Bukayo Saka scores as Arsenal hang on to beat Nottingham Forest

Bukayo Saka scores as Arsenal hang on to beat Nottingham Forest

Arsenal began their quest to wrestle the Premier League title away from Manchester City as Bukayo Saka scored in 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest.

After a half-hour delay to kick-off at the Emirates Stadium, Eddie Nketiah and Saka struck in the first-half but the hosts could not build on their lead and were pegged back by Taiwo Awoniyi as they hung on to win 2-1.

An issue with the turnstiles meant kick-off was put back by 30 minutes but it did not threaten to dampen the expectant atmosphere as Arsenal aim to go one better than their runners-up spot last season.

Defeat at Forest in May ended that title challenge but a repeat never looked likely here from the moment Forest goalkeeper Matt Turner - making his debut after joining from Arsenal earlier in the week - saw a clearance charged down by Nketiah as the ball flashed wide.

The visitors had already spurned a great opening, Brennan Johnson unable to hit the target after being slipped in behind.

A moment of magic from Gabriel Martinelli freed Nketiah inside the Forest box and his low shot found a way past Turner courtesy of a deflection off Joe Worrall as Arsenal hit the front just after the midway point of the first half.

Saka then took centre-stage, collecting a pass from William Saliba and curling home a fine effort to double the lead before half-time.

It was not all smiles for Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, though, as summer signing Jurrien Timber limped off with what appeared to be a knee injury with just 50 minutes gone.

The Dutch defender had gone down in pain having committed a foul on the stroke of half-time but emerged for the second-half, only to be forced off soon after.

The second half looked like being played out largely with Arsenal controlling possession, Declan Rice forcing a low stop out of Turner with a deflected drive before the £105million man had another shot turned behind.

But, from the resulting corner from the second of Rice's efforts, Forest broke at pace and substitute Anthony Elanga burst down the left before squaring for Awoniyi to finish.

Arsenal ultimately held on for the win, Gabriel Magalhaes replacing Martinelli to sure up the defence as Forest threw on the likes of Chris Wood in a late attempt to salvage a point.

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