Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka strike as Arsenal down Nottingham Forest

Bukayo Saka (L) with Arsenal's English midfielder #41 Declan Rice (C) and Arsenal's English striker #14 Eddie Nketiah celebrate

Arsenal held on to take all three points at the Emirates, beating Nottingham Forest 2-1. Despite dominating for long periods, Nottingham Forest got a goal back late on to make it a nervy finish for Mikel Arteta’s side.

Early in the game, when it was 0-0, Brennan Johnson had a golden chance to open the scoring for Forest but he missed the target after being one-on-one with Aaron Ramsdale. And he was punished for that miss as Arsenal took the lead a few minutes later.

Gabriel Martinelli’s skill fell into the path of Eddie Nketiah, whose deflected strike gave the home side the lead. And 1-0 became 2-0 very soon after as Bukayo Saka scored with a delightful curling finish into the top corner from outside the box.

Arsenal looked in cruise control in the second half until two substitutes combined for Nottingham Forest. They broke from an Arsenal corner and Anthony Elanga showed great pace to move into the Arsenal penalty area before laying it off for Taiwo Awoniyi to make it 2-1.

Arsenal held on despite pressure late on from the visitors to take a deserved victory and all three points.

Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 1: as it happened

03:46 PM BST

Injury blow for Timber?

Mikel Arteta will be concerned by the injury to new signing Jurrien Timber. He picked up the injury at the end of the first half and had to go off early in the second half. According to TNT Sports, it is believed it could be a knee injury. We will have to wait and see the full extent of the injury.

03:43 PM BST

Steve Cooper speaking to TNT

As previously mentioned, Steve Cooper was not happy with VAR concerning the Declan Rice handball incident. Let’s hear what the Nottingham Forest manager has had to say:

03:35 PM BST

Saka a happy man

A goal and a man of the match award for Bukayo Saka. Not a bad way for the Arsenal man to start the new Premier League season.

03:34 PM BST

Mikel Arteta speaking post-match to TNT

03:32 PM BST

Should Nottingham Forest have had a penalty?

We are seeing replays on TNT at the moment of a potential penalty shout for Nottingham Forest. The incident involved Willy Boly and Declan Rice. Boly got his head onto a corner and it hit Rice’s arm. It was in very close proximity but that would probably have been given last season. Let’s just hope there is consistency with those types of decisions going forward. Steve Cooper was not happy that VAR did not look at the incident further and we will get his post-match thoughts very soon.

03:18 PM BST

Post-match thoughts of Eddie Nketiah

03:13 PM BST

Man of the match

Bukayo Saka was named man of the match and rightly so as he was the best player on the pitch.

03:02 PM BST


That is it and in the end Arsenal hold on for victory. They dominated for large periods, with Nketiah and Saka giving them a 2-0 lead. But an Awoniyi goal with around 10 minutes to go made it a very nervy ending for the home side. Three points for Mikel Arteta’s side to get their season underway with a win.

03:00 PM BST

90+7 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 1

Odegaard has a shot from the edge of the box but it goes wide. Will that be it?

02:58 PM BST

90+5 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 1

No, it is not. The free-kick is headed away but the subsequent shot goes well over and an opportunity wasted for Nottingham Forest. Will they get another chance?

02:57 PM BST

90+4 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 1

Nottingham Forest have a free-kick inside the Arsenal half. Could this be the moment for the visitors?

02:56 PM BST

90+3 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 1

It is end-to-end at the moment. Trossard breaks downfield and Arsenal win a throw-in deep in the Nottingham Forest half as they look to run down time now. Are we going to see the new rules that have been brought in to stop time wasting brought into effect?

02:54 PM BST

90+2 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 1

White is booked for time wasting over a throw-in. Can Nottingham Forest get an equaliser late on?

02:53 PM BST

90 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 1

Nottingham Forest make two more changes as Wood and Kouyate come on for Worrall and Mangala. Steve Cooper is going for this. There are going to be seven minutes added on.

