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EPL: Awoniyi scores as Arsenal defeats Nottingham Forest in opening game

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Super Eagles star, Taiwo Awoniyi scored a consolation goal for Nottingham Forest today, August 12, in the club’s opening game of the season against Arsenal.

Expectations were high in north London after last season’s title bid and a summer of strong recruitment, and for much of the afternoon, it looked like a cruise to three points.

EPL: Awoniyi scores as Arsenal defeats Nottingham Forest in opening game

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Gabriel’s run of 73 League starts in a row for Arsenal came to an end as he dropped to the bench, with Thomas Partey moved to right-back and Eddie Nketiah coming in to the lead the line. Matt Turner started for Forest, just two days after completing his move from the Gunners.

Kick-off was delayed in north London by 30 minutes due to ticketing issues, which left thousands stuck outside.

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When the game began, Nottingham Forest had the first clear-cut chance when Brennan Johnson was put through on goal against Aaron Ramsdale, but the Wales forward lofted his shot high and wide when the Arsenal goalkeeper rushed off his mark.

Arsenal took the lead after Martinelli produced a brilliant piece of skill out wide to flick the ball inside to Nketiah, who fired past Turner with the help of a slight deflection.

Arsenal doubled their lead after Saka picked the ball 25 yards out, cut inside onto his left foot, and curled a glorious finish into the top corner.

Nottingham Forest got a consolation goal against Arsenal shortly after Taiwo Awoniyi was brought on in the 72nd minute. Anthony Elana broke away down the left wing and he played the ball low into the box, where Awoniyi provided the finish at the near post.

EPL: Awoniyi scores as Arsenal defeats Nottingham Forest in opening game
Taiwo Awoniyi

The goal led to tension at Emirates, but the host were able to wade off threats for Nottingham Forest for the remaining minutes.