While Manchester City may have faced a tough test on Saturday afternoon, the Sky Blues extended their 100 per cent start with a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest.
England international Phil Foden opened the scoring after just seven minutes and record scorer Erling Haaland was quick to join the action as the Norwegian superstar scored his eighth Premier League goal of the season just seven minutes after Foden’s opener.
However, while Pep Guardiola’s side may have more than deserved to be 2-0 up at the break,
When midfield talisman Rodri was shown a straight red card just seconds after returning from the break following an altercation with Morgan Gibbs-White, City’s focus shifted to simply avoiding a public meltdown on home soil.
While Nottingham Forest may have put in a fairly solid performance away at the City Ground this weekend, some in Steve Cooper’s camp may have felt they missed the chance to give the heavyweights a run for their money away from home.
However, having now won just a couple of their opening seven matches against Premier League opposition, the former European champions are still looking for some stability at the start of the season.
With two teams battling it out at opposite ends of the Premier League table last season, we looked at the key talking points from Saturday’s clash at the Etihad.
It will take a miracle to stop City this season
Having made history last season by winning their first Champions League crown, Manchester City have only continued to cement their status as Europe’s elite home club.
Having begun the defense of their Champions League title earlier this week with a 3-1 win over Red Star Belgrade, Guardiola’s superstar side have won each of their first seven matches in all competitions.
In fact, he doesn’t need to shift into third gear for large periods and the former Barcelona coach rightly believes his side are strong contenders to make even more domestic history this time around.
Having become the first English club since Manchester United in 1999 to become treble champions last season, the Sky Blues have certainly escaped the pitfalls since the opening of the 2023/24 campaign.
Having marked their return from the September international break with a 3-1 win away at top-flight West Ham, Guardiola’s goal-scoring side found spirits in their camp at a very high level.
While Rodri’s moment of madness may be the subject of some headlines on Saturday, it is difficult to find any fault with a Manchester City team riding a record wave of momentum.
Haaland makes his way to another Golden Boot
Having broken through to the Premier League Golden Boot last season and breaking a number of records in his first campaign among England’s elite, Haaland has certainly underlined his status as world football’s top marksman.
Having played a crucial role in Manchester City’s treble title success, the Norwegian superstar simply picked up where he left off before the summer break.
The former Borussia Dortmund superstar, once again getting on the scoresheet and causing plenty of problems for Forest’s defence, this time looks to be working his way to a long list of individual accolades.
In fact, as well as heading into the September international break with a hat-trick against Fulham earlier in the month, Haaland has already scored an outstanding eight goals in his first six Premier League appearances this season.
Having already scored 50% of Manchester City’s top-flight goals since the start of the 2023/24 season, the 23-year-old has firmly cemented his place as the Premier League’s new poster boy.
The forest is still looking for stability
After all, clinging to their Premier League status last season and avoiding an immediate return to the Championship, Nottingham Forest are simply hoping things will run smoother this time around.
However, while Cooper’s men may have entered the September international break with a stellar 1-0 win away at struggling Chelsea, the former Swansea boss is still searching for stability.
Having marked their return from a two-week break with a missed opportunity at the City Ground as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Burnley, Saturday’s visitors have won just a couple of their opening seven matches in all competitions.
Having crashed out of the AFL Cup on August 30 following a 1-0 loss to Premier League returnees Burnley, Cooper’s side are also looking for a recent clinical edge in the final third.
However, always knowing that they would face a monumental challenge upon arriving at the Etihad, Forest will surely face easier tests in the future.
With Saturday’s fixtures still keeping Forest in the top half of the Premier League table, Forest’s next appearance will be on October 1 when they host Brentford at the City Ground.
Manchester: Emerson, Walker, Akanji, Diaz, Guardiol, Rodri, Nunez, Foden, Alvarez, Doku, Haaland
Spare parts: Eyck, Grealish, Phillips
Nottingham Forest: Turner, Aina, Aurier, Boli, Niahate, Tavares, Dominguez, Mangala, Sangare, Gibbs-White, Awoniyi
Spare parts: Montiel, Wood, Origi, Hudson-Odoi, Elanga
Goals: Manchester City: Foden (7 minutes), Haaland (14 minutes)
Yellow cards: Manchester City: Ederson, Akanji, Grealish – Nottingham Forest: Origi, Mangala, Montiel, Gibbs-White, Awoniyi, Sangare, Tavares
Red cards: Rodri (46′)
Judge: Anthony Taylor