02:51 PM BST

88 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 1

You can sense the nerves inside the Emirates now. 10 minutes ago it looked like Arsenal were cruising to an easy win but now Nottingham Forest are back in this and believing they can get something.

02:50 PM BST

87 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 1

Mikel Arteta has decided he needs to shore things up at the back as he brings on Gabriel for Martinelli. A defender on for an attacker.

02:49 PM BST

86 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 1

This game has really opened up as there are chances for both sides including Johnson shooting over just after Awoniyi’s goal. It looked like Arsenal were in control but this game is back on.

02:47 PM BST


Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 1 (Awoniyi) The away side are back in this game! They break from an Arsenal corner and it is two substitutes who combine. Elanga, who has been on the pitch for a matter of moments, shows great pace to burst into the Arsenal box and crosses for Awoniyi who taps home. Game back on.

02:44 PM BST

81 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

Rice has another good chance to get his first Arsenal goal. He does not quite hit a volley in the way he wants and hits it into the ground. Turner has to parry it out for a corner…

Declan Rice laughs after missing a great chance to score his first Arsenal goal

Declan Rice could have had a debut Arsenal goal – Getty Images/Stuart MacFarlane

02:43 PM BST

80 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

Mangala is the next player to go in the book as he cynically pulls back Odegaard.

02:43 PM BST

79 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

Steve Cooper is now going to bring on one of his new summer signings Anthony Elanga, who was signed for £15 million from Manchester United. He replaces Johnson, who will rue that great chance he had early on when it was 0-0.

02:41 PM BST

78 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

Nottingham Forest have another corner. Despite Arsenal’s dominance, if the away side can get a goal here the nerves inside the Emirates will shoot up and Nottingham Forest will believe they might be able to get something from this game. The corner is played in and Boly gets his head on it but it does not have enough power to trouble Ramsdale.

02:39 PM BST

76 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

Rice comes very close to getting his first Arsenal goal on his Premier League debut for the club. He takes aim first-time from the edge of the area. It takes a small deflection and Turner does really well to get down to his left and tip it onto the post and away for a corner.

02:36 PM BST

73 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

Arsenal make their second change of the game as Trossard replaced Nketiah, who scored the opening goal of the game.

02:36 PM BST

72 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

Ramsdale is once again very lucky as like Turner in the first half, he is charged down by Johnson but the ball ends up going behind for a goal-kick.

02:35 PM BST

71 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

A double change for Nottingham Forest as Williams and Awoniyi replace Aina and Danilo.

02:34 PM BST

69 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

Nottingham Forest break. Aina cuts in from the left and shoots. It takes a small deflection off Partey and Michael Oliver awards the away side a corner. It is played into the near post and Tomiyasu chests it out for another corner. Can Nottingham Forest get back in the game? Not here as the next corner comes in as Ramsdale flaps at the ball but he gets away with it. The ball goes all the way through and out for an Arsenal goal-kick.

02:28 PM BST

65 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

Nottingham Forest launch a ball forward from a free-kick inside their own half but it ends up out of play for an Arsenal goal-kick. Every time the away side get a free-kick they launch it long but they have had no success with that today.

02:23 PM BST

60 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

One of Nottingham Forest’s biggest issues is that they cannot keep the ball for any period of time and when they do the likes of Johnson and Gibbs-White are just too isolated.

02:19 PM BST

56 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

Nottingham Forest have a shot on goal but the offside flag goes up. From a long throw in from Aina, the ball is headed towards goal and Yates swivels and shoots straight at Ramsdale. He was offside though so even if his shot went in it would not have counted.

02:14 PM BST

51 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

Tomiyasu, who has only just come onto the pitch, lets rip from distance but his shot is straight at Turner. The Japanese defender has never scored for Arsenal.

