Arsenal start title bid with nervy win over Forest

12 Aug 2023
Saka Nketiah

Eddie Nketiah goal and a Bukayo Saka stunner earn 2-1 win at Emirates Stadium

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Arsenal began their pursuit of the Premier League title with a nervous 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest at Emirates Stadium.

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After kick-off was delayed by 30 minutes, Arsenal overcame an early scare as Forest forward Brennan Johnson raced clear before placing his shot over the bar.

That missed opportunity proved costly as Gabriel Martinelli produced an incredible assist, spinning through two Forest defenders and feeding Eddie Nketiah, who smashed the ball past former Gunners goalkeeper Matt Turner from close range.

See: Arteta praises 'beast' Nketiah after crucial goal

Six minutes later Bukayo Saka doubled the lead in stunning style. After he cut inside from the right, Saka curled the ball into the far corner with a brilliant shot.

There was a sour note for the dominant Arsenal though, as one of their summer signings, Jurrien Timber, limped off early in the second period after injuring a knee.

The hosts struggled to create clear chances in the second half, although Declan Rice came close on two occasions to scoring on his Premier League debut for the club.

The finale became more nervous than Arsenal wanted as substitute Taiwo Awoniyi, who scored the winner that ended the Gunners' title hopes in May, converted from close range in the 82nd minute.

He was set up brilliantly by Anthony Elanga, who had come on for his Forest debut just two minutes earlier.

But Arsenal held on to start their season with an important three points.

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