Manchester City 6-0 Nottingham Forest (Premier League) 31.08.22
Welcome to the Premier League, the game that Forest fans probably looked at with one eye open and the other covered up by a hand or two when the fixtures originally came out, well you might want to again look away now.
Existing Champions Manchester City were in a world of their own and dominated from the early stages against a Reds side, in yellow and blue, which made three changes to the team that were beaten much more closely at the City Ground by Spurs on Sunday.
Cheikh Kouyate in for Steve Cook, Remo Freuler in for Jesse Lingard, latest signing Renan Lodi, in for his debut in place of Harry Toffolo, none could stop Erling Haaland who was sensationally a league above.
After twelve minutes of attack verses defence, Haaland breached the visitors goal after good work by Phil Foden, clipping it into an area where the Norwegian international was wrestling with Worrall to get in front of his marker and volley home. On 23 it was two, Haaland firing home into an empty net after the ball fell to him six yards out as Neco Williams slid in to stop Alvarez and on 38 it was three, Haaland heading in from close range rising well above his opponents, his second hat-trick in successive games.
Forest rarely attacked in the first half, Renan Lodi did head into the side netting on the counter-attack but chances at the other end were much more familiar to see, John Stones thought he had a goal but for the offside flag, Julian Alvarez cracking a post with a thunderbolt effort. The homeside with a whopping 77% of possession and in total full control without seemingly breaking sweat.
The second half didn’t take too long to get even worse for Forest. Five minutes in and Bernardo squared to Cancelo who hit a rapturous drive right footed from outside the area into the top corner of the full stretched diving Dean Henderson’s net.
At the other end, Brennan Johnson dragged a harmless shot wide on 55 before City brought on their first two subs of the night, the Reds then won a corner after good wing play by Gibbs-White with the resulting set play shot back in by the former Wolves man, straight at Ederson who dealt with comfortably.
On the hour, Silva shot another City chance straight at Henderson following good work by Cole Palmer, but four became five on 65 when Mahrez played in Alvarez who drove low and hard and into the net for a first Premier League goal.
Mahrez should then have made it six, missing the target when sent through one on one, Alvarez did make it six, late on after City charged down a Forest free kick with Kevin De Bruyne breaking from one end of the field to the other, the ball eventually falling to the Argentine who thumped home yet another unstoppable goal.
De Bruyne then forced a save from Henderson whilst Awoniyi might have pulled one back, heading well wide on a night to forget for Forest who were comprehensively beaten by arguably the best team the club has played since 1999, when another side from Manchester, gave them a thumping to forget, in the Premier League.
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Stones (Lewis 75), Dias, Cancelo (Gomez 68), Silva, Rodri (Mahrez 55), Gundogan, Alvarez, Haaland (De Bruyne 68), Foden (Palmer 55).
Nottingham Forest: Henderson, Williams, Worrall, Kouyate (Biancone 79), McKenna, Lodi (Toffolo 69), Yates (Colback 69), Freuler, O’Brien, Johnson (Awoniyi 58), Gibbs-White (Dennis 58).
Venue: Etihad Stadium
*Main image @ManCity Erling Haaland scored a perfect first half hat-trick.