Nottingham Forest 1-0 Arsenal RECAP: Taiwo Awoniyi's first half goal makes Man City Champions – Daily Mail

By Samuel Draper For Mailonline


Read how Mail Sport’s Samuel Draper covered the live blog for the Premier League clash between Nottingham Forest and Arsenal.Β 
Host commentator
Thank you for following along with this evening’s drama with Mail Sport. Quite an emotional day for three clubs, for different reasons.
Nottingham Forest’s win confirms them safe for another season – and deservedly celebrate.
Manchester City are able to crack out their own celebrations a day earlier than anticipated, and tomorrow’s fixture with Chelsea will be a full-blown party.
And for Arsenal, lots of frustration and room to reflect. They’ll go again next season for sure, but they’ll need to find a way to get past teams like Nottingham Forest that was just lacking from kick-off.
I hope you have a good night this evening – if you can – and keep an eye across the Mail’s pages for the latest fallout on City’s trophy, and the result in Nottingham. Thanks again. 
If you would like to read Oliver Holt’s on-the-whistle report from the City Ground, you can do so below. There’s no sign of Arsenal’s Win – the labrador – or an actual win – anywhere in Nottingham today. 
Look at the joy from Ryan Yates. Celebrations will take all night – and probably all summer. Nottingham Forest’s solid home form keeps them up for another season – despite all the predictions to the contrary early in the season. 
Dismayed. Mikel Arteta’s side just didn’t do enough today – and it’s another defeat. 
What an unfortunate end to a season that started so gloriously. 
Someone came prepared… 
I’m not sure what to say about Arsenal. They were absolutely stifled tonight – this was not the vintage Gunners that we’ve come to see in the Premier League earlier in the campaign.
They have one last game next weekend – and they’ll be glad to see the back of this season with their recent form.
But across the whole season, finishing in second place, they can feel very proud of that in my opinion. 
Nottingham Forest are celebrating their success like THEY’VE won the league. Although with their resounding resilience today at the back, they’ve more than earned their place among the Premier League elite for another term. 
Oh my… 
Navas off, Hennessey on. 
Keylor Navas has gone down injured… 
90+7′: Saka’s ball across is taken out the air by Keylor Navas. That might be that… 
One minute left… 
90+5′: Martin Odegaard tries one from distance, but it’s wide, wide, wide of the post. 
Another few seconds evaporate… 
We’ve eaten through half the additional seven minutes now. 
90+3′: Another ball floats into the box, and Navas gathers. He’s going to take his time with it before hoofing it up the field. 
90+2′: The ball ends up deep in Arsenal territory. The Gunners are gonna advance, but they need it at the other end sharpish…
90′: Morgan Gibbs-White dances his way around the Arsenal defence, but his shot is straight at Ramsdale. That would have sealed it. 
89′: Ryan Yates goes down, and the referee blows for a foul. Arsenal’s players were falling over each other, and unlikely to make anything come from it, but it was a chance for the Gunners, and now it’s just another Forest free-kick.
88′: Gabriel Jesus slips when trying to get the ball into the box from the edge of the penalty area, and it’s out for a Nottingham Forest goal kick. 
Five minutes left on the clock. What can the Gunners do? 
85′: Fabio Vieira plays a ball across the box, but Keylor Navas grabs it and holds onto it. Another opportunity slips away… 
Time running out very quickly for Arsenal here, but it just takes one moment to make all the difference. 
81′: A drop ball deep in Arsenal territory after the ball inadvertently hit referee Anthony Taylor. 
79′: Changes for the hosts now, as the goalscorer Awoniyi and Felipe are withdrawn.
Boly and Johnson are on for the final few minutes. 
78′: Morgan Gibbs-White has also gone in the book for the afters in that incident. 
78′: Gabriel goes in the book for clipping Morgan Gibbs-White as he was trying to breakaway in the middle of the field.
Time ticking down for the Gunners here… 
Nottingham Forest have conceded 17 goals later than the 75th minute in the Premier League this season. Hope for Arsenal?
Fifteen minutes to go at the City Ground, plus stoppages.
