Erling Haaland continued his Premier League assault with a second consecutive hat-trick for Manchester City in a 6-0 win over Nottingham Forest.
The 22-year-old scored a 26-minute first-half three to put a sword to Forest just four days after doing the same with Crystal Palace.
He is now the first player in the Premier League era to score nine goals in his first five games and surely Andy Cole and Alan Shearer’s record high of 34 goals in a season will be broken this season.
It was also a story of another new City striker, as Julian Alvarez marked his first Premier League start after the break with a brace, with Joao Cancelo also scoring.
The hammering took City’s goals to 19 in five games and showed just how tough it will be to stop this season.
Forest, who has already shown enough this season to suggest his return to the top flight will not be fleeting, will be happy to get that game out of the way early on and will have Saturday’s clash against Bournemouth by far pursue more joy.
Haaland was less than two years old when Forest, for whom his father used to play, last visited Manchester City in the league and City are an unrecognizable club from whoever won that second division clash 3-0 in 2002.
They have dominated the Premier League for the last few years and are an even scarier prospect with Haaland now leading the charge.
This is Forest’s first season back in the top flight since 1999 and their evening soon turned to damage control after Haaland’s early double put them in cruise control.
It took him just 12 minutes to break the block as he showed brilliant instinct to get past Joe Worrall at the near post and smashed Phil Foden’s cross past Dean Henderson.
Forest lasted another 11 minutes before bagging again and tapping into an empty net after Neco Williams’ tackle on Foden fell perfectly for him from eight yards out.
City had ruled out another goal for offside after John Stones converted from Haaland’s far post, but he was flagged for offside.
There was no reprieve for Forest as the Norwegian striker made sure he would take home another match point in the 38th minute.
Foden’s cross found Stones at the back post and the center half headed back over the goal for Haaland, who jumped all to nod home from a yard.
Haaland isn’t the only striker City have brought in this summer and Alvarez wanted to get a piece of the action but his shot from the edge of the box hit the post as City had to settle for three at the break.
Forest’s respite didn’t last long as the score was 4-0 five minutes into the second half when Cancelo circled an impressive shot from 20 yards into the top corner.
The attack continued and Alvarez also announced his arrival with a goal in the 65th minute.
He showed he’s just as reliable in front of goal, converting coolly past Henderson after Riyad Mahrez brought him in.
Pep Guardiola showed Forest some mercy when he pulled Haaland back in the 69th minute but introduced Kevin De Bruyne who tried to pull the strings as City went on to chasing more goals.
It was the Belgian who scored City’s sixth goal with three minutes left when he charged forward after a counterattack perfected by Alvarez, who fired home.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/erling-haaland-premier-league-manchester-city-julian-alvarez-norway-b2157037.html Erling Haaland scores another hat-trick as Manchester City shrink Forest