Arsenal crash out to Nottingham Forest

Arsenal have exited the FA Cup after a 4-2 loss to Championship side Nottingham Forest.

A weakened line-up was picked apart by Forest who went ahead through Eric Lichaj. Per Mertesacker equalised before Lichaj sent a superb volley into the net. Two second-half penalty kicks secured Forest’s entry into the fourth round after Danny Welbeck had brought Arsenal back into the match.

The match started at a frantic pace with Ben Brereton testing David Ospina and Theo Walcott missing the target at the other end.

Walcott then provided a cross for Welbeck but the striker headed wide.

Lichaj gave Forest the lead in the 20th minute when he beat Ospina to the ball to head in Kieran Dowell’s free-kick from close range.

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It did not take long for Arsenal to strike back though when Mertesacker bundled the ball into the net after Rob Holding’s header bounced off the post.

Brereton nearly scored Forest’s second in the 33rd minute when he made the most of sloppy defending but Ospina made a fine save to keep the score level.

Lichaj did get the second on the verge of half-time in style. A poor header from Holding was chested down by Lichaj, who then looped a volley into the top left corner.

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Forest continued to be the better team in the second half and came close to scoring a third on the hour mark. Tyler Walker’s cross found Brereton but his shot deflected behind off Holding.

The third goal came in the 64th minute when Holding took down Matthew Cash in the area. Brereton stepped up to send the penalty past Ospina.

Welbeck pulled Arsenal back into the match with 12 minutes remaining to make the most of Jordan Smith’s fumble to slide the ball into an empty net.

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The win was sealed for Forest in the 86th minute, though when Mathieu Debuchy fouled Armand Traore in the area. This time, Dowell stepped up to send the ball into the roof of the net from 12 yards.

Joe Worrall was sent off in the 89th minute after a late tackle but there was no way back for Arsenal late on.

Cover Photo: City Ground by Tim Bunce used under license by CC BY 2.0.

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