In front of their home crowd, the Gunners flew over the proceedings for a long time, converting their dominance by Eddie Nketiah (26th) and Bukayo Saka (32nd), before the thrills of a late match spiced up by the reduction of the score of Taiwo Awoniyi (82nd).
"We dominated ultra this afternoon, but when we had the opportunity to kill the game we did not do it," said coach Mikel Arteta, being "overall very happy" with the score provided by his players.
His side secured the essentials in the aftermath of the 3-0 win at promoted Burnley, defending champions Manchester City, whom they beat last weekend on penalties during the Community Shield.
The black spot concerns the exit on injury, at the beginning of the second half (50th), of the Dutch left back Jurriën Timber, one of the reinforcements of the summer, visibly injured in the right knee on a defensive withdrawal.
Arsenal's Dutch player Jurriën Timber is out with injury during the match between his team and Nottingham Forest in matchday 1 of the Premier League Championship at the Emirate Stadium on August 12, 2023. © HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP
Arteta had also fielded Declan Rice (close to scoring twice, 76th and 82nd) and Kai Havertz, his other star recruits, but the light came from centre-forward Nketiah, starting in the absence of Gabriel Jesus, still recovering from knee surgery.
The 24-year-old Gunner fired (26th, 1-0) after a superb number in the box from Gabriel Martinelli, whose roulette eliminated two bodyguards. Saka quickly pushed the advantage with a superb curled strike after Saliba overflowed to create the extra number and serve the English winger (32nd, 2-0).
The 22-year-old France international, who started last weekend in the win over Manchester City in the Community Shield, had not played in the league since March 12 against Fulham, a back injury that precipitated his end to the season.
In his absence, Arsenal's rearguard had been more brittle, the winning rate had plummeted and Manchester City had taken advantage of it to win the title in the final stretch.
The Londoners, however, have set promising milestones for the new season, already noticeable Saturday through precise and fast passing circuits, sometimes brilliant inspirations under the baton of captain Martin Odegaard, elegant left-hander who has delighted the Emirates fans.
Those of Luton, the promoted to the minuscule budget, had a more difficult afternoon at Brighton, where their "Hatters" lost their footing (4-1) in the last half hour with three goals conceded.
Luton football team manager Rob Edwards during the match against Brighton on the opening day of the Premier League Championship at Brighton Stadium on August 12, 2023. © JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP
Brighton find themselves at the top of the Premier League pending the other matches of the weekend. Fulham also won 1-0 at Everton, as did Crystal Palace at Sheffield by the same score, while Bournemouth and West Ham (1-1) shared the points.
The poster of this first day opposes Sunday (17:30) Chelsea to Liverpool, two clubs currently fighting to sign the Ecuadorian midfielder Moises Caicedo (21) from Brighton.
© 2023 AFP