Arsenal star Kai Havertz has been explaining what made Nottingham Forest so tough to defend against during the Premier League clash on Saturday. The Gunners ran out 2-1 winners in their opening match but the Reds produced a spirited display.

After the game, Havertz was interviewed for Viaplay and praised Forest. Steve Cooper’s men had a real go in the second half and in the end, were perhaps disappointed not to leave North London with a share of the spoils.

Havertz Forest
Photo; Clive Mason; Getty Images

Havertz was making his Premier League debut for Arsenal. He made a big money move to the Emirates Stadium during the summer; switching across London to join from Chelsea.

It was interesting to hear his comments on Forest at the end. He raved about the team for the way they made life difficult for Arsenal despite trailing 2-0 at half-time.

The German told Viaplay: “I mean, we conceded the goal, I think before that it was quite comfortable but after the goal we knew they had big players on the field so we knew they were going to shoot the balls long.

“Sometimes this is tough to defend because they always go for the second ball and we suffered in the last few minutes of the game. But this is football and what you have to do sometimes.”

Havertz heaps praise on how Forest played

The Reds did put up a real fight on Saturday. When the second goal went in, many supporters have presumed they’d roll over and have their bellies tickled like they did many times on their travels last season.

But, Cooper must have been delighted by what he saw from his team. They rolled up their sleeves and gave it a really good go against the Gunners who narrowly missed out on winning the Premier League title last season.

Havertz Forest
Photo; David Price; Arsenal FC; Getty Images

Havertz had a relatively quiet debut. He certainly improves the depth at the Emirates Stadium though and he will hope to feature more often than not under the guidance of Arteta.

Forest will welcome the praise but now it’s about getting points. A tough run of fixtures away from home to start the season makes the need for points during a favourable run of games on home soil all the more important.