Post-Match Report

Report: Arsenal 5-0 Nottingham Forest

Match Report: 5-0

Nottingham Forest -

Emirates Stadium
Premier League
Premier League
  Arsenal
      
                  Martinelli (5)
                   Nelson (49
                   53)
                   Thomas (57)
                   Odegaard (77)
            
   crest
Arsenal
Martinelli (5)
Nelson (49
53)
Thomas (57)
Odegaard (77)
5 0
  Nottingham Forest
   crest
Nottingham Forest

We returned to winning ways in convincing fashion at the Emirates, with Reiss Nelson coming off the bench to claim a brace.

Gabriel Martinelli set us on the way early on with a flying header, but it wasn’t until the second half that we took control.

Nelson netted twice in quick succession before a Thomas Partey screamer made it 4-0.

Martin Odegaard crashed home the fifth after being set up by Gabriel Jesus, as we recorded our biggest win of the season. 

The victory was our 300th all-time at the Emirates, and took us back to the top of the Premier League table.

Fast start

We scored with our first foray into the visitors’ penalty box. Bukayo Saka received the ball just outside the area from Martinelli. The Brazilian continued his run to get on the end of Saka’s low cross with a great diving header, darting in ahead of his marker.

We kept up the pace after taking the lead. Gabriel Jesus chopped the ball wonderfully onto his left foot shortly afterwards, but his curled effort was just over. Partey was next to try his luck, but his shot from the edge of the box was blocked, and Takehiro Tomiyasu had a volley deflected behind in a lively opening ten minutes.

Midway through the half Martinelli had a low shot cleared off the line by Renan Lodi after Granit Xhaka’s cut back fell to him near the penalty spot. 

Saka subbed

Saka was withdrawn before the half hour mark. The winger was on the wrong end of a kick in the first couple of minutes, and spent the next 25 minutes or so trying to run it off. But he was clearly in some discomfort, and he was replaced by Nelson – his first Premier League appearance since the opening day of last season.

But after our impressive start, some sloppiness began to creep into our play.

We were loose in possession a couple of times and late in the first half, Saliba had to make a well-timed tackle at the near post. Immediately though Gabriel’s pass fell straight to Lingard, only for Ben White to slide in with a crucial block.

Nelson at the double

The game was beginning to follow a similar pattern to last weekend at Southampton, when we didn’t capitalise on our early dominance.

That’s why the second goal felt so important when it came. Partey’s super pass released Xhaka into space, his low cross was touched on by Jesus to Nelson. His first shot was saved but he made no mistake with the follow up, ramming it into the roof of the net.

It was his first goal for us since netting against Molde in the Europa League back in November 2020. But he didn’t have long to wait for the next one. After good work from Odegaard and Jesus, he ghosted across at the near post to flick in the third.

He had only scored one Premier League before today, then netted two in the space of three minutes and one second.

Not content with that, he added an assist for our fourth goal – though in honesty it was all about the finish. He rolled the ball into the path of Partey, who smashed into the top corner from 20 yards.

We were rampant now, and Jesus should have increased the lead when set up by Odegaard. Dean Henderson denied the striker though with a good low save.

Shortly afterwards Odegaard took matters into his own hands. Jesus fed him the pass inside the box and the skipper lashed home left footed for the fifth.

With the points safe, Mikel Arteta made a raft of subs, but we kept looking for more goals.

Jesus was inches away from connecting with a Ben White flick-on from a corner, and Nelson was crowded out when looking for his hat-trick.

But all in all it was the perfect response to Thursday’s defeat in Eindhoven, and extends our 100 per cent home record this season.

Facts and stats

We recorded our biggest ever top-flight victory over Nottingham Forest, while we won by 5+ goals under Mikel Arteta in the Premier League for only the second time (also 5-0 vs Norwich in Dec 2021).

We have won a Premier League home match by 5+ goals for the 19th time, with each of the previous 18 instances coming under Arsene Wenger.

Since Arteta's first game in charge on Boxing Day 2019, players aged 21 or younger have scored 56 Premier League goals for us, 24 more than any other team in that time.

Forest have conceded more goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season than any other side (11).

Reiss Nelson became the first Englishman to score a brace as a substitute for us in a Premier League game.

Bukayo Saka became the third-youngest player to reach 20 Premier League assists (21y 55d), behind only Cesc Fabregas (19y 352d) and Wayne Rooney (20y 300d).

What it means

Premier League table after Forest win

What’s next

We conclude our Europa League group stage campaign at home to FC Zurich on Thursday, looking for the victory that would confirm our status as group winners. Then on Sunday we’re back in Premier League action away to Chelsea next Sunday.

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