02:12 PM BST

48 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

How long will Timber last? The answer is not long at all, just a couple of minutes. He goes down clutching the back of his leg and he will not be able to continue. It does not look good for Timber. Not the way he wanted his Premier League debut to end. He is going to be replaced by Tomiyasu.

Jurrien Timber goes down with an injury

Jurrien Timber went off injured early in the second half – Reuters/David Klein

02:08 PM BST

Second half underway

Timber was struggling with a knock right at the end of the first half but he has emerged for the second half. How long will he be able to continue for? Anyway we are back underway at the Emirates. A mountain to climb for Nottingham Forest.

02:01 PM BST

Dominant half for the home side

Arsenal are 2-0 up at the break and it is safe to say they are dominating this game. They have had 84% possession and 7 shots. Nottingham Forest have had just the one shot, but how this game could look so different had Brennan Johnson taken that early opportunity which he really should have scored.

01:52 PM BST


Michael Oliver blows the half-time whistle and Arsenal take a 2-0 lead into the break after goals from Nketiah and Saka. It is looking comfortable for Arsenal at the moment.

01:49 PM BST

45+2 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

The second yellow card of the game goes to Timber for a foul on Johnson. In the process of fouling Johnson, Timber has actually hurt himself.

01:45 PM BST

45 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

There will be three minutes of added time at the end of the first half.

01:44 PM BST

44 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

Steve Cooper will know his Nottingham Forest side are under huge pressure. Rice takes aim from long range but it is a fairly easy save for Turner. Arsenal will not want half-time, Nottingham Forest definitely will.

01:39 PM BST

39 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

Arsenal are just piling on the pressure now. Martinelli’s cross is just too high for Nketiah and then the latter hits a shot wide. Nottingham Forest are desperate for half-time here and this could get ugly for them.

01:37 PM BST

37 min: Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0

Nottingham Forest get forward through Aurier on the right-hand side but his cross is woeful and ends up in the arms of Ramsdale. How much will Johnson be thinking about that huge early chance that he spurned when it was 0-0?

01:34 PM BST


Arsenal 2 Nottingham Forest 0 (Saka) What a finish from Saka! The pressure has been building on Nottingham Forest and Arsenal have made it 2-0. Nottingham Forest fail to clear from a corner. Saka picks the ball up on the right and like so many times today cuts inside. He then lets rip from just outside the box and his curling shot goes into the top corner. Arsenal in complete control now.

01:29 PM BST

28 min: Arsenal 1 Nottingham Forest 0

Aina is the first man in the book this afternoon after taking down Saka.

01:27 PM BST


Arsenal 1 Nottingham Forest 0 (Nketiah) Arsenal take the lead at the Emirates. Martinelli, down the left, does a fancy turn to get past two Nottingham Forest defenders but is very lucky as the ball lands at the feet of Nketiah. He cuts onto his right foot and his shot deflects off Worrall and goes in past Turner.

01:22 PM BST

21 min: Arsenal 0 Nottingham Forest 0

Nearly a disastrous for former Arsenal man Matt Turner. He takes way too long in the ball in his own penalty area and Nketiah manages to block the clearance. Fortunately for Turner and Nottingham Forest, the ball does not end up in the back of their own net. A nervy moment for Turner.

01:20 PM BST

19 min: Arsenal 0 Nottingham Forest 0

Arsenal are still dominating the ball but Nottingham Forest have not conceded a guilt-edge chance yet and they should have taken the lead through Johnson. The longer they can keep Arsenal at bay and stay in the game the more they will grow in confidence.

01:14 PM BST

13 min: Arsenal 0 Nottingham Forest 0

Odegaard plays the ball through to Nketiah but Turner is out quickly and smothers it. The offside flag goes up as well with Nketiah a couple of yards offside, which he would have known as soon as he made the run.

01:12 PM BST

11 min: Arsenal 0 Nottingham Forest 0

What a chance for Brennan Johnson and Nottingham Forest! The ball is headed forward and Johnson sprints onto it. He is one-on-one with Ramsdale but his lifted attempt misses the target. He should have done so much better and Nottingham Forest should be ahead despite Arsenal having had 90% possession.

