Erling Haaland scored his second hat-trick in as many games as rampant Manchester City outclassed newly promoted Nottingham Forest.
After his 19-minute treble against Crystal Palace at the weekend, there was a comparatively easy 26 between his first and last goal of the night.
However, when the two games are combined, Haaland scored a staggering six goals in an hour as the Norwegian was substituted six minutes from the end of Palace’s game. His overall record for the season is nine.
Joao Cancelo added a fourth as he deflected a lovely pass home from Bernardo Silva across the box before Haaland’s strike partner Julian Alvarez took center stage.
On his Premier League debut, the Argentine produced a good finish to beat Dean Henderson after being set up by Riyad Mahrez.
Then, after Kevin de Bruyne put the ball in his own half and charged 50 yards forward, Alvarez found his seat and landed high in the roof of Forest’s net after Mahrez’s shot deflected in his path.
Nine out of five for Haaland
There weren’t many who felt Haaland would find it difficult to adjust to life in the Premier League, but there were some. You’ve already been proven hopelessly wrong.
It’s impossible to know how this season will go at such an early stage, but in the end nobody will say that the Norwegian is a bad fit.
His moves may not match City’s fluid style, but his speed of movement, intelligent run, strength, and cool finish make him an enormously dangerous threat.
Haaland had his shirt pulled while advancing on Phil Foden’s curling cross for his opener. He was part of a fantastic one-touch passing move for the second that ended with the loose ball from a slide tackle on Foden, who presented him with a tap-in. He shook opponents out of the way to ensure he was in the right place to bring John Stones’ nick-back home for his third.
Guardiola spoke last season of adding someone to his squad who could sniff goals like Sergio Aguero used to do.
It’s worth noting that Aguero has scored six goals in his first five games after joining City from Atletico Madrid in 2011.
The real test now begins for Forest
If there is a positive result for Forest then they just have to try to stop Haaland at most once in the league this season.
The way their fans chanted for both their club and manager Steve Cooper, even deep into the second half when the gap turned into a chasm, suggested they didn’t have any realistic hope of theirs first division side from the East Midlands away win at City since 1989, when Mikhail Gorbachev was President of the Soviet Union.
They had a good chance for debutant Renan Lodi, who found space at the far post but failed to find the net as he tried to head his ball past Ederson.
Cooper has echoed the club’s surprise summer recruitment drive, which could reach 20 before Thursday night’s transfer deadline, necessitated by the number of squads left last season and the quality boost needed to compete in the Premier League.
After accumulating an acceptable four points from five games in constructing the squad, next month’s games against Bournemouth, Leeds and Fulham will provide more tangible evidence of whether the struggle in their first top-flight campaign in over two decades is about respectability or not survival will go .
- 5stonesReplaced byLewisat 75′protocol
- 3Ruben Dias
- 7AbortReplaced byGomezat 68′protocol
- 20Bernhard Silva
- 16RodriReplaced bymahrezat 55′protocol
- 9HalandReplaced byDe Bruineat 69′protocol
- 47The footReplaced bypalmersat 55′protocol
- 17De Bruine
- 7N Williams
- 21kouyateReplaced bywhite coneat 79′protocol
- 32Lodi dos SantosReplaced bytoffoloat 69′protocol
- 22YatesReplaced byCall backat 69′protocol
- 20JohnsonReplaced byAwoniyiat 58′protocol
- 10Gibbs-WhiteReplaced byDennisat 58′protocolBooked at 76 minutes
- 2white cone
- 3S cook
- 8thCall back
- Paul Tierney
Game ends, Manchester City 6, Nottingham Forest 0.
Second half ends, Manchester City 6, Nottingham Forest 0.
attempt failed. Harry Toffolo (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Lewis O’Brien.
attempt failed. Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest) header from the center of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jack Colback with a cross.
Corner Manchester City. Collected from Harry Toffolo.
attempt saved. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the center of the goal. Assisted by Julián Álvarez with a through ball.
Goal! Manchester City 0, Nottingham Forest 0. Julián Álvarez (Manchester City) left footed shot from the center of the box to the top left corner.
attempt blocked. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.
attempt blocked. Emmanuel Dennis (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Foul by Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City).
Lewis O’Brien (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
attempt blocked. Remo Freuler (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lewis O’Brien.
Offside Nottingham Forest. Remo Freuler tries a through ball, but Taiwo Awoniyi is caught offside.
Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Giulian Biancone replaces Cheikhou Kouyate.
Corner Manchester City. Goal by Taiwo Awoniyi.
Corner Manchester City. Cashed in by Scott McKenna.
Emmanuel Dennis (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Emmanuel Dennis (Nottingham Forest).
Substitution, Manchester City. Rico Lewis replaces John Stones.
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