Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta apologised for his team’s performance after they were knocked out of the FA Cup. In the third round for the second time in four years by Nottingham Forest.
Seven minutes from time, Lewis Grabban slipped home Ryan Yates’ inviting cross to stun the 14-time champions.
The Gunners thought to have turned a turnaround in recent weeks, but their performance against their Championship opponents was lacklustre.
Despite Arteta’s multiple substitutions, England winger Bukayo Saka, Norway playmaker Martin Odegaard. And in-form Gabriel Martinelli all started at the City Ground.
Forest, who have resurrected under manager Steve Cooper. Now face an East Midlands rivalry and a fourth-round match against Premier League holders Leicester City.
The Championship side, who upset Arsenal 4-2 at the same level last season. Haven’t lost a home match in six years, were physical right from the outset.
Cooper was overjoyed with his team’s tenacious effort. The latest in a string of strong showings since taking over in September.
How did Arsenal lose in the FA Cup?
During a first half in which Arsenal failed to express themselves, debutant Keinan Davis. Who joined on loan from Aston Villa, caused issues for the visiting defence.
After 34 minutes, Arteta substituted Kierney with left-back Nuno Tavares. Whose performance was summed up by a reckless back pass. That visiting keeper Bernd Leno had to chest away from goal/
As he walked off the pitch. The Portuguese defender threw away his gloves and failed to recognise his boss on the sidelines.
Following the half, Leno denied Philip Zinckernegal when he connected brilliantly. With Johnson’s enticing cross and then saved Joe Garner’s thunderous free-kick.
However, with eight minutes remaining, Arsenal’s third-round demise in the East Midlands was confirmed when replacement Grabban met Yates’ cross.
Nearly 25,000 people filled the City grounds. And Cooper’s men were visibly encouraged by the crowd, who won clashes all over the pitch.
Djed Spence, on loan from Middlesbrough, was especially outstanding at right-back, effectively neutralising Martinelli.
While Arsenal knew about Forest’s threat from crosses early in the second half. But they didn’t listen and paid the price on Arteta’s men’s dreadful night.
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