Birmingham City’s two goals in the first half and three in the second, demolished a lacklustre Luton Town side this afternoon.
A game which saw plenty of action, the home side couldn't capitalise on their chances as Birmingham seemed to snatch up most opportunities that came their way.
Defender Marc Roberts opened the scoring early on, before Scott Hogan doubled the lead on the 25 minute mark. He'd score again at the very beginning of the second half before late strikes from Gary Gardner and Chuks Aneke rounded off a superb away performance for the Blues.
Luton lined up at Kenilworth Road with two changes from their gruelling midweek win away at Barnsley. Harry Cornickreplaced Cameron Jerome and Allan Campbell came in for Henri Lansbury who was left out with a slight injury concern.
Luton Town: Sluga; Bree, Kioso, Lockyer, Naismith (C), Bell, Campbell, Mpanzu, Muskwe, Cornick, Adebayo.
Birmingham City looked to bounce back after their unbeaten start to the campaign was ended by Bournemouth on Wednesday evening. Lee Bowyer elected to replace Gary Gardner and Jonathan Leko for Ivan Sunjic and Scott Hogan.
Birmingham City: Sarkic; Roberts, Dean (C), Pedersen, Colin, Sunjic, Woods, Bela, Chong, Hogan, Jutkiewicz.
Referee: John Busby
Story of the match
The first half started brightly for the visitors, a direct contrast to the grizzly Bedfordshire rain, as Lukas Jutkiewicz came close early on. Inside the first minute the striker was set up by a cross from centre back Marc Roberts. His header went just wide, going right of Simon Sluga's goal.
This could've been deemed an early warning for the Hatters, but Luton were determined to make chances of their own. An energetic Harry Cornick run caused all sorts of problems for defender Roberts. With a somewhat robust challenge, the centre back ended that phase of play with a yellow card to his name and the first of the game.
Birmingham made good on their earlier pressure. With a corner on the sixth minute mark, Birmingham converted what would be their second league goal of the season. Jeremie Bela's ball in was perfect for unmarked defender Roberts. The free header just evaded Sluga, the Croatian unlucky getting half a hand to the ball. Straight after the Birmingham goal, Luton were back up the pitch with Elijah Adebayo. His shot was was blocked but it was a positive response.
The next spell of play saw bitty fouls and chances of hardly any note for the home side. However, Luton found their next big opportunity in the 22nd minute with Amari'i Bell's long range effort easily saved by Sarkic. Shortly after, following a corner, Tom Lockyer saw his effort fly over from the centre of the box.
Luton would rue these missed efforts, as Birmingham capitalised on the home side's blunt attack. In the 25th minute, it was Scott Hogan with the goal, heading in from a tempting cross from Manchester United loanee Tahith Chong. After this second goal, Jones saw it as a time for change. Peter Kioso made way for experienced Glen Rea, as the formation shifted from a back five to a back four.
Providing more grit to the Luton XI, Rea began as his reputation dictated - with a foul. He was then booked on 33 minutes for a poor challenge on bright spark Chong.
Half time came around on the back of a good spell of pressure from Birmingham and they started the second half in the same vein. Half time might as well not have happened as City restarted proceedings with a goal.
Scott Hogan secured his brace off the back of a typical narrative of this game. Luton squandered their chance at a goal back from a corner and the visitors broke emphatically. Tahith Chong provided an electric run a near length of the pitch before being taken down by Pelly Ruddock-Mpanzu. The ball broke out kindly past Sluga, ready for a tap in for the on rushing Hogan.
Hogan would be denied his hattrick, making way for Chuks Aneke in the 60th minute, but Birmingham kept knocking at the door. Luton's last attempt of note came when Cameron Jerome saw his header sail past the left post in the 79th minute. It summarised a pretty disappointing day for all in orange and it was only going to get worse as Birmingham hit the hosts with two late sucker punches.
Substitute Gary Gardner scored an emphatic edge of the box effort into the top left on the 83rd minute, before Chuks Aneke rounded off an impressive team performance with a close range effort, despite the desperate efforts of Tom Lockyer.
Luton had quite evidently been picked apart today and the stats laid that bare for all to see. The Hatters chance creation was very limited this afternoon, only making three big chances. It seemed not be Town's day, regardless of how rampant City were, a final product never seemed in any way feasable.
Birmingham made plenty of goal scoring opportunities with 20 shots on goal with eight of those on target. In this game there were a lot of fouls too with Luton's 10 and City's seven respectively, perhaps the two sides need work on discipline. Luton will try to rebuild from this rout with their next fixture at home again against Sheffield United. Uplifted Birmingham return to St. Andrews to face Fulham.
A bitty game like today's is such that wingers thrive in and that was seen today through the standout performance of Manchester United loanee Tahith Chong. Almost always involved in every positive thing Birmingham had, he was up there for MOTM. With electric pace and pure will to get forward, he bagged himself an assist. Its refreshing to see the young Dutchman, after numerous loan spells, begin to find his feet again and there's no reason why he can't make it at the highest level.