would take it. The captain won that discussion but could only fire the chance over the bar and it finished 1-0, despite over eight minutes of stoppage time being played.

Rashford breaks a record


Find out which milestone our no.10 has reached with his inclusion against Luton.


United: Onana; Dalot, Maguire, Lindelof, Reguilon (Varane 78); Eriksen (Mount 39), McTominay; Garnacho (Antony 67), Fernandes, Rashford; Hojlund (Martial 78).

Substitutes not used: Bayindir, Amrabat, Pellistri, Mainoo, Hannibal.

Goals: Lindelof 58.

Bookings: Ten Hag (manager).

Luton Town: Kaminski; Kabore (Adebayo 86), Mengi, Lockyer, Osho, Doughty (Clark 72); Barkley, Nakamba (Mpanzu 86), Townsend (Chong 60); Morris, Ogbene (Giles 86). 

Substitutes not used: Krul, Berry, Brown, Nelson. 

Bookings: Kabore, Lockyer.