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Rodri sent off, Haaland scores as Manchester City blanks Nottingham Forest

Erling Haaland Manchester City Erling Haaland - The Canadian Press

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City midfielder Rodri was sent off for grabbing an opponent around the neck in a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday that extended the defending champions' perfect start to their Premier League title defense.

Phil Foden and Erling Haaland scored in the opening 14 minutes but the second half was more of a defensive effort from City after Rodri was sent off inside a minute of the restart.

The Spain international responded to getting shoved by Morgan Gibbs-White near the corner flag by going chest to chest with the Forest playmaker and then placing both of his hands around his neck on two occasions. Gibbs-White went down after the second time and the referee showed a straight red card for violent conduct.

Rodri — the scorer of City's winner in last season's Champions League final and arguably the team's most important player — will miss City's next three games, including a trip to likely title rival Arsenal on Oct. 8.

City, which has now won its first six games of the campaign, had few problems holding on to the lead despite Forest enjoying more possession in the second half, with Haaland only having one chance after the break to score his second and add to his eight league goals this season. The Norway striker volleyed over from close range from substitute Nathan Ake's cross on a counterattack.

Haaland had to settle for scoring a powerful header into the top corner from Matheus Nunes' right-wing cross in the 14th minute, which built on Foden's seventh-minute opener from a 46-pass move — the second longest passing sequence leading to a Premier League goal since figures were collated from 2006-07, according to stats company Opta.

It finished with Kyle Walker laying off Rodri's incisive pass to the right wing and Foden providing a left-foot finish into the bottom corner.

City goalkeeper Ederson Moraes preserved the host's clean sheet with a fine diving save to deny Anthony Elanga's volley in stoppage time.


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