Nigeria’s Taiwo Awoniyi Scores, but Forest Falls to Arsenal in Opening Match

Starlyon King
By Starlyon King
4 Min Read
  • Arsenal’s new ticketing system caused a 30-minute delay in the match against Nottingham Forest
  • Nottingham Forest missed early scoring chance due to defensive lapse
  • Arsenal had a dominant first half with Nketiah and Saka scoring

For the first time in history, Nottingham Forest has suffered a setback by losing their opening league game for the fifth consecutive season. Their hopes were dashed by Arsenal, who secured a 2-1 victory, marking the beginning of their journey to break a 20-year title drought.

The game between Arsenal and Nottingham Forest had been delayed by 30 minutes because of an e-ticketing system issue that meant the majority of fans were still outside Emirates Stadium at the scheduled kick-off time of 12:30 BST.

When play did eventually get underway, it was Nottingham Forest with the first clear-cut chance when Brennan Johnson was put through on goal against Aaron Ramsdale, but the Wales forward lofted his shot high and wide when the Arsenal goalkeeper rushed off his mark.
That was to be a rare attacking threat from the visitors as Arsenal created the majority of chances until Awoniyi helped the visitors roar to life and create a tense finish.

Arsenal perfect start to the season

Following a disheartening end to the previous season, which witnessed Arsenal relinquishing the Premier League title to Manchester City, their victorious start on the opening weekend serves as a catalyst for gaining momentum. This win builds upon their recent Community Shield win against Man City at Wembley, further fortifying their stride forward.

Mikel Arteta fielded Arsenal’s big summer signings – Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, and Jurrien Timber – once more, following their competitive debuts in the Community Shield. However, it was Gabriel Martinelli who truly shined like a million stars with his energy and dynamism in the initial phases of the match.

The game was a true showcase of individual brilliance and unforeseen twists. The Brazilian winger, Gabriel Martinelli, navigated skillfully through the Nottingham Forest defense, fashioning a clear-cut chance for Nketiah. With a touch of luck, Nketiah’s shot deflected slightly off Joe Worrall, leaving Turner in the wrong direction and allowing Nketiah to finally find the net after his January dry spell.

Just eight minutes into the game, Saka’s undeniable talent took center stage. Positioned on the edge of the penalty area, Saka displayed his finesse as he expertly maneuvered inside and unleashed a powerful shot that found the back of the net, doubling Arsenal’s lead.

However, amidst the jubilation, a shadow was cast over Arsenal’s afternoon as Jurrien Timber, a recent £34 million signing from Ajax, exited the field in the 50th minute due to what appeared to be a calf injury. This unexpected turn prompted Takehiro Tomiyasu to step in as his replacement.

Declan Rice, a noteworthy acquisition at £100 million from West Ham, showcased his worth in the Arsenal midfield. His presence was felt as he came close to securing a third goal on several occasions. One particularly memorable attempt was a 20-yard strike that seemed destined for the net, only to be thwarted by Turner’s fingertip save, redirecting the ball onto the post.

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I'm Kingsley Neji, popularly known as Starlyon King, CEO of SportPremi and UnicrossBlog. I'm a sports journalist delivering data-driven reports and analysis.
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