Review

Man City extend perfect start but win marred by Rodri red card

23 Sep 2023
Manchester City v Nottingham Forest - Premier League

Midfielder to miss Arsenal match after being sent off in 2-0 win over Nott'm Forest while Luton claim first point

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Manchester City extended their winning start to the season with a sixth victory in a row, equalling a club record, but the champions were made to sweat with 10 men for most of the second half as they beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium.  

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The home side took a seventh-minute lead with a brilliant 46-pass move that ended with Kyle Walker cutting the ball back to Phil Foden, who rifled in his first goal of the season.  

That goal featured only two passes fewer than the 48 that led to Nacer Chadli’s goal for Tottenham Hotspur against Queens Park Rangers in 2014, the highest total on record. 

Seven minutes later another superb passing move led to the second City goal. Again it came from the right, this time Matheus Nunes, on his first Premier League start for the club, crossing for Erling Haaland to head powerfully in for his eighth league goal of the season.  

After a dominant first half, City midfielder Rodri was given a straight red card soon after half-time for violent conduct, raising his hands to Morgan Gibbs-White's throat after a tussle.

The Man City midfielder will now miss City's next three matches, including the trip to Arsenal on 8 October.  

The match now turned and Forest started to get more confidence, but Haaland had the best chance to score the next goal, shooting over from six yards from Nathan Ake’s cross.  

At the other end, Ederson kept a clean sheet thanks to a great save from Anthony Elanga’s shot in stoppage time.  

When a tetchy second half came to an end, City’s lead at the top of the table went to five points with 18 points. Forest drop to ninth with seven points.    

Luton rue missed chances

Luton Town claimed their first point of the season, but were left ruing a missed opportunity to get their maiden win in the competition as they drew 1-1 with 10-man Wolverhampton Wanderers at Kenilworth Road.   

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The home side dominated the first half, with Carlton Morris almost giving Luton an early lead with a 25-yard curling shot that hit a post.

Luton’s task became easier when Wolves were reduced to 10 men in the 39th minute.  

Referee Josh Smith, taking charge of his first Premier League match, showed Jean-Ricner Bellegarde a red card for violent conduct after kicking out at Luton captain Tom Lockyer when the pair got tangled.  

But despite nine first-half shots Luton were unable to take their first Premier League lead.  

Instead it was Wolves who opened the scoring five minutes after half-time. Pedro Neto outpaced Lockyer down the right, before cutting inside and unleashing a fierce shot beyond Thomas Kaminski in the Luton goal.  

Shortly after Mario Lemina had almost doubled Wolves’ lead, Luton were level.  

Issa Kabore’s shot deflected off the outstretched arm of Wolves midfielder Joao Gomes and a penalty was awarded. Morris converted in the 65th minute for his second goal of the season. Luton camped in and around Wolves’ area but the closest they came to a winner was when Chiedozie Ogbene put the ball into the net but was denied by an offside flag.  

Wolves climb to 15th with four points, while Luton remain bottom.

Fulham defence stand tall

Crystal Palace and Fulham shared the points as they played out a goalless draw at Selhurst Park in a match short of big chances.

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The closest to a first-half goal was a shot from Fulham forward Raul Jimenez that Sam Johnstone turned round a post, while Eberechi Eze went close with a low effort from just outside the area for Palace.  

Willian almost snatched a late winner for Fulham but saw his close-range effort blocked by Johnstone, who then stood tall to deny Carlos Vinicius when through on goal from a narrow angle.  

A second clean sheet in a row for Fulham takes them to ninth on eight points, a spot below Palace on goal difference.  

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