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Manchester City 6-0 Nottm Forest: Haaland scores hat-trick and nets support Alvarez in defeat

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Manchester City 6-0 Nottingham Forest: Erling Haaland scores a hat-trick in the first half to bring his tally to nine goals in five Premier League games before Joao Cancelo puts down a screamer and Julian Alvarez is braced to seal defeat

Five games into the season and Erling Haaland is well over a third of the way to winning the Golden Boot. No, honestly. Go and check the calendar. And then check out the previous winners.

Twenty-three was the magic number in each of the last three campaigns. Twenty-two the previous. Haaland already has nine of them. Keep it up and he would erase all records.

One went out early on Wednesday evening. No player has ever scored so many goals in their first five Premier League appearances. Haaland beat the eight through Mick Quinn and a man named Sergio Aguero when he looted his hat-trick seven minutes before half time.

Erling Haaland scored his second hat-trick for Man City in consecutive Premier League games

MATCHING FACTS

Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Ederson 7; Walker 7.5, Dias 7.5, Stones 9 (Lewis 75, 6), Cancelo 8 (Gomez 68, 6); Rodri 7.5 (Mahrez 55, 6.5), Gundogan 8; Silva 8, Alvarez 9, Foden 9 (Palmer 55, 7); Haaland 9.5 (De Bruyne 69, 7)

Subs not used: Ortega, Gomes, Knight, Wilson-Esbrand

Manager: Pep Guardiola 8

Nottingham Forest (3-5-1-1): Henderson 5; Worrall 5, Kouyate 5 (Biancone 79), McKenna 5; Williams 6.5, Yates 5.5 (Colback 69.6), O’Brien 6.5, Freuler 5, Lodi 6 (Toffolo 69.6); Gibbs-White 6.5 (Dennis 58, 5); Johnson 6 (Awoniyi 58, 6)

Subs not used: Hennessey, Cook, Lingard, Surridge

Manager: Steve Cooper 5

Referee: Paul Tierney 6

At that time, it was six goals in his last hour of football, after he also left the stadium with a standing ovation on Saturday with a triple. It took Agüero a few years to get a few match balls here. How many more could follow for his successor? A lot, you would think.

Nottingham Forest was defeated long before that. Haaland needed three touches to finish this as a match – his first scoring the opener and the next two were both involved in the engineering of the second. Three touches and that was that, halfway through the first half. Thanks for coming.

And by the break, he had surpassed 15 teams in the division. These are days to be cherished by City supporters, who have praised Pep Guardiola in recent weeks for cranking up the volume. They usually have to wait patiently for their new recruits to learn Guardiola’s way, to see how they become superstars over time. This guy just emerged as someone who believes they are the best in the world.

Haaland sipped in to spin a Phil Foden cross past Dean Henderson for the first goal

Haaland sipped in to spin a Phil Foden cross past Dean Henderson for the first goal

Despite later scoring his first two league goals for the club, poor Julian Alvarez – who had been smart and tenacious in the No. 10 role – became something of a footnote.

For now it’s all about the other and what the rest of the competition does to him is a mystery. Haaland showed that he is too fast, too tall and his feet too fast for defenders. And better defenders than those in line for Forest will find out in the coming months.

As the signings go, this is a transformation for Guardiola and – amazingly, only a month into his City career and a month since some played with him writing off after the Community Shield – it seems difficult for the manager to find any news outlet. to describe how good the No. 9 is.

Haaland tapped in the second goal after a poor clearance from goalkeeper Dean Henderson

Haaland tapped in the second goal after a poor clearance from goalkeeper Dean Henderson

What he does do is take the danger out of these home games against smart opposition. Forest wasn’t bad, they occasionally squeezed the property and handed it over threateningly, but were punished in a way that not everyone has been here in recent years. Crystal Palace ran into the exact same problem this weekend.

Anyway, the goals. In the 12th minute Phil Foden was deep in a corner. He looked up and saw that Haaland had made two different runs. Their telepathy is such that the timing was perfect and, although Foden’s cross was slightly different from Morgan Gibbs-White, he would always find his man. Joe Worrall couldn’t do anything about Haaland’s dart and the Norwegian pushed past Dean Henderson.

Henderson won’t be fond of the highlights for goal two, his pass in the 23rd minute found only Bernardo Silva and seconds later it was in the Manchester United hirer’s net. Haaland fell into Foden’s path and Neco Williams’ last tackle could only deviate towards the striker. Just empty.

The Norwegian completed his hat-trick in 38 minutes and came in from close range

The Norwegian completed his hat-trick in 38 minutes and came in from close range

John Stones had seen a header disallowed for offside just before Haaland got his third – with Foden’s involvement again being crucial. Foden found Stones and the defender nodded back where it came from, Haaland hung in the six-yard box, nestled between men who might as well have been in different zip codes, and finished the job with his forehead.

Forest’s first shot at goal, an attempt by Gibbs-White, was enthusiastically celebrated by all four teams just before the hour and City had scored another. Joao Cancelo collected a pass on the edge of Henderson’s penalty area and curled it high into his top right corner.

Alvarez had his double, hitting under Henderson with 25 minutes to go and the other hammering past the keeper at 87 in a way Aguero would have been proud of.

Haaland had taken off from the stage, to a high five and a slap to the back from his manager, grinning among the substitutes with Foden, who pinched his ear as they laughed. Seeing this, no one else who wants to win anything this year will smile.

Joao Cancelo scored the fourth goal from the edge of the area after 50 minutes

Joao Cancelo scored the fourth goal from the edge of the area after 50 minutes

Julian Alvarez scored with a low finish after brilliant set-up play by Riyad Mahrez

Julian Alvarez scored with a low finish after brilliant set-up play by Riyad Mahrez

Alvarez completed the defeat with a powerful left-footed attack from the crossbar

Alvarez completed the defeat with a powerful left-footed attack from the crossbar

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