Brennan Johnson reacts after missing great chance to open the scoring

Brennan Johnson (right) misses golden early chance for Nottingham Forest – Getty Images/Clive Mason

01:10 PM BST

10 min: Arsenal 0 Nottingham Forest 0

Saka, who has been very active in this game so far, cuts inside and crosses towards the back post but Nketiah’s header is a poor one and goes out for a goal-kick.

Ola Aina trying to put pressure on Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka (right) has played a prominent role in the game so far – Getty Images/Julian Finney

01:09 PM BST

8 min: Arsenal 0 Nottingham Forest 0

Saka cuts in from the right and tries to feed the ball through to the onrunning Nketiah but the ball goes through to Turner, on debut against his former club. Nottingham Forest have had barely any possession in the opening 10 minutes and they need to get hold of the ball for a period.

01:05 PM BST

5 min: Arsenal 0 Nottingham Forest 0

Arsenal have the first corner of the game which Saka will take. It is an inswinger which looks like it might be sneaking in at the front post but former Tottenham defender Serge Aurier heads it out for another corner. Nottingham Forest head the second corner away from danger.

01:03 PM BST

2 min: Arsenal 0 Nottingham Forest 0

As you would expect Arsenal having the majority of possession early on. Arsenal are first to create an half chance. The ball is played over the top into the path of Saka running into the right-hand channel. He plays the ball across the box but it is cleared away.

01:00 PM BST


We are underway, finally, at the Emirates.

12:57 PM BST

Reminder of the team news

12:56 PM BST

Kick-off is nearly here

The players have just made their way out onto the pitch and kick-off is just a matter of minutes away. 30 minutes later than it should have been but most of the fans have now made their way into the stadium.

12:47 PM BST

Delayed kick-off approaching

Both sets of players have headed back into the dressing room after a second, shorter warm-up. That would suggest that kick-off will be at 13.00.

Here is an update from TNT Sports’ Jules Breach on the current situation:

12:46 PM BST

Experiences of kick-off delays

The TNT crew have been talking through their own experiences of delays to kick-off, including due to the weather:

12:39 PM BST

Second warm-ups

The Nottingham Forest players are back out doing a light warm-up. The delayed kick-off is still at 13.00 currently but that could be pushed back further depending on how many more fans can make their way into the stadium.

12:28 PM BST

Reason for delay

They have a brand new e-ticketing system in operation at the Emirates which has led to the game being delayed by at least 30 minutes. 13.00 is the earliest this game will kick off but it could be later.

12:24 PM BST

Kick-off delayed

With thousands of fans still stranded outside the Emirates due to a delay at the turnstiles, kick-off has been delayed by 30 minutes. The game will now start at 13.00.

12:21 PM BST

What impact will Rice have on Arsenal?

The TNT crew have been giving their thoughts on the impact that Declan Rice will have on Arsenal:

12:19 PM BST

Kick-off is approaching

The Arsenal players are going through their warm-ups as kick-off at the Emirates is just 10 minutes away.

12:18 PM BST

Turner back on familiar ground

What must be going through Matt Turner’s mind? This time last week he was an Arsenal player. Today he makes his debut against them for Nottingham Forest.

12:10 PM BST

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta speaking to TNT Sports

“We need to show that we can perform and deserve to win and that is what are going to do today. I think that is what every manager wants. That every year we get better. We have improved the way of play.”

On his team selection: 

“It is every game demands different things and Eddie [Nketiah] didn’t play last game and has done really well in pre-season and he deserves to play

Can you confirm if you are playing three at the back? 

Why does Nketiah start? 

“Because he has been really good and always been a threat. Every game needs different qualities. This is how we start the game and we will probably finish in a very different way.”

12:05 PM BST

Awoniyi getting ready

Taiwo Awoniyi was Nottingham Forest’s top goalscorer last season but starts on the bench today as he has been struggling with injury.

