FA Cup: Arsene Wenger Suffers First-Ever Third Round Exit As Holders Arsenal Beaten 4-2 By Nottingham Forest (Photos & Video)

Alan Duffy

7th, January 2018


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Arsene Wenger suffered his first-ever FA Cup third round defeat on Sunday, with holders Arsenal well beaten by managerless Nottingham Forest.

Wenger put out a mix-and-match side for the game against the side currently ranked 14th in the Championship.

However, the Gunners produced a feeble display against a Forest side who throughly deserved the shock win.

Eric Lichaj opened the scoring on 20 minutes, with the former Aston Villa defender heading home from close-range with the Arsenal defence nowhere to be seen.

The visitors responded almost instantly, with veteran centre-half Per Mertacker scoring a rare non-headed goal after Rob Holding’s effort had come back off the frame of the goal.

The Arsenal backline looked shaky from the off and the Premier League side would go behind again before the break, with Lichaj again getting on the scoresheet, this time via an outstanding volley.

While the Gunners had much of the possession, experienced performers Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi failed to make their mark at the City Ground.

More poor defending then gave Forest the chances to increase their lead, with Holding clumsily tripping Matty Cash.

Striker Ben Breteton, who was superb throughout the encounter, converted the resulting spot-kick to send the home fans wild.

The Championship side looked home and dry only for Welbeck to slot home on 79 minutes after a howler from ‘keeper Jordan Smith.

In a frantic finale, the hosts then saw Joe Worrall sent off for going through the back of sub Chuba Akpom.

Wenger watched on from the stands, as the Frenchman served the first of his three-match touchline ban. Before the end, he would witness yet another penalty controversy from referee Jonathan Moss.

Pointing to the spot after Mathieu Debuchy had tackled ex-Gunner Armand Traore from behind in the box.

Moss then watched as Kieran Dowell fired home, albeit after slipping while making contact.

Indeed, the Forest man looked to have hit the back twice before it beat David Ospina, with the Arsenal players immediately protesting, However, after conferring with his linesman, Moss let the goal stand.

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The game would end in a stunning and well deserved victory for caretaker boss Alan Brazil and his side, who progress to the fourth round.

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As for the Gunners, this was an utterly appalling display, with the team now looking devoid of leaders and with no real direction.

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Although Arsenal Fan TV should be a blast!