Nottingham Forest ensured their survival in the Premier League and crowned Manchester City champions by beating Arsenal at the City Stadium.
Taiwo Awoniyi’s 19th-minute goal was enough to seal victory and ignite the jubilation of the home supporters at the final whistle.
Arsenal dominated possession but Mikel Arteta’s men were unable to find a way past Forest’s tenacious defense to force Manchester City set to win fifth title in six years.
Not that Forest and their rowdy supporters are upset with Guardiola and his team.
Forest boss Steve Cooper was finally able to celebrate surviving after he paced back and forth in his technical area, waiting for seven minutes of stoppage time to expire and goalkeeper Keylor Navas to leave in the closing seconds Already, it looks like it’s been an age.
In the stands above, owner Evangelos Marinakis was also embraced by those around him, rewarded for keeping his faith in Cooper during the turbulent campaign.
Awoniyi’s scoring streak keeps Forest safe
Awoniyi scored just four goals in his first 23 Premier League appearances for Forest after joining Forest from Union Berlin – but he has now scored five in his past three appearances.
And, like the ex-Liverpool striker, Morgan Gibbs-White has shown a major upturn in form over the past few weeks, and it’s no surprise that the duo have combined to give Forest the lead.
There was an element of luck as Gabriel slid in to send Gibbs-White’s diagonal pass into the box first.
But given the fighting qualities they displayed in their struggle for survival and the extraordinary support they received from the stands, Forest deservedly saw the ball hit Awoniyi before going past Aaron Ramsdale, who was diving to choke and into the net. Inside.
Forest did have other chances, and when Gibbs-White found himself one-on-one with the Arsenal keeper, he should have doubled their lead towards the end.
However, displaying the fighting spirit that has served them so well and having the backing of fans who have been loyal to Cooper all season – possibly saving the Welshman at some point – Forest’s determination ensured they did not take the lead.
Arsenal frustrated by lack of front
It’s very unfair to say Arsenal didn’t deserve anything from this game.
They dominated possession for long stretches, with only some hard-working Forest defense keeping them at distance.
But while City had reached their peak, the clinical edge of their early performances had deserted them.
Arsenal have picked up just nine points from their last eight games, compared to just seven in the first half.
Following the home defeat to Brighton, Arteta’s team lost consecutive league losses for the first time this season.
Gabriel Jesus had a couple of chances early on, Bukayo Saka made a fine save for Keylor Navas in the second half, and Jorginho’s shot was blocked from a corner.
But long before the final whistle for the Gunners’ title race, a forward was missing and there was frustration over the result.
player of the match
team number9contestant nameAwoniyi
team number10contestant nameGibbs White
team number32contestant nameRenan Lodi
team numbertwenty fourcontestant nameAurier
team number12contestant nameNavas
team number28contestant nameDanilo
team number38contestant nameFelipe
team numbertwenty twocontestant nameYates
team number20contestant namejohnson
team number19contestant nameniahat
team numbertwenty onecontestant nameKuyashou
team number5contestant namemangala
team number4contestant nameWaller
team number30contestant nameboli
team number13contestant nameHennessy
- 12NavasreplaceHennessyexist 90+9′minute
- 38Felipereplaceboliexist 79′minute
- 19niahat45 minutes to book
- twenty fourAurier
- twenty twoYates
- 10Gibbs White79 minutes to book
- 28DaniloreplaceKuyashouexist 73′minute
- 9Awoniyi25 minutes to bookreplacejohnsonexist 79′minute
- twenty oneKuyashou
- twenty threeFloyler
- 5the party
- 6Gabriel78 minutes to book
- 15KiwireplaceTierneyexist 63′minute
- 34zhakareplaceKatiaexist 63′minute
- 9Gabriel Jesus54 minutes to book
- 19TrosalreplaceFabio Vieiraexist 70′minute
- 10smith ro
- twenty oneFabio Vieira
- anthony taylor
The game ended, Nottingham Forest 1-0 Arsenal.
At the end of the second half, Nottingham Forest 1-0 Arsenal.
Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Wayne Hennessey replaced Keylor Navas due to injury.
Delay ends. They are ready to continue.
Keylor Navas (Nottingham Forest) was delayed due to an injury.
Attempt failed. Martin Odegaard (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Fábio Vieira.
Ben White (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Brennan Johnson (Nottingham Forest).
Attempt failed. Tierney (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Gabriel Jesus.
Attempt saved. Morgan Gibbs-White (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the center of the goal. Cheikhou Kouyaté makes the assist for a header cross.
Foul by Bukayo Saka (Arsenal).
Ryan Yates (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Handball by Ryan Yates (Nottingham Forest).
Foul by Bukayo Saka (Arsenal).
Renan Lodi (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Willy Boly replaces Felipe.
Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Brennan Johnson replaces Taiwo Awoniyi.
Morgan Gibbs-White (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card.
Gabriel Magalhaes (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Gabriel Magalhaes (Arsenal).
- Our coverage of your Premier League clubs is bigger and better than ever – here it is everything you need to know Make sure you don’t miss a moment
BBC News - Home