Arsenal continued their resurgence with a 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Tuesday. The City Ground has been a difficult place to visit for the Gunners, losing on their last two trips to West Bridgford.
Second-half goals from Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka ensured a late strike from Taiwo Awoniyi could not trouble the Gunners, who had closed the gap to the top to just two points albeit playing a game more.
Arsenal's 3 best players from impressive win over Nottingham Forest
Here are three players that stood out on Tuesday night.
1. Gabriel Magalhaes
Gabriel has been in scintillating form for Arsenal recently, scoring three times in the last five matches. He was a doubt heading into this fixture having been substituted against Crystal Palace where he netted twice.
He was very dominant against Forest and helped Arsenal pin the home side back in their half. He occupied the left side of the midfield from his defensive position, helping Oleksandr Zinchenko roam and control possession.
The Brazilian made the second most passes in the game (101), only behind Zinchenko and was also solid defensively. The late goal by Awoniyi was a dent to an all-round performance and denied Gabriel a clean sheet, but another solid performance to cap off an impressive run of form.
2. Oleksandr Zinchenko
Zinchenko has come under scrutiny this season, especially during the poor run in which the team lost three consecutive games before the winter break. Since then, he has returned from his short injury layoff refreshed and once again looking sharp; always one step ahead of others.
Against Forest, the Ukrainian looked at his best; controlling possession and dictating the tempo of the game for Arsenal. His 107 passes were the most of any player in the game, and he also ended the game with an assist. His quick thinking with a throw-in released Jesus for the opening goal which was what the team needed to open up the game.
This was the type of game the Ukrainian would dominate and he has again shown why Mikel Arteta trusts him despite the outside noise.
3. Gabriel Jesus
Well, it is difficult that Bukayo Saka is not on this list considering he led the team in most of what he did, except passes. But my eyes have gone with Gabriel Jesus because of how telling his contributions were in the game. The Brazilian opened the scoring with a smart finish and also assisted Saka for the second after picking the right pass on the counter, as he did for Leandro Trossard ten days ago.
According to Opta, Jesu had six shots in the game, joint top with Saka. He led the team with shots on target, joint top with Forest’s Awoniyi (two) and had a shot blocked. He also won two fouls.
No Premier League player has both scored and assisted a goal in more different games this season than Jesus (four times). He's only played 90 minutes in five of his 23 appearances.
After the game, Arteta told TNT of Jesus' importance: "We really need him at his best. I had a great feeling before the game. He had some fluid in his knee and he was struggling. He was kicking every physio out there 2 days ago, saying 'I want to be on the pitch’. He pushed everybody to be there."
A return to form for the Brazilian will undoubtedly invigorate the other Arsenal forwards, but there's no guarantee the former Man City striker will stay fit the rest of the way.