Nottingham Forrest hammered the final nail in the coffin to Arsenal’s 2022/23 season, beating the Gunners 1-0 at home to hand Manchester City their fourth Premier League title in the past five seasons. Taiwo Awoniyi’s goal in the 18th minute was the difference between the two sides on the day, extending Arsenal’s dismal run to end their campaign and sealing their fate as the runner’s up to Guardiola’s City.
The Gunners’ end-season capitulation began with relinquishing 2-0 leads against Liverpool and West Ham United and was followed up with thumping losses against Manchester City and Brighton. Defeat at the City Ground against Steve Cooper’s side eventually ended their title challenge, allowing City to claim the Premier League crown with three games left in the season.
Victory for Nottingham Forest, meanwhile, confirmed their survival in the Premier League in their first season back in the top-flight. The hosts moved six points clear of Leeds United in 18th place with their win over the Gunners, guaranteeing their safety from relegation back to the Championship.
Forest began brightly in front of their impassioned home support, but it was Arsenal that generated the early chances to take the lead, with Gabriel Jesus going close on two occasions in the opening exchanges. However, the game turned when Martin Odegaard turned the ball over in midfield, allowing Forest to break on the counter and score the opener. Morgan Gibbs-White capitalised on the Norwegian’s misplaced pass and drove at the Arsenal defence before feeding Taiwo Awoniyi, who bundled the ball over Aaron Ramsdale and into the back of the net to spark fervent celebrations.
With an experimental backline featuring midfielder Thomas Partey as a right-back and Jakub Kiwior on the left, Arsenal struggled to attain the same passing fluency and movement that was on show all season. The Gunners managed just one meaningful chance before the break despite dominating the ball, with Leandro Trossard slicing his effort wide from a corner.
Forest defended doggedly after the break to keep their clean sheet and guarantee the three points. Keylor Navas stepped up when required, parrying a Bukayo Saka strike, while the hosts’ backline comfortably dealt with Arsenal’s movement and intricate passing. Despite having just 18% possession across the match, Forest maintained their attacking threat and nearly doubled their lead in the closing stages, with Morgan Gibbs-White forcing a save from Aaron Ramsdale after a mazy run through the Arsenal backline.
The hosts eventually held on through till the final whistle, securing their top-flight status for next season and compiling Arsenal’s misery to gift Manchester City another Premier League title.