Saturday, May 25, 2024

Report: Nottingham Forest 1-2 Arsenal (inc goals)

Arsenal: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Rice, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Jesus

Subs: Ramsdale, Walters, Cedric, Kiwior, Jorginho, Havertz, Trossard, Nelson, Nketiah

Arsenal secured back-to-back wins in the Premier League after beating Nottingham Forest 2-1 at the City Ground, thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka.

Mikel Arteta made two changes to the side that beat Crystal Palace last time out, with Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli coming in for Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard.

Unsurprisingly, Arsenal dominated possession early on and kept a compact Forest defence pinned back with strong counter-pressing every time they threatened to break.

There were sights at goal for the Gunners though, with Martin Odegaard seeing a shot blocked after good work from Saka and Jesus, before Smith Rowe saw his dangerous cross intercepted after sneaking in behind the backline unmarked.

With half an hour gone, Forest did have a chance to break but William Saliba marshalled Chris Wood well, before the game quickly settled back into attack-versus-defence again.

Smith Rowe was next to register a shot at goal but curled over and wide from the edge of the box.

Frustration began to creep in with Arteta’s men struggling to break through – Forest were playing a back seven at times – but you could argue their tempo was too slow and their hesitancy to shoot made things easy for the hosts.

Just before half time, White was played through by Odegaard but with four teammates to aim at, he dinked the ball to the edge of the area which was cleared easily again – summing up the first 45 minutes quite well.

The game began to open up after half time and Forest posed more threat following the introduction of Taiwo Awoniyi who returned from a long injury lay-off, with Neco Williams calling David Raya into action with a header from a corner.

However, this suited Arsenal as they began to find more space in the opposition half, and Jesus should have put the visitors ahead after brilliant interplay between Saka and Odegaard but his close range effort hit the inside of the post and ricocheted out.

It took 65 minutes but Jesus would eventually get his goal, and Zinchenko deserves credit for finding the Brazilian with a quick throw in who then managed to squirm a finish below Matt Turner from a tight angle. 1-0.

There was a clear shift in how open the game was and with Forest needing to push forward, the visitors were looking more dangerous on the counter attack with Saka doubling the lead after a clinical counter attack.

Gonzalo Montiel was guilty of giving the ball away in midfield and Jesus found himself free on the left, before finding Saka who finished excellently on his right foot past Turner. 2-0.

From that point forward it was all about managing the game and Arteta was quick to ring the changes, with Havertz, Trossard and Nketiah all coming on to replace Smith Rowe, Martinelli and Jesus.

And it looked like that would be the case until Forest managed to get one back through Awoniyi, who outmuscled Saliba and finished from close range after his wayward touch put him through on goal. 2-1.

With the City ground rocking, Awoniyi had a chance to equalise after some penalty box pinball although his finish lacked conviction and sailed straight into the hands of Raya.

In the end it was a positive (if unnecessarily nervy night) for Arsenal who move into second, two points behind Liverpool and with their strikers doing the business at crucial moments.

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De ja vu football

Dorset Gooner

Ask Manure and Toon Army for their views on recent results v Forest. Given our previous results here, this was needed result for us.


Why can’t we have a comfortable win?

Bleeding gums murphy

They had given up, we have possession and are passing about and they are not trying to close and Gabriel try’s an expansive pass and gives away possession, they go up the other end and score. Gabriel has a habit of doing this. Needs guidance.


Because when they go 2 – 0 up, they stop doing the things they were doing ALL game and start passing the ball around for the sake of it (I understand that City do this, but they are WAY better at keeping seeing out games that way than we are).

Game is 2 nil, the other side has opened up and no longer sitting in a low block (like they have done all game), why not take the opportunity to create more chances? It irks me everytime this happens


They won’t. Scrooge doesn’t know what to do when 2 up


I think it’s just natural tendency, and I do think Arteta’s trying to train them to do exactly what you say and what we want, to have that killer instinct and go for the jugular instead of sitting back as soon as you have a lead. But you have to bypass this very human tendeny to rest on your laurels once you’ve done the hard part and got the lead. It’s like nature trained us throughout evolution, you’ve finally hunted that deer down, now make a fire, sit back and indulge on that tasty meat for a bit. Except…in this… Read more »


this! look at pool, they never stop attacking…

Norwegian Wood

What they did all game was cautiously build.

Now they are two goals up. They should throw caution to the wind when Forest were pushing for something and be gung-ho in their approach?

Have y’all sat and thought that these professionals might understand this thing better than y’all?

Bleeding gums murphy

Im with you, my point was Gabriel trying to play the pirlo pass.


We won the last game 5v0. How comfortable do you need it to be?

A Different George

Yeah, if only we could be leading 3-0 at home and bring on a substitute who scores two more. Other teams can do it, but Arsenal never does.


Jeez, we just had 7 mins of nervy football. Even then, they didn’t create all that much. I would consider this as a fairly comfortable win. It’s unfair to expect that we will never be under pressure in a PL match.


