18 points from the first six games, even the Champions League opener against Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday was a success – things are going well for Manchester City. In the 2-0 win against Nottingham, the Skyblues started enormously dominant and brought the advantage over time – even without Rodrigo, who lost control after the break and was sent off.
City coach Pep Guardiola made three changes three days after the 3-1 defeat to Belgrade, with ex-Dortmund Akanji, ex-Leipzig Gvardiol and Doku coming in for Aké, Sergio Gomez and the injured Bernardo Silva.
For Nottingham, former Bundesliga professionals Niakhaté, Mangala and Awoniyi were among those to start from the start.
Pure possession – Nottingham can’t find their way
Manchester City have kept their record unblemished in their first five league games and their opening match in the top flight, and the Skyblues came out of the dressing room with the same confidence against Nottingham. City had 95 per cent possession until Foden’s beautifully played 1:0 (7th), and even after Haaland’s beautifully combined 2:0 (14th), Nottingham didn’t get a foot on the pitch.
Rodrigo out of control – City down to ten for a half
After half an hour, City were still at just under 90 per cent possession. In the final quarter of the first 45 minutes, however, Pep Guardiola’s men took their foot off the gas and got caught up in minor lapses of concentration, which is why the two-goal lead remained for the time being.
The Skyblues had everything under control – but less than 60 seconds had passed in the second half when Rodrigo blew a fuse: The Spaniard visibly grabbed Gibbs-White’s neck with both hands and was shown red (46th).
City had to play a half in a reduced number of players, withdrew a little further and let the visitors have the ball. But they rarely knew what to do with it, so it was a tough game without any highlights.
Haaland misses the decision
Avoniyi had the best chance, but he lifted the ball over Ederson (57th), otherwise the Brazilian did not have to intervene. On the other side, Haaland missed the decision at the beginning of the final phase (77.).
Also in the last minutes Nottingham did not get the PS on the pitch, with Elanga’s only test for Ederson the game was almost over (90.+5). Thus Manchester City celebrated their sixth win in the league in a row and remain top of the table.
The next English week is on the agenda for City: The Skyblues are challenged by Newcastle United in the League Cup on Tuesday. Nottingham do not play again until next Sunday, when they host the Bees.