LONDON — Manchester City maintained their perfect start to the season with a sixth successive English Premier League win but it was not as serene as it might have been in a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest as they played the second half with 10 men.
Goals by Phil Foden and Erling Haaland put the champions in cruise control within 15 minutes but Rodri’s red card one minute into the second period after he grappled with Morgan Gibbs-White meant City had to work hard to seal the win.
Everton registered their first league victory of the season, producing an impressive display to win 3-1 at Brentford whose home struggles continued.
Luton Town got off the mark as they drew 1-1 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers while Crystal Palace and Fulham played out a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park.
That never looked in doubt once Kyle Walker had set up Foden to thump in the opener after a 46-pass move and then Haaland headed powerfully into the net from a cross by Matheus Nunes.
But Rodri’s needless altercation with Gibbs-White, who made a meal of the City midfielder putting his hands on his throat in the 46th minute, meant the hosts were unable to coast through the rest of the match.
“We played, I would say, 51, 52 minutes 10 against 11, so it was not easy, but we were fantastic,” City manager Pep Guardiola said.
“I thought the way we played in the first half was amazing against a difficult side for the physicality, the pace they have up front,” Guardiola added according to Reuters.
Asked about Rodri’s sending off which means he will likely miss three games, Guardiola said: “Rodri has to control his emotions. I can get a yellow card but Rodri cannot get a red.
“He has done it. He has apologised. The players in the pitch have to control their emotions.”
Everton picked up its first Premier League win of the season on Saturday by beating Brentford 3-1 away.
Victory at Gtech Community Stadium will help to ease the pressure on the Merseyside club after a difficult start to the campaign for manager Sean Dyche.
Abdoulaye Doucoure, James Tarkowski and Dominic Calvert-Lewin struck for Everton, which moved up to 15th in the standings. Mathias Jensen pulled one back for Brentford.
Victory lifted Everton out of the relegation zone and up to 15th with four points, with Brentford, without a home win this season, 12th on six.
Everton only avoided relegation on the final day of last season and was in the drop zone going into this game after securing just one point from its opening five matches.
But it got off to an encouraging start when Doucoure lashed home in the sixth minute after a knockdown from Tarkowski.
The visitors had chances to extend their lead, but it was Brentford which evened the score through Jensen against the run of play in the 28th.
Everton was back in front in the 67th when Tarkowski headed in Dwight McNeil´s corner.
Substitute Calvert-Lewin ran through on goal four minutes later to make it 3-1 and set Dyche’s team on course for all three points.
Wolves were reduced to 10 men at a raucous Kenilworth Road when Jean-Ricner Bellegarde was sent off late in the first half for kicking out at Luton skipper Tom Lockyer.
Undeterred the visitors went ahead when Pedro Neto cut in after racing down the right wing and smashed a shot into the roof of the net.
However, Luton was handed a lifeline when Joao Gomes handled in the box and, after a VAR review, Carlton Morris stepped up to send Jose Sa the wrong way.
It secured Luton’s first point in the top flight since April 1992 and they might have been celebrating a win.
“But it’s coming. We were better again. I’m not saying we should have got something from the game, I’m saying we should have won,” Luton manager Rob Edwards said.
Luton remained bottom with one point from five games.
Crystal Palace was held to a goalless draw by Fulham at Selhurst Park in a game short on quality and cutting edge.
The draw moved both teams up the standings by one position, with Palace rising to eighth place on eight points from six games, the same as Fulham in ninth.
Fulham edged an entertaining first half, which had significantly more cynical fouls and crunching tackles than clear-cut opportunities.
Andreas Pereira stung Sam Johnstone’s palms with a fierce shot in the third minute, before Willian forced the Palace goalkeeper into a sharp save with a long-range effort seven minutes later.
“I felt good — there were a couple of saves in there,” Johnstone said. “It is nice to do that and to get a point but it would have been better with three.”
With manager Roy Hodgson back on the touchline after missing last week’s 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa due to illness, Palace weathered the storm and grew into the contest.
Eberechi Eze came close to scoring for the hosts in the first half, sending a curling shot just wide of the post from the edge of the penalty area in the 42nd minute.
Palace caused Fulham more problems in the second half, with Eze emerging as their standout player in attack as he had two penalty claims denied and kept the opposition defence on their toes with his skill and speed.
Fulham striker Raul Jimenez was unable to bring an end to his quest for a first goal since moving to London from Wolverhampton Wanderers in the summer, twice failing to score from promising opportunities before being taken off in the 79th minute for Carlos Vinicius.