FA Cup: Nottingham Forest stun Arsenal
Arsenal lost to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round for the second time in four years thanks to Lewis Grabban’s late strike.
The visitors seemed to have turned a corner of late but were deservedly beaten at a noisy City Ground.
Mikel Arteta made numerous changes to his line-up but there was still a strong core to his team.
Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and the in-form Gabriel Martinelli were among those in the side.
Forest, who beat the Gunners 4-2 at the same stage in 2018 and who have not lost a home tie in six years, were physical from the start.
Debutant Kienan Davis, leading the line after completing a loan move from Aston Villa, caused problems for the visiting defence during a first half in which Arsenal failed to assert themselves.
Deja vu for brilliant Forest
There were nearly 25,000 packed into the City Ground and the crowd clearly inspired Steve Cooper’s men, who won battles all over the pitch.
Djed Spence, on loan from Middlesbrough, was particularly impressive at right-back, nullifying Martinelli.
Arsenal had been warned of the threat Forest posed from crosses early in the second half, but they didn’t learn and paid the price on a miserable night for Arteta’s men.
Forest can now look forward to another meeting with a Premier League side, Leicester, in the fourth round.
Spineless Arsenal fall short again
Arsenal, who were wearing an all white kit in support of the No More Red campaign against knife crime, have improved their form in recent weeks so this is a disappointment they will not have expected.
They were unlucky against Premier League leaders Manchester City on New Year’s Day but failed to show any of the same application here.
That said, they have lost only twice in FA Cup third round since 1996 – and both times were at the hands of Forest.
Eddie Nketiah’s weak header from a cross by Saka – who was the brightest player for the visitors – was the best they could muster.