12:00 PM BST

Arsenal in the building

The Arsenal players have arrived ahead of their opening game of the new Premier League season. There are debuts for three Arsenal players today; Declan Rice, Jurrien Timber and Kai Havertz.

11:55 AM BST

Stat attack

Arsenal’s recent record at home on the opening day of the season is pretty poor. They have lost their opening league game in four of the last six seasons when playing their opening game at home.

The omens are not on Nottingham Forest’s side; Arsenal are unbeaten in 12 home games against Nottingham Forest in all competitions. Nottingham Forest’s last away victory against Arsenal was a 3-1 win at Highbury in 1989. However Nottingham Forest did secure their Premier League survival last season by beating Arsenal 1-0 at home.

11:50 AM BST

Cooper talks to TNT

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper has just been speaking to TNT Sports. He is keen to see his side improve away from home this season:

11:47 AM BST

Away side arrive

The visitors to the Emirates this afternoon, Nottingham Forest, have arrived. They secured their Premier League survival last season against Arsenal in the final few weeks of last season. It will be a strange day for Matt Turner, who signed for Nottingham Forest from Arsenal earlier this week and makes his debut against his former employers.

11:41 AM BST

Full team news

Arsenal have made one change from their starting line-up that beat Manchester City on penalties to win the Community Shield last weekend. Centre-back Gabriel comes out and is replaced by striker Eddie Nketiah.

Arsenal’s three summer signings, Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, and Jurrien Timber, all start.

Nottingham Forest give a debut to former Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner, who only signed from Arsenal earlier this week.

Their top scorer from last season, Taiwo Awoniyi, is on the bench and is joined by summer signings Anthony Elanga and Chris Wood, who was at the club on loan for the latter half of last season.

11:38 AM BST

Odegaard speaking to TNT

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard has been speaking to TNT Sports ahead of their opening fixture against Nottingham Forest at the Emirates:

11:34 AM BST

Nottingham Forest team news

11:33 AM BST

Arsenal team news

08:59 AM BST

Arteta: Early signings can give Arsenal edge over rivals

By Martin Bedford

Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal’s timely transfer business can give them an edge over their Premier League rivals who continue their summer squad building as the new season gets under way.

Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and Declan Rice were all signed by mid-July as Arsenal started the summer with a signing spree in excess of £200million. David Raya, the goalkeeper, is set to move to the Emirates Stadium on loan from Brentford and, while Tottenham captain Harry Kane was holed up in a house waiting to fly to Munich and Moises Caicedo was at the centre of a tug-of-war between Chelsea and Liverpool, Arteta has praised Arsenal’s forward planning.

“I think it definitely helps, especially for the player and getting to the environment and getting set. Also for the coaches it is important, for the media, for the commercial for the clubs as well, especially when you go on tour to be certain and have the players you are going to have for the season so it was something very positive for us,” said the head coach.

Arsenal's Declan Rice in training

Declan Rice is one of three summer signings so far for Mikel Arteta’s side – Getty Images/Stuart MacFarlane

“Listen everybody is trying their best to get the best possible squad and the best possible business done as early as possible I can imagine. I would try to do that in the best way, we cannot control what the rest do.”

Nottingham Forest are the visitors to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday as Arsenal start a Premier League season at home for the first time in five years.

The summer recruitment drive has improved the overall quality and competition for places within Arteta’s squad and – with a return to Champions League football to contend with – making use of his squad in the coming months could be crucial: “We would like to use the squad in a different way this season, especially with the Champions League.

“There’s going to be a very different need. We made a decision to treat the Europa League in a different way than we’re certainly going to do this season with the Champions League. So I think you’re going to see a shift.

“But it had its advantages as well. The chemistry, the understanding of that group was excellent. And sometimes even if the opponent knows what you’re going to do, if you do it at the top level it’s still not easy to go against it.”

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