Super Eagles Taiwo Awoniyi and Ola Aina played for Nottingham Forest on Saturday, but they were unable to prevent Manchester City from defeating them 2-0 at the Etihad.
While Aina made two tackles and one interception, Awoniyi only generated one opportunity as Manchester City continued their unblemished start to the Premier League season.
Despite the loss of midfielder Rodri to a red card early in the second half, it has now been six wins in a row.
Together with Rodri’s red card, referee Anthony Taylor issued 11 cautions to players, seven of which were issued during the tense second half as Forest unsuccessfully attempted to use their extra man.
As City dominated possession for the first 45 minutes, Phil Foden blasted the opening goal for City in the seventh minute, and striker Erling Haaland was left unmarked to head home the second from a Matheus Nunes cross seven minutes later.
The Forest players must have been thinking back to their 6-0 humiliation from the previous season as they walked for the locker room. However, things quickly changed around as the second half got going when Rodri was shown a straight red card.
The Spanish midfielder got into a heated argument with Morgan Gibbs-White and shoved both hands up the forward’s throat before getting sent off.
Jeremy Doku, a City winger, was immediately replaced by Kalvin Phillips, and Forest added Anthony Elanga and Callum Hudson-Odoi. As a result, Pep Guardiola substituted Nathan Ake, a defender, for Julian Alvarez in a tit-for-tat switch.
As the visitors pushed forward but were unable to produce clear-cut attempts on goal, Forest debutant Nicolas Dominguez flashed a shot wide of the right post in the 63rd minute, and Elanga had an effort from a tight angle comfortably saved by Ederson.
Despite Haaland’s missed opportunity to score his second goal after Ake’s cross, City were able to cling on for the victory that puts them atop the standings.