Manchester City are five points clear at the top of the Premier League despite Rodri being sent off in a fiery 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday. Phil Foden and Erling Haaland struck within the opening 15 minutes as City extended their perfect start in the Premier League to six games. Pep Guardiola’s men have now won 20 home games in a row in all competitions, but Rodri’s moment of madness forced them to work much harder. The Spaniard grabbed Morgan Gibbs-White around the neck less than 60 seconds into the second half and could face a costly suspension as a three-match ban will see him miss the Premier League visit to Arsenal next month.
“An exceptional game in the first half. An exceptional game in the second half because of our resilience and our work, because we played 52 minutes and 10 against 11. So it was not easy, but we were fantastic,” Guardiola said.
“Hopefully Rodri will learn. He has to keep his emotions under control.”
City were at their ruthless best early on to seemingly put the game to bed.
Foden whipped home a lovely volley from Kyle Walker’s cushioned cross to open the scoring.
Guardiola said after losing Bernardo Silva to injury in a 3-1 win over Red Star Belgrade that his side were “in trouble” due to a number of injuries.
Mateo Kovacic and John Stones remain sidelined, while Jack Grealish was only fit enough for a spot on the bench.
But the absences gave Matheus Nunes the chance to make his first league start since joining from Wolves, and he made a positive impact by scoring the second goal.
The Portuguese played a neat one-two with Foden before crossing the ball to Haaland to score his ninth goal of the season.
Julian Alvarez could have increased City’s lead when his effort was blocked from close range.
But the European champions looked in no danger until Rodri lost his cool.
Taiwo Awoniyi had Forest’s best chance to get back into the game when the in-form Nigerian went over under pressure from Ederson.
Awoniyi and the Brazilian goalkeeper were then lucky not to see red when they faced each other in a fiery confrontation.
However, City restored order when Guardiola switched to a back five to resist an aerial bombardment from the visitors.
Haaland should have got his second when he spooned over the goal late on after Nathan Aké’s cross was still open.
Manchester United under pressure
Elsewhere, struggling Everton beat Brentford 3-1 to earn their first league win this season and climb out of the relegation zone.
Sean Dyche’s team took the lead through Abdoulaye Doucoure’s sixth minute.
Mathias Jensen equalized for Brentford after 28 minutes, but James Tarkowski restored Everton’s lead with a header from Dwight McNeil’s corner in the 67th minute.
Substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin rounded off Everton’s long-awaited three points four minutes later with a cool finish.
Luton picked up their first ever Premier League point but squandered a huge opportunity in a 1-1 draw at home to Wolves.
The visitors at Kenilworth Road were reduced to 10 men when Jean-Ricner Bellegarde saw red after 39 minutes.
Pedro Neto still fired Wolves ahead early in the second half, but Carlton Morris’ penalty rescued a point for Luton.
Crystal Palace and Fulham remain in the top half after a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park.
Manchester United want to avoid a fourth defeat in a row when they travel to Burnley later on Saturday.
United’s title aspirations already appear to be over as they trail City by 12 points having lost 4-3 in their Champions League opener against Bayern Munich in midweek.
Burnley are still looking for their first win since returning to the Premier League and another defeat to United would put enormous pressure on Erik ten Hag.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Topics mentioned in this article