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Arsenal See Off Stubborn Forest In EPL Opener

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Arsenal’s Premier League title challenge got off to a winning start on Saturday but the big-spending 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.

The day got off to an embarrassing start for Arsenal as kick-off was delayed by 30 minutes due to issues with an e-ticketing scheme that left tens of thousands of fans unable to take their seats in time for the scheduled 1130GMT kick-off.

Once the action got underway, Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber were handed their league debuts after joining for combined fees in excess of £200 million ($254 million).

However, three points for the home side was soured by an injury suffered by Timber as he pulled up early in the second half.

By that point the game should have been over as a contest as Arsenal sprang out of the blocks.

Mikel Arteta’s men are looking to go one better after finishing second behind treble-winners Manchester City last season.

City cruised to a 3-0 win at Burnley to open the Premier League season on Friday night and Arsenal should have followed suit rather than holding on for the final whistle.

Forest have their home form to thank for staying in the English top flight last season on their return to the Premier League after a 23-year absence.

Steve Cooper has targeted an improvement to their poor return on the road, but they barely laid a glove on the hosts until the introduction of Awoniyi and Anthony Elanga late on.


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