Is there a late twist in this one? 
73′: Brazilian Danilo is off with injury, to be replaced by Kouyate. 
72′: Forest come forward, but Lodi drags his shot wide from distance. He might have had time to do something else then. 
70′: Another change for the Gunners. The Belgian’s race is run – Trossard is replaced by Fabio Vieira. 
69: Jorginho produces a pretty decent shot, but it flies just over the bar. It probably wouldn’t have counted anyway, as a Forest player had just been floored right next to him. 
67′: BIG CHANCE FOR FOREST. An Arsenal defensive error leaves Gibbs-White clear to run in, but the angle is tight and he puts it into the side-netting. Big let off for the Gunners. 
25 minutes left in this one, and it’s still the same as it was 20 minutes in – Nottingham Forest safe as it stands, Manchester City jumping around as Champions. 
63′: Two changes for the visitors, Nketiah and Tierney joining the fold for Kiwior and Xhaka. 
62′: Jorginho shoots from distance after the resulting corner, but it’s deflected wide. 
61′: White plays the ball long to Saka, who takes a good shot, low, but Keylor Navas is able to push it away, and it goes out for a corner.
Navas has been on loan at Nottingham Forest, but he’s been a great recruitment for the club this year. Is this his final game at the City Ground?
Looks like Tierney’s about to come on for the visitors… 
59′: Trossard plays it to Jorginho who tried to set up Gabriel Jesus, but the Forest defence are able to hook it away. 
54′: Gabriel Jesus goes in the book. It looks like he might have had his shirt pulled by a Forest defender, but no one saw it, and the Brazilian’s protestations mean he is the first Arsenal man in the book in this game. 
Nottingham Forest have lost three times when winning at half-time – the joint highest figure in the Premier League this season. Arsenal have three wins after losing at half-time – another joint record. Is it setting up for a big turnaround?
49′: A Nottingham Forest corner comes swinging in, and Ramsdale is just about able to hold onto the ball. 
47′: Nottingham Forest win a free-kick 30 yards from goal. Gibbs-White chips it into the box, it’s headed across by Felipe but it’s cleared.
In the second phase, Forest go close again, but Arsenal are able to clear it for a corner. 
We’re back underway at the City Ground. 
Nottingham Forest poised to stay in the Premier League, and Manchester City set to win it.
Big 45 minutes coming up. 
It’s Taiwo Awoniyi’s goal that splits the sides at the break – can he keep up his streak of scoring twice in games? 
Certainly the way things are right now, you’d think a second goal for the hosts would be the end of the matter – but this is football, and anything can happen.
Will Mikel Arteta make any changes at the break? They’re the ones that have been under-par on the evening. 
You feel that Steve Cooper’s resilient defending plan has worked wonders, and he’ll try not to change it unless it’s strictly necessary to do so. 
Nottingham Forest can’t be caught by either Leicester City or Everton if they keep their win this evening. As things stand, they’ll be back in the Premier League for 2023/24. 
Arsenal have struggled to get clicking – but they have to do something, or their Premier League campaign ends with a whimper, and that’s not a fair reflection of their whole campaign. 
45+4′: Arsenal win a corner just on the cusp of half-time and the referee gives them time to play it.
Trossard puts it over the bar, and that’s it. Nottingham Forest go in 1-0 up at the break. 
45+2′: Niahkate has been booked for time wasting, as the referee judged he took too long to go to a throw-in. 
45+1′: Niahkate tries another long throw, but Arsenal clear it. The Gunners can’t bring it forward, and it goes out for a throw-in halfway down the Forest half. 
Four additional minutes allocated in the first half. 
44′: Arsenal come again, but the resilient Forest defence is not letting them have the play they want.
Saka tries another ball into the box, but it sails over everyone and goes out for a goalkick. 
43′: Saka, who’s struggled on Arsenal’s right side, crosses it into the box, and a defender’s miskick sends the ball into the air, but Keylor Navas is able to keep calm and punch clear. 
Five minutes until half time, plus stoppages. 
Nottingham Forest very proud of their man as he buried his tenth of the campaign.