We did. Literally last game.


Eh? We won the last match 5-0. Can’t win them all like that.


Arsenal, you do like to fuck with us.

El Mintero

Not really.


We have a knack of letting the other side score with literally their one and only shot on goal


Very important win. For once we got a bit lucky.
But I do think it is troubling that we are having such a hard time scoring goals. Plenty of possession but they are playing to slow a too much passing from side to side.
On a positive note, glad to see ESR getting some minutes. Thought he played fairly well in the first half




Lucky in that Agent Matt Turner proved once a Gooner always a Gooner.


I don’t think it’s lucky if one team has players who aren’t as good as yours, and you score more goals because of it. We were unlucky in the way that ball bounced that led to their goal. They didn’t deserve that goal, Arsenal deserved to win. It wasn’t luck.

Gunnar Elí

Good to see ESR running around,

3 points, we move !


Is is possible to watch an arsenal watch without the “ass clenching”?


Only in the champions league apparently


Saliba has had a hard time versus Awoniyi this year. Not many strikers that challenge him in that way.


Awoniyi is a fvcking unit. Someone said he is built like a wardrobe, I completely agree. Wouldn’t want to be a defender up against him. He could decide to be a heavyweight boxer today and wouldn’t look out of place.


Lucky bastard too. He quite clearly hasn’t got a scooby where the ball’s gone, turns and hey! there it is, right in front of him. Scramble towards it, toe poke, goal.

Like White and Rice

We need to buy him, mostly because he has scored in each of his last 3 games against us.


Ahh Arsenal emotional rollercoaster. Encouragement, Frustration, Joy, Serenity, Surprise!, Stress, Relief.


A rubbish Arsenal performance, but we got the job done.

Nuno did his homework and presented us with a stubborn low block that we struggled against in the first half. We were very predictable and so Forest were comfortable.

Thankfully, Matt Turner did us a big favour and let in a very soft goal.

The second goal finished off the game.

But, of course, we had to concede a rubbish goal to make it a nervous finish.

We’ll finish third or fourth on this form.

No MOTM: a very average performance from everybody.


I tend to agree. The telling stats for me were close to the end of the half on TNT where they showed 53% of the game had been played in Forest’s defensive third but we had had only 5 attempts. That level of domination has to translate into more attempts and more attacking chaos – in the box at least. We can all appreciate winning it back quickly but get it recycled and take an effing shot.

A Different George

You know, when top teams face this kind of defending, there is often no goal until the very end of the half and often not until the second half. It’s not an accident. The constant defending wears teams down, mentally even more than physically. The fact that the ball is so close to the defenders’ goal all match means any mistake can be disastrous. This happens almost every time I watch Liverpool or City–and Arsenal. Get used to it.


Absolutely spot on George. I’d go even further and say some ‘top’ teams don’t score until the final 10 minutes or not at all away in games like this.

It’s as if some people are watching a different game to me because I was watching Forest’s gameplan of park the bus and I was calm: I just knew they’d crack in the end, I thought Nunez’s no-ambition tactics were poor tbh and I thought Arsenal’s control, calmness and lack of panic was impressive.

El Mintero

I also agree. And the telling stat for me was literally falling asleep in the first half. Bored out my mind with another bout of slow robotic football that doesn’t get us anywhere…snooooooz…


Plus Aaron would have potentially stopped that goal. Raya is a dud who continues to make us all nervous.


Heart attack avoided, not the best game but three points before the big one at the weekend.


Everything we do in attack feels “forced”. There’s very little chemistry and trust between the players. We need to play a bit riskier and with less touches to breakdown these low-blocks.

Ellis McPickle

Next time Forest can save time and just stack 10 men across the goal line, FFS!


We won but doesn’t feel like we won


Lucky. Gonna get it handed to them on Sunday


Not if the scousers try to play football



A Different George

We did fine in the first match; I think we’ll do better at home. Two very good teams who want to win.


No way. We will beat the Scousers on Sunday. 2-1. Odie & Havertz. Bet your life savings, house and kids pets on it.

El Mintero

Havertz! lol.


Thank goodness. 3 points. Fuck yes!


Thought Trossard was outstanding when he came on. Held the ball up, kept it, killed the game.
Great sub to have

Santi’s Phonebox

He knew the assignment, control the game.

Up North

This was not a good performance against a weakened Forest. The lack of a top class striker is obvious , but our slow build up and the fear of shooting from distance does it too easy to defend against.


A good result but a checkered performance. Nice to see ESR involved from the start and Odegaard once again was fantastic with his close control and ability to keep things moving. We could have moved the ball quicker at times and it became frustrating to see play slowed down unnecessarily. Zinchenko was the main guilty party here; I swear at one point he was almost waiting for Forest to get 11 men behind the ball before deciding to play it. That said, we controlled the game without creating anything of note until the second half when we finally began to… Read more »

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