Arsenal v Nottingham Forest player ratings: Saka 8, Nketiah 7; Danilo 5, Awoniyi 7

Gunners survive nervy finish to win 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium in Premier League opener

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Arsenal's Premier League title challenge got off to a winning start on Saturday, but the Gunners were made to sweat in a 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest.

First-half goals from Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka had the home side cruising at the Emirates. But they were made to suffer a nervy finale after Taiwo Awoniyi came off the bench to pull a goal back for Forest seven minutes from time.

However, three points for Arsenal was soured by an injury suffered by summer signing Jurrien Timber when he pulled up early in the second-half.

“We deserved to be in front but we didn't kill the game,” said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. “We had a lack of concentration, conceded a goal, and so it is game on.

“You cannot give teams anything and we gave them hope. Then the feeling is we want the game to end and take the three points.”

Arteta, meanwhile, said the way Nketiah trained made him impossible to leave out against Forest. “I'm delighted for him because he is a role model,” Arteta said of the attacker, who was back in the starting XI having missed out on a berth against Manchester City in the Community Shield win last week.

“He was a player who was so disappointed not to play the final in the absence of Gabi [Jesus].

“What he did was he came on the field in the final and changed the game. That's number one. The second one was the way he was training this week was saying 'gaffer, if you're not playing me you are blind'.

“A lot of players come and say 'oh why am I not playing' and you have to try to explain, other players come and say 'these are the reasons why I deserve to play'. This is exactly what Eddie does.”

You can see the player ratings from the Emirates Stadium in the gallery above. To view the next image, click on the arrows or swipe if on a mobile device.

Updated: August 13, 2023, 4:25 AM