He’s hit braces in his last two games – can he do it again? 
He scores goals.
35′: Blistering ball played forward, and it looks like Nottingham Forest’s Awoniyi might be in on goal again, only for Ramsdale to get off his line quickly to deal with it.
Then the flag is raised for offside anyway. It was a tight call. 
30′: Jorginho gave away a free kick in the centre of the park, creating a free-kick opportunity for the hosts.
The ball is lofted into the box, only for the referee to blow for an infringement. Danger averted for Arsenal – this time. 
29′: Gabriel Jesus spins past Niakhate before playing a one-two with Martin Odegaard.
Jesus makes space for himself outside the Forest box, but shoots over Keylor Navas’s goal. 
25′: Yellow card shown to Awoniyi for trying to hold off Gabriel with his arm. 
This was the moment Awoniyi struck for the hosts. 
The home fans are very, very happy about that one.
They were loud before, but they’re even more vocal now. 
It’s a big one at both ends of the table as the hosts take the lead. 
The ball is played through beautifully to the in-form striker, and he brings Ramsdale off his line before clipping the ball past him and into the net.
What can Arsenal do now? 
18′: Arsenal have a chance, but it’s headed just over the bar. 
15′: Arsenal play a short corner, but Forest are able to clear their lines. 
14′: Niakhate’s gone down with an injury after Martin Odegaard awkwardly falls on him. The Norwegian didn’t mean it, but you hope it’s not a serious problem for the defender. 
13′: Arsenal are trying to play the ball in down the right flank again, but the resilient Forest defence is not letting them through. 
11′: Saka bursts into the box after some clever play with Odegaard, but Felipe is there to block, and it’s cleared by Yates. 
Still 0-0 in this one. 
7′: Forest get the first corner of the game, which sends their crowd singing loudly. There’s a miskick, and it goes straight to the first defender who clears. 
6′: Felipe tussles with Gabriel Jesus, and the Brazilian goes down in the box. He looks across hopefully for a penalty – very hopefully in all honesty – and the referee is not wavered at all. 
3′: It’s another long throw by Niakhate, but Arsenal are still equal to it and clear the danger.
Nottingham Forest have three goals from throw-ins this season, so you can see why they’re trying it. 
2′: Niakhate throws a long ball into the box, but the Gunners are eventually able to clear it. 
1′: Jorginho’s gone down in the opening minute after a tough tackle in the defensive third, but he’s hobbling on to continue. 
Kick-off at the City Ground. It’s a hugely significant one at both ends. 
The hosts in red with white shorts and socks, Arsenal all dressed in black. 
The home fans loudly singing their anthem one last time in the Premier League? 
Back in August? It’s highly possible. 
Nottingham Forest’s home form has been great this season – can they finish the job? 
The players are coming out onto the City Ground pitch now, soundtracked by ‘Welcome to the Jungle’. 
In the five Premier League games so far today, there’s been no home win (two away wins, and three draws). 
Manchester City will be hoping that changes, almost as much as Nottingham Forest do. 
Less than ten minutes until this one. The visitors have been through their final preparation. 
Final touches βœ…

Kick off πŸ”œ
Mikel Arteta said last week’s 3-0 defeat was ‘part of football’, but they’re out for pride today.
In conversation with Sky Sports, the Arsenal manager is cagey about whether the introduction of Thomas Partey will change the team’s formation in the game. He said it was more down to issues in the week rather than looking ahead to next season. 
The home players look pretty focused as they come out to warm up ahead of kick-off. 
Full focus. Let’s go πŸ‘Š
Steve Cooper told Sky Sports their mind has to be ‘focused on performance’ – despite the chance of staying safe today.
Ok, so Everton struck a rather late 90+9′ equaliser, which has thrown a small spanner in the battle at the bottom. 
But that means West Ham are safe – and Nottingham Forest will be safe this evening with a win. It won’t be easy, naturally, but it will be a worry off their mind going in to the final weekend. 
If you want to see all the fallout of today’s 3pm kick-offs, that live coverage is happening below.
