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Manchester City stays perfect with 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest despite Rodri red card

Manchester City’s Jack Grealish clashes with Nottingham Forest’s Gonzalo Montiel.

Manchester City’s Jack Grealish clashes with Nottingham Forest’s Gonzalo Montiel.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Manchester City maintained their perfect start to the Premier League season with a 2-0 home win over Nottingham Forest on September 23, making it six wins out of six despite losing midfielder Rodri to a red card early in the second half.

In all, referee Anthony Taylor doled out 11 yellow cards along with Rodri’s red, with seven of the yellows coming in a bad-tempered second half as Forest tried to leverage their extra man, but to no avail.

Phil Foden rifled the opening goal for City in the seventh minute and striker Erling Haaland was left unmarked to head home the second from a Matheus Nunes cross seven minutes later, as City dominated possession for the opening 45 minutes.

Memories of last season’s 6-0 drubbing must have been in the minds of Forest players as they headed in at the break, but the tables were turned soon after as the second half got underway as Rodri was shown a straight red card.

The Spanish midfielder got embroiled in an angry confrontation with Morgan Gibbs-White, and he thrust both hands at the throat of the Forest forward before being sent off.

That prompted a slew of personnel changes with City winger Jeremy Doku quickly replaced by Kalvin Phillips and Forest bringing on Anthony Elanga and Callum Hudson-Odoi, which in turn led to Pep Guardiola sending on defender Nathan Ake for Julian Alvarez in a tit-for-tat substitution.

Forest debutant Nicolas Dominguez flashed a shot wide of the right-hand post in the 63rd minute and Elanga had an effort from a tight angle comfortably saved by Ederson as the visitors pressed forward, but struggled to create clear-cut shots on goal.

Haaland missed a great opportunity to net his second when he failed to get his effort on target form Ake’s cross, but City were able to hold on for a win that keeps them top of the standings with a perfect 18 points from six games.

“Delighted with the performance. I think the first half was brilliant apart from the last 10 (minutes), I think they found us out a little,” Foden said.

“The second half was not what we expected because Rodri got a red card quite early… it wasn’t ideal, but we showed a different side to us today to dig in, and I’m proud of the team.”

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