Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal Player Ratings: Forest Beat the Drop Following a 1-0 Win at the City Ground

Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal Player Ratings: Forest Beat the Drop Following a 1-0 Win at the City Ground
Nottingham Forest's Taiwo Awoniyi (right) celebrates with team-mate Morgan Gibbs-White after scoring their side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at the City Ground, Nottingham. Picture date: Saturday May 20, 2023. - Photo by Icon sport

  • A first half strike from Taiwo Awoniyi was enough for all three points on the day for Nottingham Forest.
  • The Forest win also means that Manchester City have been crowned Premier League champions for the third successive year.
  • Arsenal were lacklustre from the first minute and looked like a team ready for the summer break.

Nottingham Forest Player Ratings: Eleven men who left it all out on the pitch

Keylor Navas 7/10 – Dealt with crosses into the box superbly well and his distribution was excellent. Was forced off in the last minute but the injury didn’t look too bad.

Joe Worrall 7/10 – Was a rock at the back alongside the rest of the back five.

Felipe 7/10 – Didn’t allow Gabriel Jesus any room to breathe or any time on the ball throughout the match.

Moussa Niakhate 7/10 – Didn’t put a foot wrong and didn’t let much get past him.

Serge Aurier 8/10 – As well as he’s ever played in the Premier League. Was remarkably sensible in his defensive actions and was positionally sound.

Renan Lodi 8/10 – Forced Saka into his worst performance of the season and came close to scoring himself.

Ryan Yates 6/10 – Lost the ball needlessly at times but you couldn’t fault him for effort.

Orel Mangala 7/10 – Kept the pressure on the Arsenal midfield and was happy to accept the ball in all positions.

Morgan Gibbs-White 8/10 – Forest wouldn’t have survived without him and they wouldn’t have won without him today, either. He drove the team forward at every opportunity and deserved a goal.

Danilo 8/10 – Another tenacious display from the midfielder.

Taiwo Awoniyi 9/10 – Took his goal well and pressed expertly well.


Cheikhou Kouyate 6/10 – Came on late but slotted in nicely.

Brennan Johnson 6/10 – Came on too late to make an impact.

Willy Boly 6/10 – Came on too late to make an impact.

Wayne Hennessey – 6/10 Came on too late to make an impact.

Arsenal Player Ratings: Eleven men who didn’t want to be there

Aaron Ramsdale 5/10 – Was too indecisive for the goal and probably could have come out and smothered the shot if he’d committed.

Ben White 5/10 – Was run ragged all day by the Forest forwards.

Gabriel 5/10 – Bullied by Awoniyi – has struggled without Saliba next to him.

Jakub Kiwior 5/10 – Perhaps marginally better than Rob Holding but there isn’t much in it. He was hooked halfway through the second half as he looked lost.

Granit Xhaka 4/10 – The left-back experiment didn’t work. Looks like he can’t wait to get back to Germany.

Thomas Partey 3/10 – Yet another pitiful display from Partey, whose form has fallen off a cliff in recent weeks.

Jorginho 6/10 – The only Arsenal player on the day who had any composure on the ball. Was perhaps too safe at times, though.

Martin Odegaard 4/10 – It was his lazy pass that led to the Forest goal and he never recovered. Has gone hiding a couple of times in recent months.

Leandro Trossard 4/10 – Rarely threatened and was subbed off in the second half.

Bukayo Saka 2/10 Another poor display from Saka as he continues to endure a poor end to the season. Looked devoid of all confidence and Lodi had an easy day’s work.

Gabriel Jesus 3/10 – Another player who looks shot to bits. Needs the summer break to recharge and go again.


Kieran Tierney 5/10 – Was benched for Xhaka and didn’t do much when he came on.

Eddie Nketihah 5/10 – Offered very little.

Fabio Vieira 6/10 – Tried to get his team going but none of the others seemed interested.

Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal Match Summary and Highlights

Nottingham Forest have produced a huge performance when they needed it most, earning three points from their final home game of the season against Arsenal. Steve Cooper’s side played as if their lives depended on it and were worthy winners at the City Ground based on effort alone.

The one and only goal of the game from Taiwo Awoniyi, who has taken the initiative in recent weeks to drag his team to Premier League safety. After a sloppy pass in midfield from Arsenal captain, Martin Odegaard, Morgan Gibbs-White ran through the centre of the pitch before slipping in Awoniyi who finished nicely with a dink over the the top of the onrushing Ramsdale.

The goal cranked up the noise levels at the City Ground which seemed to deflate Arsenal, who looked like a team from the off who would rather be anywhere else in the world. Gibbs-White had chances to double Forest’s lead in the second half while Mikel Arteta’s team laboured away without creating anything of note.

The win for Forest not only secures their Premier League status for another season but also the Premier League title for Manchester City.

Player of the Match: Taiwo Awoniyi

Since the start of May, no player in the Premier League has scored more goals than Awoniyi and the centre forward was it again this afternoon. However, it wasn’t just his tidy finish past Ramsdale in the 20th minute that was impressive about his performance on Saturday evening, but his general hold-up play and tenacity at the top of the pitch. Gabriel and Kiwior were bullied by him throughout and he ran himself into the ground before being substituted to a standing ovation late on.

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