Arsenal had to fight hard in stoppage time to hang on to a 2-1 win away to Nottingham Forest after leading 2-0 for 89 minutes.
After seeming impotent in the first half, the Gunners came back to collect three significant points, courtesy of goals from Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka.
Due to the outcome, they are now behind Liverpool, who against Chelsea on Wednesday night have the opportunity to reclaim their five-point advantage.
Under Nuno Espirito Santo’s pragmatic style, Forest had no intention of driving for the victory, but they made a game of it in the 89th minute when Taiwo Awoniyi hammered home.
Arsenal persevered to break a three-game losing run at the City Ground and drive away the demons from the season-ending loss that ended their hopes of winning the championship.
With two points above the relegation zone and the spectre of losing points for breaching financial regulations looming, Forest’s position at the bottom of the Premier League seems tenuous.
Nuno’s style is not expansive play; therefore, his idea was to put men behind the ball and challenge Arsenal to see if they could break them down.
The response in the first half was emphatic: despite their possession and advantage in territory, the Gunners lacked a decisive edge to pose a threat to Forest.
They had seven efforts on goal, but none of them challenged Matt Turner, the Forest custodian, who used to be Saka’s teammate. Saka’s attempt to break the stalemate in the first forty-five minutes went just wide after it deflected off Murillo.
The only meaningful offensive effort from Forest came from Danilo’s long-range shot over the crossbar in the closing third of the first thirty minutes. Other than that, they hardly made any passes.
After the break, the Gunners started to tighten up and, for the first time, really threatened Forest’s goal.
Turner had to make his first stop, deflecting Saka’s attempt with a powerful hand, but four minutes later they had their finest chance.
Jesus was played in after a clever move combining Saka and Martin Odegaard, but he slammed his attempt from a close angle into a post.
Turner won’t want to see it again, but in the 65th minute, Arsenal’s pressure finally paid off as they seized the lead.
Forest cut off Zinchenko’s throw, and Jesus sprinted to the byline, where his toe-poked shot went through Turner’s knees and into the back of the net.
Nuno, a former custodian himself, has supported Turner despite the fact that he has been under fire in recent weeks due to a series of high-profile errors. However, this might alter things.
Seven minutes later, a breakaway goal made it 2-0. Gonzalo Montiel mishandled a clearing on the halfway line, skewing it right to Odegaard. Odegaard then released Jesus, and Saka was set up at the far post by the England international, who scored without error.
Although they might find a leveller, Forest had not really threatened until late in the game, when Awoniyi, making his first appearance since November, converted after a mistake by William Saliba.