Five matches into the season and Erling Haaland’s well over a third of the way to winning the Golden Boot. No, honestly. Go and check the calendar. And then check the previous winners.
Twenty-three has been the magic number in each of the last three campaigns. Twenty-two the one before that. Haaland has himself nine already. Carry on at this rate and he would obliterate all records.
One already went early doors on Wednesday night. No player has ever scored this many times in their first five Premier League appearances, Haaland beating the eight by Mick Quinn and a man named Sergio Aguero when plundering in his hat-trick seven minutes before half-time.
At that point, it was six goals in his last hour of football, having left this stadium to a standing ovation with a triple on Saturday as well. It took Aguero a few years to get himself a couple of match balls here. How many more could possibly follow for his successor? Plenty, you would imagine.
Nottingham Forest were beaten long before all that. It took Haaland three touches to finish this as a contest – his first to score the opener and the next two both involved in engineering the second. Three touches and that was that, midway through the first half. Thanks for coming
And by the break, he had outscored 15 teams in the division. These are days that the City supporters, who Pep Guardiola has heavily praised for cranking up the volume over the past few weeks, must cherish.
They usually have to patiently wait for their new signings to learn Guardiola’s way, to watch them moulded into superstars over a period of time. This guy just turned up as someone who believes they are the best in the world.
Anyway, the goals. In the 12th minute, Phil Foden sat deep from a corner. He looked up and saw Haaland had made two different runs. Their telepathy is such that the timing was perfect and, although Foden’s cross deflected slightly off Morgan Gibbs-White, was always going to find his man. Joe Worrall could do nothing about Haaland’s dart and the Norwegian stabbed past Dean Henderson.
Henderson will not be particularly fond of the highlights for goal two, his lax pass in the 23rd minute only finding Bernardo Silva and seconds later it was in the Manchester United loanee’s net. Haaland laid into Foden’s path and Neco Williams’ last-ditch tackle could only divert towards the striker. Empty net.