Arsenal’s bid to win the Premier League title got off to a good start on Saturday, when they beat Nottingham Forest 2-1. However, the Gunners, who spend a lot of money on football, had to work hard for the win.
Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka scored in the first half to give the home team a big lead at the Emirates.
But the last seven minutes were tense because Taiwo Awoniyi scored a goal for Forest after coming off the bench.
Arsenal’s day got off to a bad start when the game started 30 minutes late because of problems with an e-ticketing system that meant tens of thousands of fans couldn’t get to their places in time for the planned 11:30GMT start time.
Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, and Jurrien Timber all joined the league for more than £200 million ($254 million), but they didn’t play until the game started.
But the three points for the home team were less sweet because Timber got hurt when he pulled up early in the second half.
At that point, the game should have been over because Arsenal had gotten off to a fast start.
Last season, Mikel Arteta’s team finished second, behind Manchester City, who won the triple. This season, they want to do even better.
City beat Burnley 3-0 on Friday night to start the Premier League season, and Arsenal should have done the same instead of hanging on until the end of the game.
Forest stayed in the English Premier League last year thanks to how well they played at home. This was their first season back in the Premier League in 23 years.
Steve Cooper wanted them to do better on the road, but until Awoniyi and Anthony Elanga came on late, they didn’t do much against the home team.
– Magic of Martinelli –
Forest’s last-ditch defense held out for 26 minutes, until Gabriel Martinelli did something magical to beat the guests.
The Brazilian’s turn got him past two players, and when the ball came to Nketiah, he shot low past Matt Turner, who was making his Forest debut on his return to the Emirates this week after leaving Arsenal.
Turner couldn’t stop Saka’s second goal six minutes later, when he cut onto his best foot, his left, and sent a classic shot high into the far corner.
Timber took his place at the start of the second period, even though he had been hurt at the end of the first.
But the Dutch international then pulled up hurting his leg and had to be taken off just four minutes into the second half.
Cooper surprised everyone by leaving out Awoniyi, who scored in Forest’s last four games last season, including the game-winner against Arsenal that kept his team alive in May.
The Nigerian scored again by turning the ball in at the near post after former Manchester United player Elanga ran the length of the field from an Arsenal corner.
Even though there were seven minutes of extra time, Arsenal hung on to win, but it wasn’t a very good start to their quest to win the English championship for the first time in 20 years.