Manchester City’s Mateo Kovacic sends message to title rivals after Liverpool overtake Arsenal

Mateo Kovacic believes Manchester City’s comeback win at Luton shows they have the character to win a fourth consecutive Premier League title.

Pep Guardiola’s side came from behind at Kenilworth Road to secure their first win in five Premier League games, courtesy of goals from Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish.

City were without star striker Erling Haaland, who was ruled out with a stress fracture of the foot, with midfielder Kovacic hailing the desire and spirit shown by Guardiola’s men.

“It was a tough match and we knew it would be,” said Kovacic. “I think we played a very good game, especially in the first-half, but we were missing the goal. We had to fight back and show character. This team has that, we came back from difficult moments and we’re happy with the three points.

“We showed great character in the second half to come back in a tough stadium and it’s a big win for us. It was important, but it’s a long race – it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

“We have many games to play – it’s a long season and a long race. The most important thing is to be there at the end of the season.”

As well as Haaland, City are also without midfield playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, who has been missing since August following hamstring surgery.

Kovacic said that means other players need to step up in their absence and prove their worth.

“We’re missing a lot of players,” said the Croatia international.

“Kevin and Erling are team players. You have to give more to be better and today Bernardo scored a great goal, Jack as well. We showed character and now we have to keep going.

“We know Bernardo is an amazing player – it’s such a pleasure to play with him and Ruben Dias is a great leader. Luckily, we had both of them on the pitch.

“It’s amazing to share the dressing room with two such great characters and great players. Matheus Nunes too – he came here like me in the summer and he’s a great player.”



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