Nottingham Forest beat Arsenal at the City Ground to secure their Premier League survival and crown Manchester City as champions.
Taiwo Awoniyi’s 19th-minute goal was enough to seal the victory and spark jubilant scenes from the home fans at the final whistle.
Arsenal dominated possession but Mikel Arteta’s men could not find a way through Forest’s fiery defense to force City themselves to claim a fifth title in six years.
Not that Forest and their boisterous supporters care about Pep Guardiola and his team.
After what must have seemed like an age as he paced his technical area, waiting for seven minutes of added time to pass and the loss of goalkeeper Keylor Navas in the very last seconds, Forest boss Steve Cooper was able to celebrate his survival.
In the stand above, owner Evangelos Marinakis was also hugged by those around him, having been rewarded for keeping faith in Cooper during a tumultuous campaign.
Awoniyi’s scoring streak puts Forest on the safe side
Awoniyi scored just four times in his first 23 Premier League games after joining Forest from Union Berlin – but now has five in his last three games.
And, like the former Liverpool striker, Morgan Gibbs-White’s form has also shown a major improvement in recent weeks and it was no surprise the pair combined to give Forest the lead.
There was an element of fortune as Gabriel slid in to reach Gibbs-White’s angled pass into the penalty area first.
But given the fighting qualities they showed in their survival fight and the phenomenal support they received from the stands, Forest deserved the fortune that saw the ball hit Awoniyi and then rise above Aaron Ramsdale, who was diving to choke, and into the net.
Forest had other chances and Gibbs-White should have doubled their lead towards the end when he went one-on-one with the Arsenal keeper.
However, showing the fighting spirit that has served them so well and backed by fans who have stuck with Cooper all season – likely saving the Welshman at times – Forest’s determination ensured they did not lose their lead. .
Arsenal foiled for lack of peak
It would be grossly unfair to say that Arsenal deserved nothing from this game.
They dominated possession for long stretches and only a few diligent Forest defenders kept them at bay.
But the clinical advantage of their early season performances abandoned them as City kicked into high gear.
Unlike the first half of the campaign, when they dropped just seven points, Arsenal have collected just nine points from their last eight games.
Following the home defeat to Brighton, Arteta’s men have now lost consecutive league games for the first time this season.
Gabriel Jesus had a few chances early in the game, Bukayo Saka made a decent save from Navas in the second half and from the corner that followed Jorginho’s shot was deflected.
But a sharp edge was missing and there was a resignation over the result long before the final whistle sounded on the Gunners’ title challenge.
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