It was the match of extremes, between Arsenal, who aspired to regain the lead in the Premier League, and Nottingham Forest, who if successful could have left the last place in the Championship. But the logic was respected on Sunday, as part of the 14th day of the Premier League: at the Emirates Stadium, the Gunners outclassed the Reds (5-0), especially in the second half.
This result allows Mikel Arteta’s men to be leaders of the table again, a status they had temporarily abandoned at Manchester City. who had hardly won in Leicester on Saturday (0-1), and which is now two points behind the London club. The Gunners did not fly over the whole match, despite the magnitude of the score and a very convincing start, punctuated by a goal from the head of Gabriel Martinelli (1-0, 5th), following a perfect cross signed Bukayo Saka. But the latter was injured shortly after and was replaced by Reiss Nelson (28th).
Saka’s exit unsettled the Gunners
The exit of the brilliant English winger, which could have consequences for the Three Lions in view of the World Cup, disturbed his teammates, who then lacked creativity and almost conceded the equalizer on an attempt by Jesse Lingard (43rd ). But in the second half, the players of Nottingham Forest seemed exhausted by the efforts made before the break, to the point of being much less aggressive.
Arsenal took advantage of this and in particular the young Nelson (22), who had been invisible since coming into play and suddenly scored two goals. First on an action initiated by the excellent Granit Xhaka and concluded in two stages (2-0, 49th), then by taking a close pass from Gabriel Jesus (3-0, 52nd), who had just chaining stunning leg passes in the company of his friend Martin Odegaard.
Then the Emirates public was able to admire two splendid achievements: one on a long shot from Thomas Partey (4-0, 57th), who had already scored a similar goal against Tottenham ; the other with a shot from the left in the skylight signed Odegaard (78th), well served on the spot by Gabriel Jesus, author of two assists on Sunday. Charmed, the Gunners supporters then sang in a loop “Campeones, campeones…”. Defending champions Manchester City remain favorites to succeed themselves at the end of the season. But with this kind of spectacular performance, the Gunners at least allow themselves to dream.