Arsenal closed the gap on Premier League leaders Liverpool to two points after an impressive second-half show cracked Nottingham Forest’s resistance at the City Ground.
The Gunners struggled to break down Forest’s well-organised rearguard but took the lead after 65 minutes when home keeper Matt Turner allowed Gabriel Jesus’ low shot to deflect in as it slipped through his legs at the near post.
Arsenal doubled their lead seven minutes later, cashing in ruthlessly on another Forest error after Gonzalo Montiel gifted possession to Martin Odegaard, his pass setting up Jesus to play in Bukayo Saka for a confident finish across Turner.
Forest substitute Taiwo Awoniyi grabbed one back with a close-range finish in the dying moments and almost levelled from a similar position just moments after, but Gunners keeper David Raya was equal to it.
Manager Mikel Arteta’s celebrations at full-time illustrated just how much the win meant in a meeting with a Forest team whose victory here last season ended Arsenal’s title challenge.
Liverpool could re-establish their five-point advantage over Arsenal with victory over Chelsea at Anfield on Wednesday, but this win provides the perfect platform for when Jurgen Klopp’s side visit Emirates Stadium at the weekend.