Half an hour until we’re underway at the City Ground. 
Aaron Ramsdale is getting warmed up on a bright day in Nottingham. It’s just two days after the goalkeeper signed a new contract extension to remain with Arsenal for a few years yet. 
Morgan Gibbs-White has five goals and seven assists to his credit this season. Will he add more to that today?
πŸ‘‹ @Morgangibbs27
45 minutes until we’re underway at the City Ground.
Who will be happiest once all is said and done? 
For Arsenal, there are two changes from the side beaten by Brighton.
Martinelli’s absence with an ankle injury means Leandro Trossard starts. Thomas Partey is also in the starting XI, with Mikel Arteta choosing him over Kieran Tierney. 
⚫️ π—§π—˜π—”π— π™‰π™€π™’π™Ž ⚑️️

πŸ”™ Partey returns
πŸͺ„ Trossard starts
🌢️ Saka on the wing

Let's end our away campaign the way we started it πŸ‘Š
Team news in, beginning with the hosts, who are unchanged. Steve Cooper trusts in the same 11 that drew at Chelsea to keep Forest on their route to safety.
Unchanged! ✊ #NFOARS
Home fans are fully getting into the spirit of things as they go in ahead of Nottingham Forest’s last game at the City Ground this season. 
While the Premier League race looks all but over, Arsenal have far exceeded expectations across the whole campaign, and whatever it is they’ve done, it’s clearly worked on the most part.
The Gunners have now bought in a dog to the training ground to reduce stress levels among the senior staff, while Mikel Arteta also spoke proudly about bringing an olive tree into meetings to represent growth. 
Will either of these things have an impact on today’s proceedings?
In his pre-match press conference yesterday, Steve Cooper warned Arsenal that Nottingham Forest had improved a lot since their 5-0 drubbing the day before Halloween.
The hosts will be out to avoid a horror show today.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s worst nightmare comes in the form of a defeat… 
Team news should be arriving in about 20 minutes or so. 
Ben White and the rest of the Arsenal clan have been seen arriving at the City Ground ahead of this evening’s kick-off. 
Some good news for the hosts though – Forest have beaten Arsenal in their last two meetings at the City Ground, both in the FA Cup in the last five years. However, they haven’t won three in a row since the 80s. 
The Gunners have never won five Premier League games in a row against Nottingham Forest in their league history – but they will do so tonight with victory, having won their last four outings. 
In the reverse fixture, Arsenal blew away Forest with an impressive 5-0 victory. Reiss Nelson got a brace, with Martinelli, Thomas and Odegaard also on the scoresheet. But a lot has changed since October. 
Even more has changed since the last league meeting between the pair at the City Ground back in January 1999. Martin Keown scored the winner that day. 
Across their last five Premier League outings, Forest and Arsenal are equal – two wins, two defeats, and one draw.
With nothing to split them on recent form, does that give one team an advantage? We’re only just over an hour and a half from finding out. 
For Mikel Arteta’s Gunners, the title race is completely out of their control, but they can make Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City earn it. 
If Arsenal win today, then Man City have to win against Chelsea tomorrow. If it’s all square here, the Citizens need just a point against the Blues.
If Arsenal lose the game at the City Ground, then Man City will be crowned champions once again, regardless of the remaining results. 
Nottingham Forest are currently in 16th place in the league – and will be at kick-off unless Everton come from behind to win their match right now.
It leaves Steve Cooper’s side three points clear of the drop zone, with both Leeds and Leicester also having two games left to decide their fate.
Two of the four sides will probably go down (West Ham aren’t mathematically safe themselves). Every point is crucial if Nottingham Forest want to make sure they’re not immediately relegated from the Premier League one year after coming up. 
Hello, and welcome to Mail Sport’s live blog covering the 5.30 kick-off between Nottingham Forest and Arsenal.
Two teams in famous red livery at either end of the Premier League table, with a lot to be decided as both sides are set to play their penultimate game of the season.
Kick off is just an hour and 45 minutes away, and we’ll have all the line-up news and action from the game at the City Ground. 
Come on Forest, hammer that final nail into the go…
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