Awoniyi had a great finish last season, and he has continued from where he left off
Super Eagles striker Taiwo got off the bench to score for Nottingham Forest in their 2-1 loss to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, Soccernet reports.
Super Eagles defender Ola Aina started for Arsenal in their opening game of the Premier League, while striker Taiwo Awoniyi started from the bench. Awoniyi was a big doubt for the game and was not fully fit.
Arsenal started on top as expected, probing the Nottingham Forest defence, but the Tricky Trees proved to be a difficult nut to crack. England star Bukayo Saka looked lively as usual against Aina, who was making his debut. But the Nigeria defender held his own and came out on top in most of their duels.
Eventually, Arsenal’s persistence paid off in the 26th minute, as a brilliant piece of skill from Gabriel Martinelli on the left side of their attack set Eddie Nketiah free in the box, and he showed great composure to strike home from close range to make it 1-0.
Six minutes later, the North Londoners scored their second goal of the game, and it was all Saka. The Arsenal forward cut in from the right, and from outside the box, he sent a beautiful curler past Matt Turner in Forest’s goal.
The visitors lacked rhythm for most of the game and failed to conjure anything worthwhile in attack. Nonetheless, Aina had a very solid game in the defence, as Saka found little joy on the right.
The second half was not different from the first, as Arsenal kept controlling the pace of the game, but they were unable to score. Aina almost pulled one back for his side in the 69th minute, but his shot was deflected off Thomas Partey and went out for a corner kick.
Just a minute later, the Super Eagles defender was taken off for Neco Williams. Awoniyi was also introduced into the game.
The former Union Berlin man had an instant impact on the game, as his introduction added some urgency to Forest’s attack.
Nine minutes after his introduction, Nottingham Forest had the chance to go on a quick counter with Anthony Elanga as the orchestrator. He made a quick sprint forward and sent a low cross to Awoniyi, who showed great positional awareness to get on the end of the ball and just flicked the ball past Ramsdale.
Anthony Elanga's brilliant breakaway and Taiwo Awoniyi's pinpoint finish make it game on 👀
That's a stunning counter attack from Nottingham Forest! ⚡️
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— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) August 12, 2023
It was a frantic finish to the game as the Tricky Trees pushed for the vital equaliser, but Arsenal held their own, and it ended 2-1.
It was Awoniyi’s second consecutive goal against Arsenal after he scored the winner for Nottingham Forest when both teams met at the tail end of last season.