In the absence of goalscorer Erling Haaland, Julián Álvarez had to come to Manchester City's rescue again. Pep Guardiola's side trailed at Luton Town, the Premier League's smallest stadium nestled in the middle of houses in one of the most traditional working-class neighbourhoods on the outskirts of London, but in a second-half flurry they were able to turn the result around to move closer to leaders Liverpool.
On matchday 16, the Citizens won 2-1 despite the fact that hours before the match they announced the withdrawal of the 23-year-old Norwegian striker, due to a "reaction to bone stress". Haaland had started the previous 15 games in the championship, where he scored 14 goals.
In the last action of the first half, Elijah Adebayo jumped higher than Ruben Dias to finish off a cross from Andros Townsend and put the 'Hatters' ahead (45+2), who had just suffered an incredible and agonising defeat against Arsenal at the same venue.
After the break, City stepped on the gas: Dias hit the crossbar after a clearance by Kaminski (59) before Bernardo Silva (62) restored the equalizer to the scoreboard.
Photo: AP/Kin Cheung
Just a few minutes later, Julián Álvarez appeared. The Cordoba native from Calchín - along with Lionel Messi candidate for The Best of the season award that will be presented by FIFA next January - does not matter where he plays, because he usually always performs for Guardiola.
The Spider attacked the space through the middle of the attack, got into the box to receive from Foden and launched a low cross to the far post for Jack Grealish (65) to score the winning goal, despite the courage of the locals, who looked for the equalizer until the end.
Julian Alvarez was involved in 10 goals this season for City, with four goals and six assists.
Chelsea in free fall
With 33 points, Manchester City remained in fourth place, four behind leaders Liverpool, who won 2-1 at Crystal Palace the day before.
But the bad news for the Argentines came again from Chelsea, who despite the presence of world champion Enzo Fernandez have not achieved consistency since the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino as coach. This Sunday they stumbled 2-0 at Everton (17th), and with 19 points after 16 rounds they were 12th, further and further away from the qualification places for European competitions. The Blues have lost three of their last four Premier League games.