Arsenal survived a late scare at the Emirates to secure a 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest in their opening fixture of the 2023/24 campaign.
The Gunners dominated the entire first half and after a piece of magic from Gabriel Martinelli allowed Eddie Nketiah to fire home from close range. Mikel Arteta’s side took a deserved lead.
Bukayo Saka, a livewire all afternoon, doubled their lead later in the half, curling home a sublime long-range strike past former teammate Matt Turner.
However, the north London club failed to kill the game, and when Taiwo Awoniyi pulled one back for the visitors late on, it made for a nervy end to the game for the home crowd. The Gunners were thankfully able to preserve their lead, earning their first three points of the season in the process.
3 positives and negatives as Arsenal edge past Forest
Positive #1: The three points
Without a doubt, the most important thing in your first game of the season is securing the win, and although it wasn’t as comfortable as many of us would have liked, the team did just that.
It is of course still incredibly early in the season, however, with Manchester City winning their opening day fixture less than 24 hours prior, dropped points would’ve already handed Pep Guardiola’s side the psychological advantage.
It was by no means one of our best performances, but it was an important victory nonetheless.
Negative #1: Jurrien Timber’s injury
A standout negative from the match was the injury sustained by Jurrien Timber, who before his departure, had followed his impressive Community Shield display with another good performance.
Arteta confirmed that all parties were happy for Timber to continue after the halftime interval, however, were forced to substitute the Dutchman after he pulled up again in the second half.
Speaking after the game, Arteta said:
"“No, the officials, the doctors, they looked at him and they were happy to continue, him as well, but straight away in the second half the first action he made a movement and it was a bit funny so we took him straight out and now we have to assess him to see what he has. “"
Timber has already proven himself to be a very valuable player in the squad, and if were to be sidelined for an extended period, it would be a huge blow for the side.
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