Arsenal beat Forest 2-1 in Premier League opener

Arsenal began their new Premier League campaign with a nervy 2-1 home win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday after first-half goals from Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka.

Forest's Taiwo Awoniyi gave Arsenal a heart-in-mouth moment with a late goal but victory moved last year's runners-up level with leaders Manchester City on three points but behind on goal difference after the champions beat Burnley 3-0 on Friday.

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Kick-off was delayed by 30 minutes due to turnstile issues at Emirates Stadium which prevented fans from getting in on time. But once the game kicked off Arsenal shot out of the blocks, dominating possession and cutting through Forest's defence.

The home side got away with an early mistake at the back which allowed Brennan Johnson to run through on goal but the forward blazed his shot over, leaving manager Steve Cooper with his hands on his head.

Arsenal's persistence paid off and they put an end to Forest's stubborn resistance when a sublime pirouette from Gabriel Martinelli put two defenders in a spin and set up Nketiah, who fired home past former Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner.

They doubled the lead six minutes later when 21-year-old Saka received the ball at the edge of the box and curled in his shot from distance, giving Turner no chance to make a save.

"It was a great bit of skill by Martinelli to get through... It's about being calm and getting that half a yard. I'm happy it went in," Nketiah told TNT Sports.

"We know he [Saka] has that kind of quality, we're really happy to have him in our team."

The second half began on a sour note for Arsenal when their new signing Jurriën Timber hobbled off holding the back of his knee having suffered a knock just before half-time.

Arsenal took their foot off the gas but club record signing Declan Rice nearly marked his league debut with a goal when the midfielder had two attempts, though Turner denied him on both occasions.

Forest then scored against the run of play when they launched a counter-attack from an Arsenal set-piece and, as the defence scrambled to recover, Anthony Elanga sprinted down the left and found Awoniyi in the box who made it 2-1.

The final few minutes were frantic at both ends but Arsenal eventually held on for the three points.

"They crept back in late, they made a few changes that helped. Obviously, it was a bit of a nervy finish but we defended really well and we deserve the three points," Nketiah added.